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Is a software test schedule at the development team's mercy?

Does the development team determine the software test schedule? Find out why working with DevOps can alleviate some time and test constraints.

Ever stayed late on a holiday weekend to test a critical bug fix, because the developers delivered a week late?...

Welcome to the software tester job.

Because you are downstream to the development team work, it is inevitable that the software test schedule is dependent upon what happens earlier in the process. There is always the potential to work nonstandard hours to "hurry up and get it done." This scheduling burden is especially true in e-commerce applications, where any critical error can cost the company money.

If it makes you feel any better about the botched schedule, the software tester job is not at the end of the process. If the tester validates a critical bug fix at the start of a holiday weekend, then IT professionals stay online into the holiday to validate and install the fix, and I bet they work into the early morning hours. They probably curse both you and the development team the entire time.

To be fair, there are myriad issues that your development team faces in fixing any bug. For example, if there is a security hole in a library, it might have to rip out that library and determine every place it is used in the application before even beginning to work on the fix.

Ease the software test schedule

Agile, and especially DevOps practices, can alleviate a lot of the delays to a software test schedule that are caused by a linear flow of code from development to test to IT. DevOps has developers, testers and IT professionals work together as a team, with a DevOps engineer who builds out the toolchain, writes scripts and enhances communications between team members.

Automated continuous integration, continuous testing and continuous deployment connect by a custom toolchain and enable everyone to be engaged in the application at all stages of the process. Because the workflow is automated, you can test integrated code prior to deployment. In short, massive test schedule delays won't always land on your desk at an inconvenient time.

This was last published in February 2018

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