|By NCSM Strategic Marketing||
|August 1, 2012 05:00 AM EDT||
by Eli Lopian - The Industrial Revolution began about 250 years ago and machines started to take over for human labor in factories, fields, and mines. It is true that this lead to major economic growth, but machines still replaced the average worker who could not get another job or find a new skill to learn, which hurt many people. The similarity of the situation QA testing finds itself in currently is uncanny. QA was the big savior during the big internet boom - when budgets were virtually unlimited and software was being produced at an exponential rate. However, as the economy bottomed out, budgets deflated, Agile development became more widespread, and software continued soaring, automated testing began taking over. Just as manual labor became more obsolete over time due to the Industrial Revolution, manual QA testing finds itself faced with the same predicament.
Let's take a step back and examine how things used to work. Waterfall has always been the method of choice for most software development teams since the 1950's. This methodology allowed for developers to design everything upfront, then focus on their code, pass it on to QA for testing, and get it back with bugs to fix. Over time, systems are upgraded, development methods get better and faster, and we find ourselves producing so much software at such a fast rate, that we need more testers. More testers were hired and developers just got lazier knowing that QA will be there to catch their mistakes.
Meanwhile, in February of 2001, as the dot-com bubble was bursting, the Agile Manifesto was published and a new way of developer thinking started to emerge. Agile development methodologies breathed new life into the developer world, where adapting to ever-changing situations and rapidly deploying working software became the focus of development teams. Agile is more involved in each working part of a team and the code with a spotlight on developer testing rather than QA testing. As Agile continues to become more widespread and effective, QA is needed less and that means it has one foot out the door.
More QA, more problems
Enterprise software development is an expensive and very complex endeavor. For those reasons it is very common to find that the goals of the original plan are not reached, and management needs to decide how to react to this situation. There are really three routes a company can choose from in order to manage their time-to-market.
- Add Budget - You can't always throw more money at a project, but, if you could, you might be able to complete the project on time, taking into account the law of diminishing returns. You have to take into account critical paths that might make adding budget redundant. This is not a preferred scenario for management.
- Skimp on Features - Neither developers nor management are keen on giving customers less than they are paying for. This is definitely not an option for many companies.
- Lower Quality - Although bugs are a part of our lives that we will always have to deal with, software quality is probably the most important aspect of any product. However, it is also the first thing to get shoved under the bus.
What we are left with is a sense of imbalance. The developers are lazy and create code that is lacking in quality, while at the same time management is cutting down on QA. There is a fundamental flaw here. This is where Agile fundamentals can come into play.
It's an agile thing
With Agile's popularity bursting through the seams, developers and managers appeared to be able to find the way to great software. Like any great undertaking, though, there were, and still are, issues between those two sides that need to be worked on. However, one thing that everyone could agree on is that they wanted to produce better software, in the shortest time possible, and, in management's case, with as little investment as possible.
After the dot-com bubble burst and the economy was gradually working its way back, companies knew that they needed to create good software without the huge costs. This is where things got a little worrisome. How can QA department costs be justified?
Fortunately, Agile development is about testing your own code properly. While QA can still test fringe or flow cases, developers recognized the need to take responsibility for their code. One of the pillars of Agile development is working software. Some Agile methodologies include TDD and unit testing performed by the developers. Unit testing is about checking your part of the code; doing your part in order to make the whole better with the benefit of continuous, instant feedback that flushes bugs out quickly and cheaply. Without good unit testing coverage, it is very hard to stay Agile because the design continuously changes, and without knowledge of the bugs you create while developing the software, the development grinds to a halt.
Unit testing - possible QA killer
Unit testing is a method of testing your specific piece of code to make sure that it is working properly and will fit correctly into the software puzzle. It has been shown that with unit testing you can properly check over 90 percent of your code, and, unlike QA Automation tools, unit tests that are built correctly evolve with your codebase.
Now, I am not saying that unit testing is the answer to all of our development woes. However, as a platform for testing code (and creating abstract design), unit testing makes sense, costs less, and gets better quality software out the door quicker.. Automated unit testing and TDD is the next best thing when it comes to making great software. It allows developers to adapt their code to new features and other changes on-the-fly.
QA testing may have been the savior during the internet bubble of the late 90's, but companies are quickly realizing the inability of a QA team to adjust to design changes. With QA you have a department dedicated to sweeping for errors and then dumping the issues back on the developers for more iterations and fixes. Unit testing with Agile development promises working software once it leaves the developer's hands.
Where do we go from here?
I bet you are wondering why I chose this title for this piece. It may have something to do with the fact that I am a Don McLean fan. Beyond that, though, this felt like an apt title for an article on how software QA became a mainstay in corporate application development and why the QA department is on the proverbial brink of extinction. As the title points out, QA is dead. However, we are still seeing QA departments and professionals in corporate software development. The question is how long will this be the case? I personally feel that it is only a matter of time until we see a more dramatic shift to developer testing departments. What this means is that developers will be in charge of testing their own code and will not have a QA department to rely on.
