On 02/07/07, Kae Verens <kae at verens.com> wrote:
> I think I wouldn't be alone in saying that it's not usually the
> developer that notices the bugs! I have a habit of writing code, testing
> only the bits I'm interested in, and publishing it. Thank $deity for bug
> testers that are not coders!
Nope. Testing / QA are very difficult to do well, and very tedious. cf.
A paragraph that really stands out is this one:
With testers, like programmers, the best ones are an order of
magnitude better than the average ones. At Juno, we had one tester,
Jill McFarlane, who found three times as many bugs as all four other
testers, combined. I'm not exaggerating, I actually measured this. She
was more than twelve times more productive than the average tester.
When she quit, I sent an email to the CEO saying "I'd rather have Jill
on Mondays and Tuesdays than the rest of the QA team put together".
Engineers / hackers are very bad at testing their own code because
they know how it is "supposed to work" and "supposed to be used".
These assumptions lead the developer to develop unlikely test cases
that his code handles flawlessly, but miss the stuff like "the user
clicks on step B before finishing step A", because to the developer,
that is a completely nonsensical way to use his code.
Hopefully, your users will help you out by testing and submitting
halfway decent bug reports. If you work professionally as a developer,
hopefully your company does not fall for the fallacy that Joel
But chances are, none of this is going to happen. So the best thing
you can do is find a friend or a co-worker, give them a 30 second
summary of what your tool is supposed to accomplish (but do *not* go
into how it should be used!), and ask them to use it for at least 30
minutes and let you know. I recommend leaving then, but if you stay,
stay silent. Sit there and observe, but do not give your victim any
suggestions, because then you are transmitting your assumptions to
Hallway usability testing is also a great idea:
http://joelonsoftware.com/articles/fog0000000043.html (Step 12)
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