Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Software Testing and the "Hand of Clod"!!!

England Played USA on their first FIFA 2010 World Cup match and most of the world saw Rob Green's (England Goal Keeper) mistake that let the USA escape with a draw.

The next day, the entire world have started to blame Rob Green for his mistake, attributing the goal only to his mistake. People are contemplating firing him. We even have seen the "Hand of Clod" headline in many newspapers.

I am not trying to say that the England Goalkeeper is not at fault, but let's try to answer a few questions below...

1) Who let the possession of the ball to USA?
2) Where were the mid-fielders and why did they let the USA Offense inside?
3) Where were the defenders and why did they let the USA Offense so close?
4) Why could the defenders not intercept the shot to the goal?
5) Who was assigned to mark the scorer? Where was he when the scorer scored?
6) Who selected Rob Green to play in the match?
7) Who decided to buy the gloves that the Goalkeeper was wearing? Was it tested for circumstances wherein the ball meets the gloves when the gloves are wet? What were the test results and who tested it?

And so many many many more questions.....

If the answer is not "England Goalkeeper" for any of the above questions, then I don't think that it is right to blame him for the goal.

What is important is - a part of the blame is his; even more important is ONLY A PART OF THE BLAME IS HIS. The rest of the blame has to be owned by other members of England World Cup Soccer team.

Trying to draw a parallel between this and today's software tester, now think about a scenario wherein a tester would have leaked a very easy to detect showstopper defect.

Writer’s Irritating Personal Note:- My opinion is that all of us (the readers and writer of this post) have leaked defects in the past;but only a few honest testers would admit it. Whoever claims not, is a "fake tester"!!!!

Coming back to the story, the entire team blame the tester for leaking a very easy to detect showstopper defect.

Nobody questions the following which could have resulted in the defect...

1) Wrong Reqiurements sent by the Client --- We cannot question the client, can we?
2) Design problems which would have resulted in the defect
3) Lack of Unit Testing or Test Coverage
4) Waking hours of the tester before he detected the defect (What if he's been testing continuously for 12 hours and let the defect slip in the 13th hour of testing?)
5) Scope Creep in form of Change Requests
6) The boss who was breathing down the tester's neck when the tester was testing

and a million zillion other questions!!!

As part of "Most Convenient for all" Corrective action, the test team or tester gets fired and the world is happy!!!

Question yourself. Is that a corrective action or a "convenient" action?

My take on the incident
Now, I am not saying that Rob Green should not be blamed at all. He is definitely to be blamed. It was his job to stop a goal and he let in the goal.

But, what I am saying is that he is not the only person to be blamed. Likewise, the software tester is not an individual to be blamed when a defect is leaked.

Until and Unless the entire engineering team stands up and takes responsibility, such defect leaks will continue and recur sometime in the not so distant future!!! I think, that's what teamwork is all about... taking someone along with you when the going's not so good... If that does not happen, then i think we need another blog on "fake teams" ;) !!!

The Defects should start and stop with the entire team. If you are a part of the team, then the defect owner should be you, YOU and YOU!!!!! Until and unless you try to own a defect that you have come in contact with, defect leakage (and goal leakage) will continue!!!!!

No comments:

Post a Comment