Downtime and QA Testing

A problem that crops up over and over again in my world is that a developer or two completes their coding assignments on a project and the project moves into a formal testing cycle. If the developer has done a quality job and done a lot of unit testing the code base is likely to be in pretty good shape with few bugs. Still since it can take testers quite a while to test they end up with bench time waiting around for the few bugs that do come in.

Typically the developer has some research/cleanup items that can occupy a couple of days, but then comes the idle time. If I can’t find some new work quickly they become tempted to ‘add’ functionality which can be a dangerous game, or merely get bored idling. I’m still working on ways to get around this, but it appears to be a persistent problem. My guess is as we experiment with pulling in QA really early in the development process and help them write tests, that we’ll see less of this problem in the future. I certainly hope so.