Interface or Interfere?


This meant that they had to cull out the defects that weren't software issues at all. The process was extremely time-consuming, because they ran lengthy test suites and a test data problem could cause literally hundreds of failures. And even when the problem was a defect, it might also cause multiple failures and therefore create duplicate issues. This adding and closing of defects tainted their metrics by inflating the defect arrival and close rates, thereby invalidating the classic S-curve report used to predict release.

Also, by the time they did their research and reached their conclusions, they had more information and analysis to offer than was available in the test log itself. They still had to retrieve the issue within the defect management system and add the additional information, so there was no real time savings.

Finally, he said, in an automated test, the script or step that failed was not necessarily the actual root of the problem. Often the genesis of the issue occurred earlier than when the failure was logged, so the information available in the test log was not germane. All in all, he decided the integration was more trouble than it was worth.

So I'm on a mission to find out whether these experiences are anomalies or the rule, or perhaps if there is a way to approach integration that makes it productive—or not. What have you found that works or doesn't?

About the author

Linda Hayes's picture Linda Hayes

Linda G. Hayes is a founder of Worksoft, Inc., developer of next-generation test automation solutions. Linda is a frequent industry speaker and award-winning author on software quality. She has been named as one of Fortune magazine's People to Watch and one of the Top 40 Under 40 by Dallas Business Journal. She is a regular columnist and contributor to and Better Software magazine, as well as a columnist for Computerworld and Datamation, author of the Automated Testing Handbook and co-editor Dare To Be Excellent with Alka Jarvis on best practices in the software industry. You can contact Linda at

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