Controversy or Lack of QA?

I was reading article Top startup controversies of 2014. I do not agree that two of scenarios are controversies and here is why.

My teams always had developers and test engineers. Developers write code for solution functionality and perform unit testing based on the time available. Developers come with new technology and have less time to explain test engineers impact of new technology. With limited insights, test engineers verify functionality and also develop automated tests based on the functional tests.

Both developers and test engineers look at requirements provided to them and not beyond. These requirements are only from customer perspective and not from consumer perspective.  Leader of team needs to think from end user or consumer perspective and is responsible to coach test engineers to think from consumer perspective. In addition, he can empower team as follows.

  • Once test engineers start to associate with the consumer perspective, they think more creatively of failure scenarios.
  • Equip test engineers with a larger purpose of life that finding issues earlier in  implementation saves organization from embarrassment.
  • Create awareness in developers and test engineers about the boundary conditions of application. For example, there is assumption that GPS values from third party device APIs are reliable. You point unreliability in GPS and need to test application behavior in unreliable scenario.
  • Empower test engineer to make decision “Call for abandon of the release when bug considered critical is not fixed and there is pressure to fasten testing around time of deadlines”.

May be empowering teams helps to drive technical leader to walk down to product/program manager to discuss alternate or negotiate better approach that leads to shipping the release.

The case of Uber is lack of maturity in testing and quality assurance process at Uber or lack of initiative to develop awareness on currency differences.  if test engineer has provided a quick glance in to what worked for Paypal in India and Paypal challenges, he would be equipped with know-how on regulations to raise a internal red flag for violating RBI guidelines.

I found the article  From the power capital of India to the powerhouse of India’s largest e-commerce company – Amod Malviya, CTO, Flipkart  with great emphasis on technology and no mention about quality assurance activities.  Another article Flipkart starts fixing glitches  describes “company’s systems weren’t prepared to handle a big increase in traffic, one of the people said. However, the junior engineers were overruled.”