Yahoo takes away QA jobs – Is this wise?

Filed in News by on 27 January, 2016

Yahoo removes qaYahoo has moved towards a system of coding without the safety net of team members with quality assurance skills. Read the article here. Is this a wise move? Has it improved the quality of their production systems?

It appears that Yahoo have adopted Agile practices. Now with Agile, product quality is the responsibility of the team as a whole, so the entire team is involved with “testing”, include developers, business analysts and test engineers.

They then went to one extreme. The logic seems to be that if the developers are testing, then they do not need any testers, so get rid of the testers. It seems that Yahoo are very dependent on automated tests to find defects, and to their credit, they have allowed some of the test engineers to move into test automation

Yahoo has a very low view of testers. They must be thinking that all that testers do is execute manual tests. This is not true. Tester need to be highly qualified. The testing process is complex. It is nearly like a scientific experiment. It needs an educated expert to be performed in the right way and effectively. The process is complex, and it depends on observation, critical thinking, oracles, assumptions, risk assessment, heuristics, domain knowledge of test techniques, architecture, and so on.

The article says that they are finding fewer errors, not more. Of course, the fact that they are finding fewer errors does not necessarily indicate that there are fewer errors. It could also mean that they are just not finding the errors. Remember that developers and testers have different mindsets. A developer will test to check that the system works correctly. A tester will check to see what can go wrong with the system. So a tester is likely to find defects that a developer will not find.

Has there been any improvement in the quality of Yahoo's production systems. It is still too early to tell, but the comments in the article seems to indicate that there are some quality issues with usability.



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