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Managed Chaos
Naresh Jain's Random Thoughts on Software Development and Adventure Sports
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Testing is a safety net!

Is testing really a safety net?

I was having a discussion with Steve Wilhelm, one of the most experienced QA from ThoughtWorks, about testing as a safety net. Steve bought up a very nice point which set me thinking. He expressed that, testing should be embedded into the development process and should not considered as a safety net. The point is to bring testing and development closer together. The closer they are the better is the feedback cycle.

The analogy of safety net has two aspects to it:
1. The net is already built and is safe to fall back on. I yet have to see a project which had all the testing ready before the development started. They usually go hand in hand. In fact most of the projects are struggling to get to this point from the old waterfall fashion
2. The net is an independent reusable entity which can be applied any where. Alas, the whole testing strategy has to be crafted for each project and is very tightly coupled with development. “Throw it over the wall” philosophy does not seem to work.

Next time you think of testing, reconsider this analogy.

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