Thoughts After a Recent Software Feature Release

Having a feature released to the customers does not mean I won’t have to test that feature anymore.

When a feature is released months later than it’s initially estimated, it could mean that the project was just a complex thing. Or it could mean that we did not give the thing enough attention to have it broken up and released into possibly much smaller chunks.

It’s terribly challenging to find confidence in releasing a new massive functionality which took months to finish, especially when the feedback you have about its quality is limited. I am being reminded that a part of testing is solving the problem of having good enough test coverage of product risks. What are those risks? What tests do I want to perform in order to cover those risks?

Just like how meetings that take hours get extremely boring, it gets annoyingly tiring for teams to spend more than a month of time building a feature before publishing it in public.

If we don’t spend some of our time now tinkering with systems that could possibly help us accomplish things better in the future, we’ll end up doing the same things as before and that reflects into our ability to grow.

Just because a defect happens to quietly slipped its way into production code does not mean the team did not work their asses off in bringing the best work they could possibly do to the project, under the circumstances. And just because a team worked hard does not guarantee they will write code free of any bug. What matters is what people do when those flaws are found. And there will always be flaws.

Some people, even testers, are unnecessarily loud when they find problems in production after a feature release. This just means that they did not have any idea how that part of the feature was built in the first place and did not care to explore it either before the release. They only assumed that everything is ought to be working. They forgot that quality is a team responsibility.

It’s important that we understand why a problems exists in production code (and maybe who did it) but I’m not sure if it’s particularly helpful that we leave the problem fixing later to the person who made the defect when we have the time and the know-how to fix it ourselves now. What’s the boy scout rule again for programmers? Yes, leave the code better than you found it.

Just because a shiny new feature is released to the public does not mean it has actual value to customers. And if we don’t find ways of getting user feedback, we’ll never find out whether what we built amounts to something or not.

Feature releases are always short-lived, like the physical store opening day launch.  There’s always a celebration, an attraction, but it’s not what really matters in the long run. What matters are the lessons learned in the duration of building the feature, what we intend to do with those lessons, the people we worked with, and building things that our customers love.

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3 thoughts on “Thoughts After a Recent Software Feature Release

  1. “leave the code better than you found it.”

    I agree with your insights sir 🙂
    What’s important is the learning process. We reflect on what happened and we look for ways to improve it.

    Reply

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