Lets Talk User Acceptance Testing Part2

‘Shift-left’ makes it redundant?


Let me start on this one. I regularly talk to Gartner and I believe we’ve helped shape their vision as to how the world will progress. Right now, some of their analysts are convinced that the way to improve application quality is to ‘shift left’ and put the onus for quality increasingly on the developers and that way reduce the quality burden on the business.

So what’s wrong with that?

I have two main problems with that Jim, and so do our customers. Firstly, a significant portion of applications are now purchased or consumed as a service in the cloud. The option to shift-left is simply not available and leads directly on to my second concern. Whether you ‘own’ the development team or not, the question is whether you are ever going to trust them to deliver a perfect application without any verification from the business? Have you ever implemented an application that way?

You’re kidding right?

Improving the quality of the application delivered from development or a vendor to the business for testing is a laudable goal. One I’m sure we both whole-heartedly support but neither vendors or developers have the knowledge to execute key business processes and there are often practical barriers to them acquiring the necessary knowledge.

So, if a company purchases or consumes an application, the only means of ensuring it is of suitable quality is UATT and I put the second ‘T’ there deliberately. The training element is in danger of getting overlooked – just to get started with the testing, the users will need sufficient training simply to navigate their way around. Then once the application is sufficiently stable the wider business community will need to be trained. So overall ‘shift-left’ is a good practice to increase the quality of delivered code but it has no impact on the amount of UAT, however it can reduce the number of times that UAT must be executed!

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