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Road to better quality – Testing conference

Bunch of us just attended Lates conference where overall theme was

Testing – The way to better quality of software

Conference has been targeted to people responsible for overall software quality such as CIO, COO, CFO, Test managers, support managers or people that take over software solutions from their vendors.

I’m not going to describe how event went or comment on general conference highlights (although it was overall pretty good), but rather let me just put down some points we have collected during presentations. Non of these ideas are novel or eye-opening, it is however good to re-iterate them from time to time, especially when you consider improving your quality or engage with test professionals:

1. In quality you can not rely only on testing. Testing helps to reach better quality but does not solve all problems of poor quality. (Vladan Kukol, Vodafone Czech Republic a.s. )

Quality is brought. It goes well outside of testing starting from product planning and design phase until delivery to production, maintenance and support. Quality should be reflected in the whole product life cycle. Testing, it’s approaches and techniques plays a key role however.

2. Most of the impulses for a change come from testing. (Dušan Vaněk, Adastra s.r.o.)

Experienced test team brings suggestions for changes, improvements, looks at the product in perspective of users, customers, evaluators, support engineers etc. It consequently helps improving overall product quality and acceptance in the field. Consider this when planning your testing and evaluating whether to engage resources not educated in testing or engaging test professionals.

3. 83.3 % of people working in software development do not know what is the role of testing (Anna Borovcová, Vysoká škola ekonomická)

The study of Anna (supposedly performed on 300 companies of various sizes with staff working in or with IT) showed that there is low understanding of role of testing. It also shows that 55% of companies have experienced testers (specially trained in testing with at least 1 year of experience). Numbers suggest that training in software testing and ongoing promotion of testing value is worth to reiterate. Check out Gabor’s Valued tester.

4. 71 % of software projects fail due to poor requirements. Poor requirement is one that concentrates on what customer wants (and not on what customer needs). (Jan Svoboda, IBM)

I believe we cope with such requirements every day. We often work with customer wish and not with customer needs, hence it is important to set realistic customer expectations upfront, make sure requirements are properly understood.

We didn’t have valuable testing conferences in the past in the Czech Republic. This year, there were too: Czechtest and Lates. We’re happy to see that the Czech testing market is improving in this area.

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