Posts Tagged ‘software testing’

quality to Quality

February 9, 2010

It is time leading companies like Infosys look at quality more as strategic weapon than mere conformance to benchmarks. That is the transition I refer to as “quality to Quality”

I drove home my point by taking examples from other industries, notably manufacturing in 80s and 90’s in India

I also impressed on Infosys SEPG team the need to play “leaders’ game” than “followers’ game”; followers meet others benchmark, while leaders create new benchmark

I suggested to the quality team at Infosys that it is time they look at some “out of box” thinking; possibly looking at “proving programs correct” as an alternative to “software testing”

(Talk given to Infosys SEPG Group on Tuesday February 9, 2010)

Software testing – yesterday, today & tomorrow

April 11, 2009

Contrary to what many think, testing has grown along with development.

In the early days much of computing was applied in pure sciences where accuracy and no-failure are far more important (unlike application software). Many of us who got used to computing in 60’s wrote isolated programs (generally of 100’s of lines long) but did testing thoroughly. In fact we even attempted to “prove programs correct” through “formal methods”. You can take a look at “Proving Calendar program correct” in CACM 1979. Unfortunately business software is much larger (millions of lines long) and specifications are not precise and testing evolved independent of theoretical approaches (like formal methods)

Currently testing is drive by practitioners; you have black-box and white-box testing; functional testing, performance testing and even usability testing. Test plans are deployed, test scripts are written and even automated. Then you have sophisticated tools like Mercury’s Load-Runner. Then there is regression testing that keeps data centers busy for days before “release”

Looking forward I expect model-based testing to enter mainstream and some of the formal methods used to “prove programs correct” in critical arras (like embedded systems) or for testing components & frameworks.

I also urge the Indian software community to stray away from creating artificial “pecking order” that treats development much ahead of testing that most youngsters feel testing is a “punishment posting”. Also software industry should learn from other industry (mechanical, chemical, pharmaceutical, food processing, electrical equipment) where testing job is given an exalted status.

(Invited talk given in Quality Engineering Meet of Adobe Systems in Bangalore on April 10, 2009)

Software testing as exciting activity

April 24, 2008

I had the pleasure of talking to hundreds of “testers” at Wipro in their internal annual 2-day “Test Confluence”. The demos and presentations were very educative.

In my keynote address on April 23, 2008, I focussed on four issues

The need to “count your blessings” on behalf of the Indian software community (doing well yet complaining all the time)

Learn from manufacturing (how the “lowly” quality function got elevated to the “board room” thanks to Professor Deming)

How FDA in Pharma, FAA in Aviation, Lloyds in Boilers, BASEL in Banking have “positioned” testing in “high pedestal”

I also talked to them of the “role model” played by Soma (Mr. Somasegar, Sr VP, Microsoft HQ) as “legendary test engineer”