Yes, there will still be many QA professionals working. I think we will see them working as part of the developer teams rather than in their own department. Costs are too high and speed is an issue with QA departments. There is only one logical way to go: developer testing.
As we move into this age of developer responsibility, we will see developers produce cleaner software that works as intended and with fewer bugs. It is now up to the corporations to recognize where they can save money and still produce great software.
by Eli Lopian, CEO of Typemock
DevOps Summit 2015 New York, co-located with the 16th International Cloud Expo - to be held June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY - announces that it is now accepting Keynote Proposals. The widespread success of cloud computing is driving the DevOps revolution in enterprise IT. Now as never before, development teams must communicate and collaborate in a dynamic, 24/7/365 environment. There is no time to wait for long development cycles that produce software that is obsolete at launch. DevOps may be disruptive, but it is essential.
Dec. 18, 2014 12:00 PM EST Reads: 481
“In the past year we've seen a lot of stabilization of WebRTC. You can now use it in production with a far greater degree of certainty. A lot of the real developments in the past year have been in things like the data channel, which will enable a whole new type of application," explained Peter Dunkley, Technical Director at Acision, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Dec. 18, 2014 11:30 AM EST Reads: 696
SYS-CON Events announced today that Windstream, a leading provider of advanced network and cloud communications, has been named “Silver Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 16th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 9–11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York, NY. Windstream (Nasdaq: WIN), a FORTUNE 500 and S&P 500 company, is a leading provider of advanced network communications, including cloud computing and managed services, to businesses nationwide. The company also offers broadband, phone and digital TV services to consumers primarily in rural areas.
Dec. 18, 2014 11:00 AM EST Reads: 2,061
The major cloud platforms defy a simple, side-by-side analysis. Each of the major IaaS public-cloud platforms offers their own unique strengths and functionality. Options for on-site private cloud are diverse as well, and must be designed and deployed while taking existing legacy architecture and infrastructure into account. Then the reality is that most enterprises are embarking on a hybrid cloud strategy and programs. In this Power Panel at 15th Cloud Expo (http://www.CloudComputingExpo.com), moderated by Ashar Baig, Research Director, Cloud, at Gigaom Research, Nate Gordon, Director of T...
Dec. 18, 2014 10:30 AM EST Reads: 2,199
The Internet of Things is not new. Historically, smart businesses have used its basic concept of leveraging data to drive better decision making and have capitalized on those insights to realize additional revenue opportunities. So, what has changed to make the Internet of Things one of the hottest topics in tech? In his session at @ThingsExpo, Chris Gray, Director, Embedded and Internet of Things, discussed the underlying factors that are driving the economics of intelligent systems. Discover how hardware commoditization, the ubiquitous nature of connectivity, and the emergence of Big Data a...
Dec. 18, 2014 10:15 AM EST Reads: 2,030
ARMONK, N.Y., Nov. 20, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- IBM (NYSE: IBM) today announced that it is bringing a greater level of control, security and flexibility to cloud-based application development and delivery with a single-tenant version of Bluemix, IBM's platform-as-a-service. The new platform enables developers to build ap...
Dec. 18, 2014 10:00 AM EST Reads: 1,847
"BSQUARE is in the business of selling software solutions for smart connected devices. It's obvious that IoT has moved from being a technology to being a fundamental part of business, and in the last 18 months people have said let's figure out how to do it and let's put some focus on it, " explained Dave Wagstaff, VP & Chief Architect, at BSQUARE Corporation, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held Nov 4-6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Dec. 18, 2014 10:00 AM EST Reads: 1,717
SYS-CON Events announced today that IDenticard will exhibit at SYS-CON's 16th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. IDenticard™ is the security division of Brady Corp (NYSE: BRC), a $1.5 billion manufacturer of identification products. We have small-company values with the strength and stability of a major corporation. IDenticard offers local sales, support and service to our customers across the United States and Canada. Our partner network encompasses some 300 of the world's leading systems integrators and security s...
Dec. 18, 2014 09:30 AM EST Reads: 1,827
"People are a lot more knowledgeable about APIs now. There are two types of people who work with APIs - IT people who want to use APIs for something internal and the product managers who want to do something outside APIs for people to connect to them," explained Roberto Medrano, Executive Vice President at SOA Software, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at Cloud Expo, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Dec. 18, 2014 09:00 AM EST Reads: 1,154
Nigeria has the largest economy in Africa, at more than US$500 billion, and ranks 23rd in the world. A recent re-evaluation of Nigeria's true economic size doubled the previous estimate, and brought it well ahead of South Africa, which is a member (unlike Nigeria) of the G20 club for political as well as economic reasons. Nigeria's economy can be said to be quite diverse from one point of view, but heavily dependent on oil and gas at the same time. Oil and natural gas account for about 15% of Nigera's overall economy, but traditionally represent more than 90% of the country's exports and as...
