- January 29, 2007
#development, #focus, #game, ...
I have worked on online MMORPG gaming projects, in capacity of QA Manager. Though my focus was on international localization projects, I was able to apply more traditional QA processes successfully to the projects as a whole. Gaming projects, as a rule, rely on a more closed development environment, with testing limited to plain gameplay. While sufficient, I believe this approach restricts possibilities beyond the actual game. For the MMORPG developments I have seen, no real allowance was made for possible interest from external companies, or been prepared in a state for localization. In my QA capacity, these possibilites were obvious. I realise there are not too many QA managers out there with this kind of experience on gaming projects, but if there are, I would love to hear your experiences, especially if you managed to extend a game’s commerical viability using QA processes.
Does anyone know of some good open source web usability-focussed automated test tools? I have had some hit and miss experience with test tools, and on balance the open source test tools, with some additional work, usually do the job better and with more relevance.
Vodafone have taken a major step forward, moving their software development into open source.Â In addition to making some of their own mobile application for download and review.Â This is a major step forward for mobile telecoms development.Â
“Vodafone Betavine is a research and development space run by Vodafone Group R&D. We aim to encourage collaboration in the area of mobile and internet communications” – http://www.vodafonebetavine.net
Although mobile companies have been releasing code on open source for a while now, which has assisted their development streams, this is a more valuable effort which will have a wider reach.Â Open collaboration and discussion is the way forward for software development.Â Open source has come a long way, and has spawned new software development methodologies; from Extreme programming to Agile.Â
Efforts like this from Vodafone acknowledges the ways that technology companies can benefit from open source and web 2.0 ethics.
For a few years, searching on the web has become a time consuming task, and recent efforts have been made to address the issue in pragmatic way.Â Rather than previous ideas aimed at more control over the web, the idea is for a voluntary self-labelling of content and search engine filters, focussed on not closing in on the web freedom, but controlling it’s accessibility.Â
Self-labelling entails a site declaring it’s content using an a data file (usually RDF) and a HTML include reference in index page of the site.Â Additional verification from an independant body can increase your positioning in web2.0Â filtered searches.Â Innvovations like this are bringing more democracy to the web, and more efficient use of the internet.Â
You can use a basic self-label service for your own site using http://www.icra.org.
My experience of modern software dev projects, has been that business requirements generally start as discussion, which are quickly translated into development requirements.Â What I believe modern QA professionals bring to modern software development projects, is ability to reverse engineer requirements based on sound software testing principles, and ongoing discussions with project management.Â
The best way to start a discussion is a question. “Why does the customer want this software?” If no-one can answer this question, the team must be developing to their own requirements, based on initial “suggestions” from the client.Â QA is in a unique position, as QA is the conduit between management and technical, in the course of release cycles.
The customer is very likely to be unaware of all their requirements, as the initial sell can sometimes cloud/warp their real requirements.Â The advantage of QA is that the drive behind our test requirements is to have a complete picture of what an application is supposed to be doing, and that it is doing what everyone expects it to be doing. Raising issues doesnt just have to be coding issues, it can be requirements issues that require a business decision.
Where testers can fall down, is losing themselves in the development cycle, and effectively losing track of the bigger picture of the project. Not a failure of testers, but of test management, a role considered a luxury, rather than necessity, these days.