My question is how many testers should my company be employing??
Read this now...
As I predicted I've just been pulled to one side by my manager and asked to look after my companies script testing.
I've agreed on the proviso that I'd be placed on a training course to become qualified as a tester.
Have I just made a huge mistake here, is the task ahead of me just too big?? read on
My company has been producing software for the recruitment industry for the past 15 years.
Having just this year released a new product (that has 5 times more functionality than the previous product)
the developers have gone into melt down and told management that they can no longer afford not to have a testing team.
Previously it was down to the support team and the customers finding and logging bugs.
The software itself is written in VB6 and has an SQL database backend.
It's nucleous is a database that holds employee, client contact details, historical contract and timesheet and pay history information. It's functionality includes running weekly payroll i.e. entering timesheets, producing a payment file and transmitting it to BACS for payment. Printing Invoices for the work completed and chasing accounts that have not paid.
It links into Sage accounting, has a vast amount of reporting capabilities (using crystal reports) some of which are quiet complicated from working out the gross margins for the whole year to individual employees holiday accruals.
All of this has to be exact with strict UK laws regarding taxes, Working time directives, N.I. calculations all putting us in the firing line with regards to being sued if these calculations are not correct.
To top this all off our salesmen offer the customer a completely free reign when it comes to customise areas of the software and requests for new functionality is constant. The software grows from month to month.
My experience with coding and script testing is this:
I've had two days training from IBM on how to use Rational Robot
Then I've spent 2 weeks with our QA (15 years experiance testing and QA) developing a small smoke test that is required to be ran each time they release a new version.
Having spent this time with my QA it's apparent that neither of us know how to code.
At the start if this year they attempted to outsource our regression testing to an india testing team.
It failed as they had no understanding of UK Tax and NI laws and basically didn't understand the whole recruitment process. This is one reason why it's been pushed down my neck.
I'd love to hear all of you points of view on this, be as frank as you like!
When I read your headline I thought it was the start of a joke.. You should put your customers on the payroll for testing your app! Seriously, it does sound like you have to go back to square one. The best thing I could suggest would be to formulate your test plan if you haven't already - it will get your group thinking about what your target test items are, your planned tests, approaches (manual vs automated and why), iterations, deliverables, staffing, training, milestones, assumptions, constraints, etc, etc. Then you and management will be on the same page when it comes to what resources are required for what result. It sounds pretty basic, and it is, but in reality it's essential for keeping a project on schedule and at the same time delivering a quality product.
"When you find a big kettle of crazy, it's best not to stir it" - Scott Adams