Dec. 18, 2014 06:00 AM EST Reads: 637
The Internet of Things is a misnomer. That implies that everything is on the Internet, and that simply should not be - especially for things that are blurring the line between medical devices that stimulate like a pacemaker and quantified self-sensors like a pedometer or pulse tracker. The mesh of things that we manage must be segmented into zones of trust for sensing data, transmitting data, receiving command and control administrative changes, and peer-to-peer mesh messaging. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Ryan Bagnulo, Solution Architect / Software Engineer at SOA Software, focused on desi...
Dec. 17, 2014 11:15 PM EST Reads: 1,234
"At our booth we are showing how to provide trust in the Internet of Things. Trust is where everything starts to become secure and trustworthy. Now with the scaling of the Internet of Things it becomes an interesting question – I've heard numbers from 200 billion devices next year up to a trillion in the next 10 to 15 years," explained Johannes Lintzen, Vice President of Sales at Utimaco, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Dec. 17, 2014 11:00 PM EST Reads: 1,313
"For over 25 years we have been working with a lot of enterprise customers and we have seen how companies create applications. And now that we have moved to cloud computing, mobile, social and the Internet of Things, we see that the market needs a new way of creating applications," stated Jesse Shiah, CEO, President and Co-Founder of AgilePoint Inc., in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 15th Cloud Expo, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Dec. 17, 2014 08:00 PM EST Reads: 1,277
SYS-CON Events announced today that Gridstore™, the leader in hyper-converged infrastructure purpose-built to optimize Microsoft workloads, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 16th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Gridstore™ is the leader in hyper-converged infrastructure purpose-built for Microsoft workloads and designed to accelerate applications in virtualized environments. Gridstore’s hyper-converged infrastructure is the industry’s first all flash version of HyperConverged Appliances that include both compute and storag...
Dec. 17, 2014 06:30 PM EST Reads: 1,175
Today’s enterprise is being driven by disruptive competitive and human capital requirements to provide enterprise application access through not only desktops, but also mobile devices. To retrofit existing programs across all these devices using traditional programming methods is very costly and time consuming – often prohibitively so. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Jesse Shiah, CEO, President, and Co-Founder of AgilePoint Inc., discussed how you can create applications that run on all mobile devices as well as laptops and desktops using a visual drag-and-drop application – and eForms-buildi...
Dec. 17, 2014 11:45 AM EST Reads: 1,421
We certainly live in interesting technological times. And no more interesting than the current competing IoT standards for connectivity. Various standards bodies, approaches, and ecosystems are vying for mindshare and positioning for a competitive edge. It is clear that when the dust settles, we will have new protocols, evolved protocols, that will change the way we interact with devices and infrastructure. We will also have evolved web protocols, like HTTP/2, that will be changing the very core of our infrastructures. At the same time, we have old approaches made new again like micro-services...
Dec. 16, 2014 11:45 PM EST Reads: 1,259
Code Halos - aka "digital fingerprints" - are the key organizing principle to understand a) how dumb things become smart and b) how to monetize this dynamic. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Robert Brown, AVP, Center for the Future of Work at Cognizant Technology Solutions, outlined research, analysis and recommendations from his recently published book on this phenomena on the way leading edge organizations like GE and Disney are unlocking the Internet of Things opportunity and what steps your organization should be taking to position itself for the next platform of digital competition.
Dec. 15, 2014 11:45 PM EST Reads: 1,629
The 3rd International Internet of @ThingsExpo, co-located with the 16th International Cloud Expo - to be held June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY - announces that its Call for Papers is now open. The Internet of Things (IoT) is the biggest idea since the creation of the Worldwide Web more than 20 years ago.
Dec. 15, 2014 10:30 AM EST Reads: 6,854
As the Internet of Things unfolds, mobile and wearable devices are blurring the line between physical and digital, integrating ever more closely with our interests, our routines, our daily lives. Contextual computing and smart, sensor-equipped spaces bring the potential to walk through a world that recognizes us and responds accordingly. We become continuous transmitters and receivers of data. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Andrew Bolwell, Director of Innovation for HP's Printing and Personal Systems Group, discussed how key attributes of mobile technology – touch input, sensors, social, and ...
Dec. 15, 2014 10:00 AM EST Reads: 1,937
In their session at @ThingsExpo, Shyam Varan Nath, Principal Architect at GE, and Ibrahim Gokcen, who leads GE's advanced IoT analytics, focused on the Internet of Things / Industrial Internet and how to make it operational for business end-users. Learn about the challenges posed by machine and sensor data and how to marry it with enterprise data. They also discussed the tips and tricks to provide the Industrial Internet as an end-user consumable service using Big Data Analytics and Industrial Cloud.
Dec. 15, 2014 10:00 AM EST Reads: 1,611