Archive for April, 2011|Monthly archive page

Error, defect, and failure

In I have a question, Interview Stuff, Software Testing, Testing Jobs on April 10, 2011 at 6:53 am

Many a time,  I come across this question from people who are experienced in testing.  The difference between error, defect and failure is distinct, as they happen in different stages of a software development life cycle.

An error is introduced by the developer during the coding phase of the Software Development Life Cycle (SDLC)

This error if undetected, creeps into the testing phase and is referred to as a defect/bug

Finally when this defect/bug creeps into the Production phase or live phase – it is a failure.

The production phase is the phase where the end user or the user for whom the software was intended to, starts to use the product. Ex: If you bought a new software (available in a CD format) you install it on your machine, and start using it;  You find that, after a while, the software crashes or some functionality of the software does not work – this is a failure.  Had this issue been caught by the tester it would be a defect/bug.

Had this issue been caught at the development phase it would have been an error.

An analogy in failure can be shown in  the automobile industry, when a customer was driving a Tata Nano, and it caught fire in the middle of the road.


Pay parity between Developers and Testers

In Software Testing, Testing Jobs on April 10, 2011 at 5:02 am

I am often asked this question by many associates who are fresh out of school: Why are developers paid more than testers?  I always tell them that’s not always the case.  Sometime in 2001, when Software Testing delivery was taking a unique shape, Testers were being paid much less than Developers.  Although this image of pay parity stuck, nothing can be further from the truth.  As we move in to 2011, pay for Testers has caught up with Developers, and the reasons are not surprising.  Testing has emerged as a key area which goes towards better products, more profitability and direct impact on revenues.

What is a Test Deliverable?

In Interview Stuff, Software Testing, Testing Jobs on April 10, 2011 at 4:43 am

This simple question, as I have found out, doesn’t seem to ring a bell with some associates.  Let me take this opportunity to clear the air.

A test deliverable is basically a work product that is promised to be given to the customer.  It is  an out come of a certain amount of effort undertaken by testers including test lead, manager etc.  Examples of a test deliverable are: test cases, test execution reports, defect reports, test plan, test strategy document etc.

Where are the offer letters?

In Interview Stuff, Software Testing, Testing Jobs on April 10, 2011 at 4:35 am

In a recent walk in interview, I came across an old friend of mine who was looking for a change. After exchanging a few pleasantries and catching up, I asked him whether he had applied in other places also. He frowned and said ” Yes”. He also said that many companies these days are simply calling candidates for interviews, and giving a verbal “Yes” to their appointment, but when it came to providing the offer letters, they say ” We will get back to you in a few days, please leave a copy of your academic records, payslips etc.”.
I sometimes wonder, why would such a thing happen. One reason could be that some companies are following the policy of some old economy companies, which used to show off that they are in business and doing well. These companies used to simply announce a massive hiring drive and select very few people or sometimes none at all. This gave an impression to many people that this company is the company to join. It was assumed that the competitors of such companies would get the jitters. The side effect would be a domino effect of other companies resorting to “pseudo hiring”, thereby giving a self boost to their own morale. But the job seeker in either case was the main loser.

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