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patgolfneb
Posts: 1,762
Registered: ‎09-10-2011
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Not Just BN, Industry issue

http://techcrunch.com/2013/02/27/bug-in-kindle-update-for-ios-deletes-users-entire-library-amazon-wa...

 

For those who lost bookshelves, further evidence that early product buyers are paying to aid developers by acting as their beta testers. This saves them money and brings product to market sooner. Kindle users on Ipad are loosing their entire library in an app update.FWIW Apple has had a number of recent issues as well. I am convinced this is an industry wide issue. 

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keriflur
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Registered: ‎01-05-2010
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Re: Not Just BN, Industry issue


patgolfneb wrote:

http://techcrunch.com/2013/02/27/bug-in-kindle-update-for-ios-deletes-users-entire-library-amazon-wa...

 

For those who lost bookshelves, further evidence that early product buyers are paying to aid developers by acting as their beta testers. This saves them money and brings product to market sooner. Kindle users on Ipad are loosing their entire library in an app update.FWIW Apple has had a number of recent issues as well. I am convinced this is an industry wide issue. 


This is what happens when software companies think they can skimp on QA.

 

From what I've heard, Amazon doesn't hire QA testers, the expect their devs to do their own testing.  This is what a big head leads to - thinking you don't need to follow industry best practices.  And once a few do it, they all do it, and it's the consumer that suffers.

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Mercury_Glitch
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Registered: ‎06-07-2011
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Re: Not Just BN, Industry issue

There's a general rule of thumb amongst the techie folks I know.  Never buy a generation 1 product.  It's always going to be the buggiest, the one with the hardware that doesn't make sense, etc.

 

Now that also assumes that the company is going to actively respond to user feedback and the field testing that they end up doing. 

 

The same can be applied to software, version 1.0 of anything is likely to have bugs, lack features, etc.

 

What gets to be a major issue is when those companies do not fix the bugs, when those bugs have a devastating affect on the intended use (an ereader app erasing your library for example).  That's when they start losing customers, and they stop gaining customers through wod of mouth. 

The Wheel weaves as the Wheel wills, and we are only the thread of the Pattern.
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keriflur
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Registered: ‎01-05-2010
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Re: Not Just BN, Industry issue


Mercury_Glitch wrote:

There's a general rule of thumb amongst the techie folks I know.  Never buy a generation 1 product.  It's always going to be the buggiest, the one with the hardware that doesn't make sense, etc.

 

Now that also assumes that the company is going to actively respond to user feedback and the field testing that they end up doing. 

 

The same can be applied to software, version 1.0 of anything is likely to have bugs, lack features, etc.

 

What gets to be a major issue is when those companies do not fix the bugs, when those bugs have a devastating affect on the intended use (an ereader app erasing your library for example).  That's when they start losing customers, and they stop gaining customers through wod of mouth. 


The most common place where I see this issue is in apps.  I'll have a perfectly good working app, then an update will come out that will tank it, because that update wasn't tested properly.  But obviously this extends to non-app situations, as anyone with a nook knows.

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MacMcK1957
Posts: 2,214
Registered: ‎07-25-2011

Re: Not Just BN, Industry issue

[ Edited ]

Having been working in IT for over 30 years, I have found that what is considered "gold" (release level) today is barely (or not even) the quality of what was considered beta test level a few decades ago.  Companies expect their customer base, specifically the early adopters, to be their beta testers. 

 

I never install release x.0.0.  Always wait for at least x.0.1 if not x.0.2.  The problem is when the new, untested, release gets loaded automatically, so the entire customer base, not just the voluntary early adopters, end up as beta testers.

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Mercury_Glitch
Posts: 1,444
Registered: ‎06-07-2011
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Re: Not Just BN, Industry issue

Yeah, I just saw this issue on my iPhone with the words with friends app.  Recent update (feb 26) promised amazing speed and stunning graphics (how they can make the graphics of what is essentially scrabble 'stunning' is beyond me).  Once updated the app became almost unusable, opening it caused a delay of varying lengths of time where you were unable to do -anything- including exit out of the app.  The solution I found was to delete and reinstall the app, I checked around and I found I was not the only one with this issue.

 

Hopefully companies figure out that they wont keep customers if this kind of behavior continues.  Maybe once customer support costs are greater than the costs of having even a decent QA team.

The Wheel weaves as the Wheel wills, and we are only the thread of the Pattern.
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5ivedom
Posts: 3,544
Registered: ‎12-03-2011
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Re: Not Just BN, Industry issue

Thanks for sharing this PatGolfNeb.

 

I think it's an industry-wide problem.

 

As MacK pooints out:

 

Having been working in IT for over 30 years, I have found that what is considered "gold" (release level) today is barely (or not even) the quality of what was considered beta test level a few decades ago.

 

*****

 

There seems to be a level of denial amongst companies. Truth is they are trying to pass off alpha and beta level quality software as good enough for release.

flyingtoastr
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Registered: ‎11-11-2009

Re: Not Just BN, Industry issue

[ Edited ]

The promise of after-the-sale software updates is what changed it. Since companies can alter and fix and tweak and then release that to consumers, there's less of an onus to "get it done right before release". When software was distributed on physical media it would be incredibly expensive to patch, so they needed to get it working before they shipped.

DeanGibson
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Registered: ‎04-12-2011

Re: Not Just BN, Industry issue


keriflur wrote:

This is what happens when software companies think they can skimp on QA.

 

From what I've heard, Amazon doesn't hire QA testers, the expect their devs to do their own testing.  This is what a big head leads to - thinking you don't need to follow industry best practices.  And once a few do it, they all do it, and it's the consumer that suffers.


 It's a no-win situation.  If you have a good QA department, developers tend to throw stuff over the wall and see if it will stick.  The better your QA department, the more this happens.

 

Ideally, the developer does adequate unit testing, with tests designed around known (only to the developer) end cases that need to be tested.  The QA tester does "black box" testing, doing things that only a stupid user would think to do.

 

A bit of bragging:

 

Many years ago, I was involved in litigation with a company that I was doing contract programming for.  In their defense, they claimed that the quality of my software had suffered.

 

Big mistake.  During legal "discovery", my lawyer went through the relevant financial records, and I went through the other documents, principally memos.  I found one from the company to its customer that bragged, "We thought we found a bug in Dean's software, but it was in ours.  This maintains Dean's perfect record of delivering defect-free software." (I still have a copy of this memo.)

 

That ended their defense claims, and the result was a six-figure settlement in my favor.

 

From this I learned the value of assisting one's lawyer during discovery.

 

So, to all the developers out there, if you get a good reputation as a quality developer, you will be a valuable asset to most companies, especially the ones needing wanting quality software.  For most of my career I was self-employed as a contract programmer, working about 25 hours a week (my choice) and making very good money.  My reputation meant that I was rarely without work.

 

Sadly, most developers (even the ones with a degree in Computer Science) are self-taught when it comes to proper testing.  I was, and I learned it the hard way.  Fortunately, I learned that early in my career.

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keriflur
Posts: 6,758
Registered: ‎01-05-2010

Re: Not Just BN, Industry issue


DeanGibson wrote:
Ideally, the developer does adequate unit testing, with tests designed around known (only to the developer) end cases that need to be tested.  The QA tester does "black box" testing, doing things that only a stupid user would think to do.


Good QA tests both the stupid scenarios and the standard usage scenarios, and is only worth its salt of the test script writers have a thorough understanding of the end user.  It's impressive how often standard usage fails to go scripted, and thus fails to be tested.

 

Even the best devs should have a second set of eyes.