Seventhman Blog

  1. The Skinny on Agile Software Development

    "agile software"When the world took notice of Agile Software Development way back in 2001, misconception still abounds up to this day.  There are still clients who think that there’s no planning done, where developers just start coding right away.  In my years of experience in custom software applications, I have to tell you that coming up with solutions that will hit project goals, timeline and budget is something you do painstakingly.  While the model was developed to hit goals faster, adaptive planning is in the heart of Agile in an effort to encourage flexibility and adapt to change – faster.

    Agile Development: A Radical Approach

    What can be a more perfect fix for businesses demanding changes that align with their schedule and budget?  In the Agile model, you may see rapid iterations where new code is released multiple times.  It can be as few as twice a month to coming up with something new each day or by the hour.  By doing so, one can immediately get feedback needed to continuously improve the product.  The team may even implement crowd testing to make sure things are working properly.  In the end, the final product is almost flawless, with only a few, minor defects.  At some point, the testing cycle may seem endless and developers are pushed to their limits to write that code, achieve functionality and meet deadlines.  Call it the ‘Fast and the Furious‘ approach to coding.

    The Price of Rapid Iterations

    For the sake of speed, you might pay a higher price tag.  Due to the fast nature of Agile, documentation often gets left behind.  For example, there is a request to change a certain feature which could have been discussed, but may have been overlooked when rewriting this change in the user manual.  Also, there is a big issue when it comes to security.  Developing new codes doesn’t mean it is a secured code.  While everyone will discuss about changes during a sprint, I would suggest allotting an extra time to talk about a secured framework for developers to work on.  There must be some way to check for bugs as you come up with new codes – minus the risk.  This task can be automated though. But, what’s important is that quality doesn’t have to suffer for innovation’s sake.

    Agile: Separating Fact from Fiction

    Here’s how it works in the real world: Coders code, QA tests and technical writers write.  Management needs to be kept in the loop.  The catch?  Not everyone looks forward to daily stand-up meetings.  Just check the Web about it and you’ll read lots of rants from the anti-agile crowd.  Still, Agile is not a fad in revolutionizing software development.  It is adopted because it simply works better for many.  The only way to know though is to experience it yourself.  And if you do, be reminded that like other solutions – there are pros and cons.  Be warned, the risk may be higher if you’re not cautious enough.

    Agile is not all about implementing new methodologies and codes, but it is a careful analysis of complex business problems.. so you can come up with an innovative solution that works.

     

     

  2. Crowd Testing: Will It Really Work for Your Business?

    "crowd testing"In a world dictated by something ‘faster, cheaper and better’ – the real challenge comes when the quality of a product doesn’t meet expectations.  This may hold true for the case of Crowdtesting, or crowdsourcing software testing.  The only difference is that instead of outsourcing software development task to a small group, you now have access to unlimited number of testers (which can come into tens of thousands).  In this digital age where everything has moved online, crowd testing promises a better alternative to traditional software testing methods so you can keep up with your business and customer demands.  Now, you can easily access large number of talents to help you achieve your business goals.

    Crowd Testing: Is It Really a Better Choice?

    True to the Utopian concept, when you gather enough people who can put in time and effort – you get to achieve a lot faster.  Crowd testing is not really a new idea.  Remember those times when you were invited to test the beta version of a website or an application?  If you signed up, you have already participated in the process. Just take a look at Facebook whose site has been translated into different languages, or Wikipedia whose content has been written by people across the globe.  Both professionals and amateurs have contributed in the process that helped add more functionality to these sites.  We all know that R&D (Research and Development) is not cheap.  But when everyone is contributing to the table, one can only wonder if this is a permanent fix.

    The Case of Quality vs. Quantity

    Those in the business of testing software know that crowd testing is not a force to be reckoned with.  While we see stricter compliance these days, learn that this will not replace the traditional way to software quality assurance.  Businesses are walking a tight rope here.  If they test software in-house, they may just lose sight of unseen opportunities for improvement.  And if they focus on crowd testing only, they may lose their competitive edge.  There is also the issue of credibility to deal with where cheap labor is concerned.  I believe that a perfect solution would be mixing both traditional and new ways of testing to achieve maximum ROI.  This is the only way to weigh both options and come out as a winner.

    How Can Your Business Take Advantage of Crowd Testing?

    No matter how you plan to test on the cloud, you can add crowd testing as a complementary task before the product is released to the market.  This way, it helps catch bugs or defects before product launch.  You may also use it as a form of multivariate test so you can check what needs improving.  The more you test, the more you will learn ways to fail.. so you can succeed faster, I was once told.  If you believe that your product will need a high number of future updates or releases, all the more that you need to use crowd testing.  Overall, it doesn’t hurt to make crowd software testing as part of the normal test process.  It’s all about integration – of certified project managers, experts who can offer proven-results, and standardized methods to  assure quality on each project.

    The next big thing may just be a test away… Who Knows?   If you decide to tread along the crowd testing path completely, I’d say plan your next step very carefully as risks are higher.