Insane sanity (testing)!


You are busy writing your code on a complex piece and suddenly a team wide announcement comes - "The new code has gone in for the build, please do 'sanity' for your components".

"My unit tests would save me!" is not something which will save you here if this happens to be something which has a lot of visual and "content driven" elements. So, you break out of writing code half-way and start doing the "sanity" because it is crucial to test your components before lunch, as this code will be going to production soon after. You do this half-heartedly because this is so common for you whenever a major release happens or a content restructuring happens - and anyway "I am not a tester!". So you lose at-least one hour of your otherwise productive time to doing this insanely mundane task. On top of this, you also have your "professional testers" doing the same testing -just few extra eyeballs! This is the typical scenario if you are developing content driven (CMS) applications. Bless you if you are not so!

Insane testing
Image Credit - Wikimedia Commons

At this age in Digital Marketing, where content is the king, faster development and delivery overpowers the more structured delivery methods often followed in typical enterprise applications, where you invest for a lot of integrated and automated testing. Reason - "If we invest time to build integration testing and automation, we lose time to market". This is a broken argument often upheld by people who most often do not even care about integration testing in its real sense, and automated testing which can test the UI elements and the content of the page.

If we can invest some time in bringing about continuous integration and UI automation, a lot - really lot of time could be saved on developers doing "sanity testing". This may be difficult to achieve for shorter duration projects of the span less than 6 months - all out of their own budget, but may be easily feasible for bigger projects. Better - if this could be planned by "practice leads" who could invest on this once, and reap the benefits multiple times across projects. I do not have metrics to prove this by maths, but just a little retrospection into this would be useful.

Personally, this topic is lower on my radar. First, there are higher priority tasks for learning and experimentation on my TODO list. Second, I work more in a consulting mode than delivery, so budgeting it on  my project is not possible. Additionally, I do not have metrics to convince my client to budget this either! However, I will try to squeeze in some time in the coming days and weeks to do some research into this topics and publish my findings.

blog comments powered by Disqus