It’s Time for Testers to Step Up

By Paul Henderson

henderson_lg.jpgRTC Magazine recently published an article that I wrote called "Time to Rethink Software Testing for Embedded Devices". In it I describe some of the new techniques that are possible, and I believe necessary, to delivery high quality device software for embedded devices.

  • When staying 'positive' doesn't pay
  • Getting negative with white box testing
  • Focusing on the 'deltas' with change-based test automation

I also express my belief that test professionals have to step up to the new challenge. More sophisticated devices require more sophisticated approaches to testing them. I've seen too many test teams that are comfortable in their old ways while letting serious defects get to market. I've literally had teams tell me that "I tested to the requirements. It's not my fault that the product is defective." What kind of a quality assurance organization is that??

QA teams need to take a more active role in understanding how these devices work internally. They need to work much more closely with development teams, particularly when using new iterative and agile methodologies.

They also need to provide an independent view to device operation and deployment so that they can project where additional failures could occur from operator error, component failure, or complex deployment configurations. They must anticipate how devices may fail in ways that were NOT anticipated by designers.

With this new more educated an proacitve approach, better products will be delivered — and testing professionals will redefine their role into a more strategic and valued place on the team.


  1. Cathy

    Agile testing has became very talked about thing in the testing world. But one of the most important element for the success of agile process is through planning of the process. Many tester doesn’t take this into account.

  2. Jakob Engblom

    I couldn’t agree more that testing seems to be having some kind of crisis. The number of flaws spotted in the wild is amazing/appalling (choose one). What I often see missing is that deep understanding for a product and the destructive creativity that starts with how it might actually be used and then go on to find the scenarios that nobody in development thought about. Testing is really just as important as development, and you want just as sharp people in there as in product creation – but with a different aptitude.
    I walked through some recent examples of bugs that you think should not have escaped, at and

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