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  1. #1
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    Testing an untested program

    As there has been no QA where I work and only 1 tester for 12 programmers the majority of the work we have produced has gone out to customers almost untested and not surprisingly they find lots of bugs.
    Which not too surprisingly don't get fixed properly and the cycle continues

    Now that I have some QA role I want to start tackling this problem - so what is the best way to deal with a program that is 'finished' and out there being used ?
    Just to complicate things even more, a lot of the programs tend to have very little in the case of a requirements/functional specification

    The simple plan I've come up with so far is

    1. Test and document the programs current functionality, paths, inputs required, outputs produced, configurations files, installation dependencies

    2. Tro to find out what the customer is expecting the program to do

    3. Draw up a test plan based on the above two findings - so we know the important areas to test and have an idea about how to test them

    4. Design a smoke test so that we don't deliver crap to the customer - the answers to 2 will help with this

    5. For every bug reported
    - design a test case to show the bug, prove it has been fixed and it then acts as a regression test
    - document the cause of the bug so we can start to look for trends
    - document the area the bug was in so we know the weak areas of the program and also the areas that are used
    - test for similar bugs, test around area bug found

    comments and ideas gratefully received

  2. #2
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    Re: Testing an untested program

    I wouldn't document the program's current functionality, unless you want your group to become de facto BAs.

    I think I would start by exploring the system, asking questions in regards to what the customer expects, and writing up a test outline (test requirements) as I go.

    3. and 4. are fine.

    On 5., do you currently report bugs formally (into a spreadsheet or tool?). If so, you can do some analysis now and find out where most of the bugs tend to be reported. You can start your system exploration/test outlines with the portions of the code that tend to cause the most error (or most severe error, etc.).

    The other parts of 5. look good...

    - Linda

  3. #3
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    Re: Testing an untested program

    Thanks for the reply

    We have more than enough work to do without becoming BA's as well so that's a good point you make

    We don't have a formal bug reporting procedure or tool yet ( I know, I know, the place is a mess ! ) but that is going to be one of our first ( of many ) steps on the road to proper testing and QA...

  4. #4
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    Re: Testing an untested program

    Originally posted by philk10:

    1. Test and document the programs current functionality, paths, inputs required, outputs produced, configurations files, installation dependencies

    2. Tro to find out what the customer is expecting the program to do
    <font size="2" face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica">If there was a requirements or Functional specs doc, it would do good to get the requiremrnts from them than by studying the application itself.

    Originally posted by philk10:

    5. For every bug reported
    - design a test case to show the bug, prove it has been fixed and it then acts as a regression test
    <font size="2" face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica">on 5, I would probably not go for a Test case for every reported bug.I would first Figure out the severity of the bug and then decide if it needs to be fixed and teseted. If the bug reported was actually not part of the initial requirements that the customer gave, then it needs to go in as a enhancement request.
    Cheers,
    Suresh


    http://cognitive-content.blogspot.com

    It is not necessary to change. Survival is not mandatory -W Edwards Deming

  5. #5
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    Re: Testing an untested program

    1 tester for 12 programmers seems like a very difficult ratio to work with to achieve any level of QC, let alone proper QA. Your plan looks fine, but with that ratio, I would see your in-tray filling up much faster than you can cope with. In your shoes, i would start by sitting down with your management team, deciding what level of QA they are trying to achieve, and then producing a document that outlines the resources necessary to do so. Once you have agreed the resource level that will be committed, you can then fugure a plan to match it.

    Fro my 2c, if you don't do this, expect a lot of personal stress testing [img]images/icons/wink.gif[/img]

    Regards,

    Shane

  6. #6
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    Re: Testing an untested program

    well, now that I am moving from creating bugs to testing for them the ratio is now 2:11 and I've always wanted an overflowing in-tray...

    Seriously, though - management are aware ( I've made sure they are aware ) that the resources are nowhere near enough - they accept that some projects will not get tested properly but if we can show a difference between the tested projects and the untested ones then we'll get more resources

    All sorts of cr*p heading my way I'm sure but I like a challenge
    ( feel free to quote these words back at me in a few months time )

  7. #7
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    Re: Testing an untested program

    I would say rather than desperately trying to test everything that's already been released, focus on something that's in development and make it great. Show that the earlier QA gets involved, the better the final product can be. Work closely with the developers on the new project to make sure they understand what you're trying to do. Hopefully they've worked with a QA team in the past and agree that it's needed.

 

 

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