by January 30, 2013 0 comments

1. What are the current challenges in software testing?

RK: Clients are very demanding with respect to their software. They have time-to-market and other such constraints. Keeping that in mind, it is very difficult to convince them why testing should be as exhaustive as possible. This is specially true of Indian companies. US and UK-based companies, in our experience, have been more willing to invest in testing efforts. Indian companies (generally speaking) must realize, the sooner the better, that investing in testing is worth it.

2. What changes do you expect will take place in 2013?

RK: There will be a higher focus on automated testing. Companies will probably realize and have a better understanding of the costs involved in the testing process. Also, many companies will learn from their past failures of having underestimated the importance of rigorous testing.

3. What has been the impact on the testing process because of the rise of apps in the marketplaces of portable devices?

AL: Not much of an impact has been observed. But yes, now we need to take into account screen resolutions of all 3 devices, i.e. PCs, tablets and smartphones. In these modern apps, responsiveness is often the highest priority. If your app doesn’t turn out to be responsive enough, the user is immediately dissatisfied.

4. Have you noticed any change in the end-user’s perception of what defines quality in software?

RK: Not exactly related to quality but yes, in the past few years we have indeed observed changes in the behaviour of customers. Earlier in the Indian market, customers were highly reluctant to express their requirements in detail. They viewed doing so as a risk. But now they are much more open to discussing their requirements and proactively do so without needing to be quizzed. They are also much more inquisitive and demand answers to several `what-if’ questions.

5. Please comment on manual v/s automated testing in 2013.

RK: Building the automation tool itself is not an easy task. At the end of the day, the scripts which you pass to the automation tool are ultimately written by humans and this requires accumulation of certain skills. In my view, manual testing cannot be entirely replaced. For small projects, manual testing is still a more cost-effective approach.

6. In your own case, how has adopting an agile development process helped?

RK: The single biggest change is that the team is ready to accept change. Earlier it was too costly to adopt change in the later phases of the SDLC. Now we make it a point to involve the client in each phase of the SDLC, so that if a change is made in a later phase, it does not have a cascading effect on wasted efforts, time and resources spent during earlier phases, which used to happen before agile. Involving clients at each stage also helps them have a more realistic set of expectations from the vendor, where they realize and understand why a particular task will take the stated amount of time/efforts/resources, etc. and also gain better and more current visibility into the project as a whole. This increases satisfaction.

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