NFR Testing should not be an afterthought

Our world is moving quickly and therefore, short time to market is more important than ever before. Everyone who is working in the software testing business is constantly challenged with reduction of testing time and shorter release sprints.

There are some who tend to cut quality assurance to the absolute minimum, and in some cases, the customers are assessing their products. I understand this trend to some extends but we need to keep in mind that our end user cannot test non-functional requirements.

While your end user community can conduct some functional tests, non-functional requirements must be verified in your test labor as early as possible in the lifecycle. Late detected performance or security faults would be expensive, result in frustrated user, or in worst cases, in critical outages or data loss.

However, make testing of non-functional requirements, namely, security and performance testing, part of your development pipeline. Also, NFR testing will reduce risks and gives you the opportunity proactively solve issues before they affect your user community.




Myths and Reality behind Automation

New services are popping up overnight, and those who launch their products too late or in a poor quality often lose substantial market shares.

Automation is a fundamental element in our fast construction cycles. Amazon, for instance, deploys every 11.6 seconds a new software version to production. They have obviously a highly automated development chain that allows them to test, implement and launch new applications without any human interaction.

Some people argue that automation will remove jobs very soon. Based on my experience the opposite is the case. Imagine that you have automated repetitive tasks in your development process and for some reason, the build failed. Obviously, in such situations is human interaction required to analyze and solve such issue.

I believe that automation is a productivity driver because it eliminates time-consuming, repetitive tasks and brings us more time for challenging activities such as innovation or simplification. Finally, the quality of our products will increase, and we can launch more features than ever before.

If we look back to the Machine Age – Josh Seiden’s Blog – when factories replaced steam power with electric engines, the economic benefit was not the electrification. The expected productivity increase was realized after they re-oriented the machines around the flow of materials. Eventually, the same principal applies for automation.

All things considered, there is no indication that automation will eliminate jobs in the future because it won’t come overnight. However, the ball is already rolling, and soon it will be a great productivity driver.