The Truth Behind Unlimited Cycles
The Truth Behind Unlimited Cycles
The idea of smashing every single bug know to programmers sounds good, but is this really a practical method for testers to assume?
Join the DZone community and get the full member experience.Join For Free
xMatters delivers integration-driven collaboration that relays data between systems, while engaging the right people to proactively resolve issues. Read the Monitoring in a Connected Enterprise whitepaper and learn about 3 tools for resolving incidents quickly.
Everyone agrees that quality is an important part of software development. And a bad user experience is more likely to weaken brand loyalty than ever before. In fact, 73 percent of users say that app performance is a key factor when determining brand image and customer loyalty.
This has shifted the focus of testing and quality assurance services as more and more third-party testers embrace unlimited cycles. But before you give praise to the quality assurance gods, many QA concepts are often misguided—from the complexity involved in delivering quality to the effort required to maintain high standards.
While unlimited testing sounds great, there are actually a plethora of downsides.
Inefficient and Expensive
The real goal of quality assurance is to improve the quality of the product. Even with unlimited test cycles, finding every single defect is impossible; some will always escape even the most rigorous testing procedures and be discovered by external users. Even still, unlimited testing comes with limited time and resources. No matter how skilled a person is, they need time to familiarize themselves with the software they're testing.
This unlimited cycles merely postpones launches and updates, becoming monotonous and ineffective as testers continually work with new builds of the same software.
Ultimately, you want your testing to progress, not only hunt for every little thing.
Additionally, testing requires effort to develop and maintain. The time cost of unlimited testing adds up in the long run in extra overhead.
Lack of Priority
In unlimited test cycles, the goal is to find every single bug possible. However, not every defect is created equally. If test engineers are spending countless hours triaging minor issues, they'll lose site of significant defects and critical defects.
Unlimited cycles are rather inflexible and won't allow any bugs to go through—prioritizing quantity over quality. However, it's important that precious cycles aren't being spent on small annoyances or rare cases, instead focusing on more serious and immediate issues.
I'm not saying to let known bugs become customer-facing issues, but I am a huge supporter of prioritizing defects and internal quality metrics.
This not only allows testers to consider a wider range of circumstances, it also offers more time to predict emergencies. Additionally, it saves software engineers valuable time and energy.
Inconsistent Quality Over Time
Testers are people with different skill sets, styles, and approaches. As in every other aspect of life, our pasts experiences shape our focus and decision making. As such, the number of defects caught, the quality of defects, and the time it takes to find these bugs will differ as well.
Understanding these differences and maintaining realistic expectations is the basis of proper test management. These differences are especially important when it comes to unlimited testing.
Many unlimited test cycles are often repeated by the same person. While that sounds like a positive because it saves time and resources as opposed to having a new person understand the test differently, it's really a hindrance in conjunction with this method.
Having the same person continually repeat the same test to no end creates tedious repetition and decreases active engagement with the product—quite the opposite of any effective test strategy.
Moreover, maintaining good quality in a product becomes rather challenging during unlimited test cycles due to habits and attention spans. Even with the best of intentions, one person continually testing the same product will grow accustomed to it. To put it bluntly, unlimited cycles lead to lower quality tests.
Testing the functionality of a product has radically evolved over the years and is now more integrated into the development process. This has only highlighted the need for specific testing requirements. However, unlimited testing sometimes takes on a "one-size-fits-all" approach.
This inadequate offering leads to a plethora of insufficient test evaluations and maintenance.
In unlimited cycles, testers focus more on individual aspects and not the product as a whole. But customers don't just buy a feature, they buy the whole experience. By testing in chunks, the usability and functionality of a product is deficient. Getting everyone to focus on the whole product instead of their individual parts is one of the most difficult aspects of unlimited testing cycles. This method simply isn't scalable.
QA is central to the design of a robust test strategy—it's up to management to decide what kind of test method would be most efficient. However, unlimited test cycles shouldn't be one of them. Unlimited cycles are exactly that—unlimited. At the most basic level, companies just don't have unlimited resources and time to test everything to perfection—which you could never achieve anyway.
Moreover, software development requires agility - as does the testing process. This testing method merely doesn't afford software QA the agility it demands. From inefficiency to a lack of priority, it's plain to see that the old saying "too good to be true" goes double for unlimited test cycles.
There will always be pressure to handle new product testing, former working functionality checks, and bug tracking. You need professionals to make this process seamless. Testlio, with ample years of experience, provides end-to-end testing solutions efficiently and effectively crafted by our refined testing strategies.
Published at DZone with permission of Lauren Gilmore , DZone MVB. See the original article here.
Opinions expressed by DZone contributors are their own.