Posted by: ahmedashfaque | April 11, 2014

Some unpleasant thoughts


Sometime back I was asked a question at a conference. Is it possible that sometime in future, the software development processes mature so much that there are no defects injection at all during the software product development? This question stumped me. I was speechless. Later I thought about it. Is it really possible? In that case what will happen to the people who earn their bread and butter by testing software products?

Is it really possible?

Let us compare this scenario with testing function in some other industries. If product design and development in manufacturing industry is defect free? After a car is designed, a prototype is developed and tested. This prototype is tested for safety, fuel efficiency, pollution control, comfort, aesthetics etc. Once the car prototype  is found to be performing satisfactorily then the car company can start mass production of this car.

If the prototype fails on any of the parameters then the car design is either scrapped or remodeled. If the design is remodeled then the design team again works on the design to modify it.

Even after the car design is passed for production and a large number of cars are produced and sold, some design issues might surface when the car owners actually start using their cars. If some problems are found they are reported to the car company. The car company then may need to recall all the cars of that model.

So far we were discussing about defects in car design and prototype. But at the shop floor also, manufacturing is not defect free. that is why there is a quality control department which takes samples of components used in manufacturing car and do testing. If some defects are found then the manufacturing activity needs to make changes in machines to prevent those defects happening.

So you can see that quality control and testing is an integral part in manufacturing industry. We can safely say that despite improvements in quality assurance techniques on software projects, developing a defect free software product is not possible. You need testing people to check quality of requirement specifications, software design and construction.

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Responses

  1. One of the best articles i have seen in years. Your insight is excellent. Keep posting.

  2. I think there is one more aspect. It is about increasing automation. As more tools become available which can do a better job compared to a human, people get replaced by machines. But at the same time, there re avenues where the displaced people can get work. It is also responsibility of governments to find these alternative employment routes for people and also to train them.

  3. This is one of the most controversial subjects. I fully agree with you that testing function on software projects will not die even though scope may get reduced.

  4. your blog is getting more and more informative. I thank you for your posts.

  5. Reblogged this on Ashfaque Ahmed's Blog.


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