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Re^4: Dealing with the QA guy ... (no, really)

by mpeters (Chaplain)
on Sep 27, 2005 at 16:19 UTC ( #495435=note: print w/replies, xml ) Need Help??

in reply to Re^3: Dealing with the QA guy ... (no, really)
in thread Dealing with the QA guy ... (no, really)

I wasn't talking about boundary conditions (of course those should be tested!), I was talking about some QA tester (because I've had them) saying something to the effect of "the web application wasn't working becuase it didn't remember the information I input even though I didn't hit the submit button, but clicked on an unrelated link instead".

Now one might argue that this deficiency in web applications can and should be overcome, but it's an assumption in the environment. Unless the specs specifically mention that this is to behave differently, that's the way it should work.

I wasn't arguing that having brain dead QA testers wouldn't provide some insights and challenge what should or should not be tested. I was just saying the more ignorant the testers, the more false bugs you're going to get. Now it's up to you to decide if that quantity of false bugs is enough to make up for the occasional gem that might turn up.

And as far as my sig goes... exposure should be a part of risk calculation. When did you ever read an article about how to avoid being attacked by a pig? I can recall seeing several (even some tax funded) articles about shark bites, attacks and prevention. Why is more effort expended for the one and not the other? Because of it's percieved threat. Even to the extent of choosing an Operating System (like your example). If one is attacked more than the other, that raises it's comparative risk.

-- More people are killed every year by pigs than by sharks, which shows you how good we are at evaluating risk. -- Bruce Schneier
  • Comment on Re^4: Dealing with the QA guy ... (no, really)

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OT: exposure vs risk (was Re^5: Dealing with the QA guy ... (no, really))
by Tanktalus (Canon) on Sep 27, 2005 at 16:57 UTC

    Personally, I consider all of those "false bugs" as gems. As I said in my OP, these are all indicators of where I can make my product more usable. Perhaps that unrelated link should not be placed quite so close to the submit button, for example. Of course, this is all theory on my part since I can't see what that tester compalined about. And, perhaps, we decide that the impact is low enough to warrant not fixing. But at least we know it's there - an informed risk vs an uninformed risk.

    I agree - exposure should be part of risk calculation. But you only need to educate those who may become exposed. For example, the last time I was on a pig farm was ... lemme see... never! But the last time I was on a beach that was reachable by sharks was ... January, 2004. (I'm landlocked where I live, in the middle of the Canadian prairies, with many a farm within a small distance.) So learning about the risks from sharks is way more useful than learning about the risks of pigs. Exposure is critical, and is what Bruce ignores in your quote. There are probably also newsletters and newspapers and the like dedicated to farmers. There may even be government-funded booklets and the like which farmers would look at that the rest of us don't. So who is to say that there is more effort expended for one than the other? It's just that, to save money from being needlessly wasted, the effort is targetted to those who are at higher risk. Lots of people go to the oceans for vacation, so shark education is useful in the general public, but very few are exposed face-to-face with a pig. You, me, and Bruce wouldn't see the pig-risk documents. But those who need to are much more likely to have seen it.

      But you only need to educate those who may become exposed.
      But isn't that part of the irony? Bazillions of people are "exposed" to beaches, while a smaller number are exposed to pigs. But still, the deaths from pigs outnumber the shark attacks. The risks involved from sharks are so miniscule that any attention devoted to the subject is a huge economic waste (since that time and effort could have been directed towards something better, say gum chewing safety awareness).
      I agree with that. To add to the possible solutions - there can be some JavaScript to prevent the user from leaving the form without saving the information. Normally you would not think about JavaScript because those solutions are unfashionable here - but perhaps this was a case where JS was the only way to save you. This untrained tester works like an lateral thinking generator - it lets you to think outside of your assumptions.

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