Usually I blog here about robotics and microcontrollers so you might not know that I actually work in technical testing. But it is true, at least during daylight. So in my spare time I focus on my private projects. Consequently I do not blog about work but sometimes I stumble about something on the internet that is too good to not share it. Today such an event occured.
Working in test automation I have the chance see many enterprice software projects from the inside. My observation is that test automation turns out useful in a project ONLY if a project has reached a certain maturity. I always tell that at the beginning when I start working on a project but in the past I found it difficult to make this a convincing story. So I struggled for a while to convert this “observation of mine” into a more compelling “methodology”. Today I learned about the Joel Test which appears to be exactly what I was looking for all the time.
The Joel Test
- Do you use source control?
- Can you make a build in one step?
- Do you make daily builds?
- Do you have a bug database?
- Do you fix bugs before writing new code?
- Do you have an up-to-date schedule?
- Do you have a spec?
- Do programmers have quiet working conditions?
- Do you use the best tools money can buy?
- Do you have testers?
- Do new candidates write code during their interview?
- Do you do hallway usability testing?
Please check out the detailed article on Joel’s website
Every project I worked with so far would struggle in the test at items 5-9. I always felt that this severly impacts my work in test automation. I am confident that I will use the Joel Test as a consulting tool in upcomming projects. I hope this gives my arguments enough leverage to convince decission makers to work on improvements to the situation. I will let you know if it works!