Things Customers Believe

It is truly remarkable what customers believe about software and software testing.

Some of the ones that I’ve run into in the last week are doozies:

  • If you get a popup that reeks malware it must be the fault of the software we just updated because it happened when the user was on that site.
  • Random display corruption must be caused by the software deployment.
  • The user who has had administrative permissions for over a year will freak out because she has administrative permissions and this is the software’s fault.
  • My organization doesn’t test its software (Like hell we don’t).
  • My organization is incapable of testing its software (um… nobody can fully test any software. Not unless you’re prepared to wait until the heat death of the universe for your next release)
  • With tens of thousands of users successfully navigating the need to re-register after the upgrade (because of encryption standards and connecting multiple different authentication methods as part of a long, slow move to something capable of being mobile-friendly), the thirty-some who have had problems means the software is crap.
  • Customers don’t need to read pre-release instructions or what’s actually on the screen. They will somehow magically divine whatever the heck they want to happen and it will magically happen no matter what weird-ass collection of buttons they click.
  • Security is for other people – they’re perfectly safe even if they still use Windows XP.
  • It changed. We suck.

Look, I’ve been known to bitch a bit about the Book Of Faces relentlessly changing their user interface, usually just when I was getting comfortable with it. I don’t send nastygrams to FB management informing them they really need to stop outsourcing their programming (yes, we got one of these). I bitch a bit, then I adjust, and mostly it’s neither better nor worse for what I do. It just is.

I did the math not too long ago. If you wanted to completely test a calculator app that did nothing but add two integers together, with the integers you could use ranging from -999999 to 999999, at 5 seconds each test to check display and output, you would need over a million years working 24/7/365. And calculators are simple. It’s literally not possible to test every path through a piece of software before the end of the universe.

And now I’ve done ranting about the typical issues of a tester…

The Bugger-vs-medication score is Bugger 2, medication 3. He had his last antibiotic today (by the time honored method of shoving it down his throat, but he had it with very little fuss and therefore very little stress).

Archery is still fun, although I acquired another bruise on my bruise when the bowstring clipped me again. I’ve got to work on my form.

And so to bed, or at least to relaxation before I haul my narcoleptic self off to bed for the night.


2 thoughts on “Things Customers Believe

  1. Sometimes it even the project managers and others involved in the rollouts listening to the users instead of say oh platforms, development, infrastructure you know the people who designed and deployed the software.

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