When In Doubt, Go Full Out!

As a software business analyst, it’s a fun job to work along side software developers and test the client applications they develop.  It’s intriguing to help and watch a solution being developed that will eventually be used by a myriad of users in many different locations, performing many unique tasks.  However, there’s a lot to consider when testing systems with robust, intermingled functionality.  Just think about it.  Will it be a complete new application?  Or is it really an upgrade to an existing application?  These things matter!  Have those requirement documents at hand, you’ll need them!  It’s imperative to make sure you’re properly testing the app during all stages of development.  You are responsible for discovering if a piece of functionality  ‘all of a sudden’ stops working or is not affecting the result it should, and bringing those issues to the attention of the development team.  The last thing you want to do is hand over a carelessly analyzed and tested application, nobody wants to deal with the pitfalls of the project taking a wrong turn.

As one of those who are responsible for verifying that everything works according to the requirements and as designed, you’re not only going to deal with an unsatisfied customer but a frustrated software developer as well if defects fall through the cracks.  For example, lets say there was new code released in order to fix bugs and make some improvements. You do your testing for the specific fixes and verify that the changes work.  The company hands it over to the client for their User Acceptance Testing and they noticed something isn’t working that you completely missed.  How could that be, you tested all the fixes?  Well, it turns out that the new fixes affected other areas of the application that you didn’t think to check.  Now the team has to roll back the code and fix the new issues as well.   This additional delay will cost everyone time and money as well as impact project deadlines.  Oh yeah, that doesn’t reflect well on the company either.

As mundane as it may be, fully testing all areas after new fixes are released is the best way to ensure a well running, defect free application. Using test scripts or having a detailed regression-testing regimen always comes in handy. These tools help to ensure nothing gets missed during testing and helps users know what the proper outcome should be.

I enjoy being part of developing an application that delivers lots of value to our customer.  It’s a good feeling when our clients are happy with our solutions which helps them save millions and that is what we strive for. As an analyst and tester I take great pride in representing my company and our teams and there is no greater validation of our work than a satisfied customer with a killer new app in their hands. And the only way I know how to do that is… when in doubt, go full out!

Leslie Valencia – Software Analyst, Application Tester