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Testing beyond software
A case study

@Mauri_Edo
Where is the action?

Online market research projects
+1.850.000 interviews in +1.000 projects (2012)
Proprietary tools

@...
Online market research?
Yes, online surveys mainly
But online surveys are simple!
Hmm... Are they?
@Mauri_Edo
Mental image ≈ 3 minutes
Text inputs
Single response
Multiple response
Simple routing

@Mauri_Edo
Real image ≈ 15 minutes
Plus:
Flash / jQuery
Loops
Client-side
scripting
…

@Mauri_Edo
The problem:
Faulty surveys being launched
Let’s add some testing and
quality to this process!
Cool! But… where to start?
...
Gather information!
Primary source
Ask questions!
Secondary sources
Observation
Current issues
Current quality level
@Maur...
Information gathering results
Mission:
Compliance with requirements
Create a safety net before survey reaches the
customer...
Triage
Little bets*

Iterate
Approach

Diversify
Persevere!
*A Peter Sims idea

Monitor
DIY
@Mauri_Edo
Disclaimer:
Work in progress,
potential fatal errors included

@Mauri_Edo
Current status
Form

Spec

Coding

C.A.T.

Launch

Survey testing

Form
review

Spec review
Test design

C.A.T. = Customer...
Challenge #1: culture
Missing background on quality and testing:
Knowledge transference (and recycling)
Message consistenc...
Challenge #2: miscommunication
Miscommunication = confusion, mistakes, stress
Lead by example:
- Daily stand-up meetings
-...
Challenge #3: development pace
“Survey programming cycle shouldn’t be dramatically
extended in time” (anonymous co-worker)...
Error #1: inattention to specs
Specs are valuable!
Promote research and improvement in order
to achieve specs ownership
Ma...
Error #2: client modifications
Before...
Form

Spec

Coding

C.A.T.

Launch
Fixes

After...
Form

Spec

Coding

C.A.T.

La...
Error #3: issue unawareness
Who is aware of the issues?
Respondent support team (functional, content)
Application support ...
Lessons learned

@Mauri_Edo
About quality systems...
The (successful) implementation of a quality
system needs the bosses’ approval AND the
embrace of...
About testing...
Be adaptable, a full regression test suite
execution is not the solution to all problems
Communication is...
About challenges...
Quality can add value everywhere, beyond
software development
Future job, anyone?

@Mauri_Edo
Thanks!
Questions?
Mauri Edo
@Mauri_Edo
testingfuncional.wordpress.com
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Testing beyond software, a case study

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So far, testing has always been related to hardware and, specially, to software development. We tend to agree that building new pieces of software, programs, applications... requires testing efforts and we, as a community, struggle to establish, strengthen and refine these efforts; because we believe that testing is never in vain, we believe that testing adds value to wherever it is attached to.

If we believe that testing adds value to wherever it is attached to, why don’t apply testing efforts beyond software development? In this presentation, I will explain a work in progress case study of testing applied not to software development, but to software usage, for real-time production and launching of on-line market research surveys in a complex and highly demanding environment.

Published in: Technology, Business
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Testing beyond software, a case study

  1. 1. Testing beyond software A case study @Mauri_Edo
  2. 2. Where is the action? Online market research projects +1.850.000 interviews in +1.000 projects (2012) Proprietary tools @Mauri_Edo
  3. 3. Online market research? Yes, online surveys mainly But online surveys are simple! Hmm... Are they? @Mauri_Edo
  4. 4. Mental image ≈ 3 minutes Text inputs Single response Multiple response Simple routing @Mauri_Edo
  5. 5. Real image ≈ 15 minutes Plus: Flash / jQuery Loops Client-side scripting … @Mauri_Edo
  6. 6. The problem: Faulty surveys being launched Let’s add some testing and quality to this process! Cool! But… where to start? @Mauri_Edo
  7. 7. Gather information! Primary source Ask questions! Secondary sources Observation Current issues Current quality level @Mauri_Edo
  8. 8. Information gathering results Mission: Compliance with requirements Create a safety net before survey reaches the customer for approval Stakeholders: Customers Respondents @Mauri_Edo
  9. 9. Triage Little bets* Iterate Approach Diversify Persevere! *A Peter Sims idea Monitor DIY @Mauri_Edo
  10. 10. Disclaimer: Work in progress, potential fatal errors included @Mauri_Edo
  11. 11. Current status Form Spec Coding C.A.T. Launch Survey testing Form review Spec review Test design C.A.T. = Customer Acceptance Testing Test execution E.T. Data validation @Mauri_Edo
  12. 12. Challenge #1: culture Missing background on quality and testing: Knowledge transference (and recycling) Message consistency Communicate, communicate, communicate Aversion to change: Start small, gain momentum Prove your victories Gain followers to get more followers @Mauri_Edo
  13. 13. Challenge #2: miscommunication Miscommunication = confusion, mistakes, stress Lead by example: - Daily stand-up meetings - Weekly sync meetings Empower communication in others: - General, non-project related, meetings - Cross-team trainings - Stand up and talk! @Mauri_Edo
  14. 14. Challenge #3: development pace “Survey programming cycle shouldn’t be dramatically extended in time” (anonymous co-worker) Challenge everything! Any deadlocks available? Testability + test utilities Smoke tests “Smart” checklists Testing depth ↔ Time available @Mauri_Edo
  15. 15. Error #1: inattention to specs Specs are valuable! Promote research and improvement in order to achieve specs ownership Make related issues visible Test against specs compliance @Mauri_Edo
  16. 16. Error #2: client modifications Before... Form Spec Coding C.A.T. Launch Fixes After... Form Spec Coding C.A.T. Launch Express Testing Full regression testing? Maybe... @Mauri_Edo
  17. 17. Error #3: issue unawareness Who is aware of the issues? Respondent support team (functional, content) Application support team (internal) Connect the teams Active search for issues: Soft launch + data consistency analysis Repeatable process, anytime Don’t wait for bugs to knock at your door @Mauri_Edo
  18. 18. Lessons learned @Mauri_Edo
  19. 19. About quality systems... The (successful) implementation of a quality system needs the bosses’ approval AND the embrace of the regular workers Quality might start with testing but it has to permeate through the rest of teams / areas @Mauri_Edo
  20. 20. About testing... Be adaptable, a full regression test suite execution is not the solution to all problems Communication is key Make yourself visible! Test strategies require lots of testing as well @Mauri_Edo
  21. 21. About challenges... Quality can add value everywhere, beyond software development Future job, anyone? @Mauri_Edo
  22. 22. Thanks! Questions? Mauri Edo @Mauri_Edo testingfuncional.wordpress.com

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