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  1. #1
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    Who should get the better equipment??

    You know, I would really like a 1Ghz Pentium Processor, 512MB RAM, 60GB Harddrive, DVD player, 15" screen all neatly contained in a laptop and complete with a docking station and 21" flat panel monitor too!

    Damn developers!

    As it stands, I am struggling to get 128MB RAM upgraded to 256MB.

    What is everyone's perspective on who should have the best equipment...testers or developers and why


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    DarthQA, CSTE
    QA Lead Engineer
    QA looks reallllllly boring
    - My wife

    You ain't lyin'!
    -Me

  2. #2
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    Re: Who should get the better equipment??

    Good Topic!
    I was just wondering about how to upgrade the machines I have, which are mostly in the 500MHz range. The developers are at 350-500 MHZ. We don't have any money, and we aren't hiring, which in the past has been the way to get new machines. We'd buy new developer (and tester) class machines when someone joined the company, and the support staff (aco****ing, admin, etc) would get the slowest developer machine.

    Now, I'd say that the test group has enough of the target machines to do what we have to, enough speed and enough RAM. The developers need the faster machines to do builds. I'd keep the developers on the fastest machines for that reason.

    Paul

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    Paul

  3. #3
    Moderator Joe Strazzere's Avatar
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    Re: Who should get the better equipment??

    Developers typically need the most horsepower possible to perform builds efficiently.

    QAers need a "typical user machine", in order to spend as many cycles as possible emulating user scenarios.

    I have often found that the optimal solution for QA is to have:
    - 1 "typical user machine" for testing and automated testing
    - 1 other machine for bug tracking, etc.
    - A QA Lab of many customer configurations available for use.

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    - Joe (strazzerj@aol.com)
    Joe Strazzere
    Visit my website: AllThingsQuality.com to learn more about quality, testing, and QA!

  4. #4
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    Re: Who should get the better equipment??

    On the surface, I agree because of the nature of the dev environment etc etc.

    BUT BUT BUT...

    21" flat panel? My eyes hurt too ya know!

    But as applications become more powerful and QAers are using more tools to test, I think QA deserves a power kick too.

    (ie. ever run jTest? You could grow rice in the time it takes to complete dynamic testing)

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    DarthQA, CSTE
    QA Lead Engineer
    QA looks reallllllly boring
    - My wife

    You ain't lyin'!
    -Me

  5. #5
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    Re: Who should get the better equipment??

    Good question, and one that I've encountered. QA must have solid machines - however, not so that you have no concept of the true limitations of your most general audience.

    I have a P3, 17" monitor, etc. so it's a nice set up However, I'm still running Windows 98 as the vast majority of the surfing public is still utilizing it. I don't want to get too far from those that will be using our products. I just don't want to "lose touch".

    For the record: We do execute compliance testing which is a separate phase.

    I'm stubborn too Much to my IT Managers dismay.

    Something else is that the server you're utilizing should be specified by your client needs. It should mirror the same server that they will be using. If it's crashing, it's not a problem with the server, it's with your application!

    I had a machine that was crashing constantly, to the point where I took it to the client. Explained to them that the machine they had spec'd out to us was not enough to handle the application. We negotiated upgrading the machine to make it more stable, but not outside of the reach for our client.


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    P.S. I forgot to mention that the way I got away from having the worst of the worst of machines was by convincing managment to purchase VMWare (http://www.vmware.com/). It simulates different environments and platforms so I don't have to have an entire lab of machines. It's not cheap, but it's highly effective (and I asked for it back in the better days). Having this piece of software made it much easier when it came time to purchasing new machines. QA now has the same config. as Development!

    [This message has been edited by digits71 (edited 07-25-2001).]

  6. #6
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    Re: Who should get the better equipment??

    Let me backup and say I agree QA needs to keep older equipment for testing purposes, client environments, etc.

    However, what about your lab PC's? (if you have one), automation PC's? personal admin PC's?

    For many years, QA got hand-me-downs as dev upgraded (this was true for workchairs as well). I don't see the trend altering THAT much.

    ------------------
    DarthQA, CSTE
    QA Lead Engineer
    QA looks reallllllly boring
    - My wife

    You ain't lyin'!
    -Me

  7. #7
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    Re: Who should get the better equipment??

    I think that for a test platform, you would like machines that reflect your target audience. I like having more than 1 machine on my desk. In the past I have had up to 4. 1 machine is powerful and is NOT used for testing. I only use this machine to work with the bug tracking db, etc... I used the other 3 to test with.

    These were the hand me downs. I would yank the hardrives out of the previous hand me downs and installed them as second (or third) drives in these computers. Then I would setup each one with different images to be able to quickly setup any environment that may be needed. I would store these images on the second (or third drive) so I would not waste time having to burn the images to CD or go searching for the disc when I needed it.

    We also had a QA Lab where we could run other tests.

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  8. #8
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    Re: Who should get the better equipment??

    Sounds like there are a lot of opinions on who should get what. It is troubling isnít it?

    I remember when I started in QA and for my 1st personal system, I had to build it from a pile of parts that were scrapped out. A real beauty I tell ya.

    I donít think that it matters who gets what and it sounds like it is an issue of fairness to most people. If you argue the point that QA Engineers should have a systems that match that of the customer, then your right. However, a test system is one that I can experiment on, run tests on, configure, and possibly crash. I run tests on many platforms and configurations and use my personal system for developing tests and daily tasks.

    If a QA Engineer is using their system for development of tests that require the HP, they should have a system that matches that of development.


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  9. #9
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    Re: Who should get the better equipment??

    Why the "us vs them" mentality? It doesn't matter whether you're dev or test, it matters what you do with that machine. Yes, we'd all like the latest gee-whiz technology and more power than we'd ever need. But that isn't usually what our companies give us.

    The developers do need to be able to develop fast. Testers also do need to be able to test fast, but it depends on what kind of testing they do. If they use automated testware, they need powerful machines also. If they do manual testing only, they need customer type machines.

    What we do here is dev and test (and everyone else in the company) gets the same machine type and power (not really that gee-whiz for anyone). (We do use automated testware.) Then we have a workstation lab setup where we maintain as many customer configurations as is feasible. Dev and test alike use that lab to check the systems out on slower configurations than can be found on anyone's desk.


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    Susan Gates
    Susan Gates

  10. #10
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    Re: Who should get the better equipment??

    Another side of this questions is the message management sends to the organization as a whole.

    It is one thing to SAY "we're all engineers" or "we're all on the same team" when comparing testers to developers. But what happens when push comes to shove? Does the organization treat people as equals (we get the same gear) or not (you get a 21" flat screen, you get a tty console).

    For that matter, this goes beyond dev/test - what about doc, IT, etc.?



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