Quality Assurance with time has evolved to be a highly significant component of the tech landscape. Especially, when modern customers need access to software and applications that are super convenient to use, creating a product that meets the objectives demands a complete focus on QA.
At BugRaptors, we have always worked on creating technologies that leverage the best of Quality Assurance and software testing benchmarks. However, to sustain taking the extraordinary services to the clients from diverse industries, we believe it is necessary to stay informed of the change happening.
Whether it is the introduction of automation testing solutions or our proprietary test automation frameworks, we always strived to learn the QA practices that can help complement digital transformation goals. Moreover, after serving clients that belonged to retail, healthcare, manufacturing, education, and almost every industry vertical, we embrace the importance of communication and knowledge-sharing within the QA community.
With that motive in mind, this time, our in-house expert, Rajeev Verma, Project Manager, BugRaptors had an interesting conversation with Istvan Forgacs. Istvan is the founder of 4TestDev and has rich experience of more than 35 years. Initially, starting as a researcher for almost 12 years, Istvan worked as Head of a software testing group introducing the 4Test MBT methodology. He was the Leader of EU and Hungarian founded projects and worked on the development of new and unique tools.
Besides, he spent 16 years of his career researching key algorithms of software testing tools and analyzers along with the development of agile testing methods and courses. Presently, he has been running his startup since 2019 which is known for its product Harmony. Harmony is the only test first codeless test design automation tool that allows you to design and automate stable test cases in a very short time.
During the interview, Istvan Forgacs shared so many interesting facts and insights related to their career. From his inspirations to challenges, the interview involved everything related to common testing mistakes to avoid and changes that have transformed the quality industry. Let us quickly jump into the interview and try finding out all the details.
Rajeev Verma: Who influenced you to get into the testing field?
Istvan Forgacs: I was working in a research institute and we had an interesting software testing project led by Harry Sneed one of the most well-known software testing professionals (IEEE Stevens Award winner, ISTQB® International Software Testing Excellence Award winner). It was a technical project but I decided to choose software testing as my research field. At that time (1986) I think I was the only one in this field in Hungary and I should do everything alone. It was a big challenge, but I liked it. Fortunately, later on, I met with two of the greatest researchers and humans: Elaine Weyuker who introduced the basic theory of software testing and Mary Jean Harrold, the third top software engineering author of all time. They helped and inspired me a lot.
Rajeev Verma: What makes you feel inspired and allows you to be the best version of yourself?
Istvan Forgacs: When I read a good article, blog post, etc. concerning my topic, I’m always thinking, whether is there any even better idea? When writing articles or books with my long-time co-author Attila Kovács, we inspired each other to improve the content and the quality of any material. We also inspire each other with our colleagues in 4TestDev to improve our test design automation tool, Harmony. I like introducing new things and the best feeling for myself is when I invent something new that is valuable.
Rajeev Verma: What’s the biggest challenge you faced when you started 4TestDev?
Istvan Forgacs: I started 4TestDev to develop our test design automation tool, Harmony. Previously, I had a lot of projects where we had a good idea and technique but the related tool didn’t work in practice. Thus, the biggest challenge was to develop a tool that works and that users love. We should make quite a few pivots as all the start-up companies do.
Rajeev Verma: What are some of the common mistakes that you watch out for?
Istvan Forgacs: There are lots of mistakes and misconceptions in software testing. People stick to their old erroneous knowledge, even when technology has surpassed them. For example, almost everybody believes that there is a trade-off between software quality and testing cost. The consequence is to reduce testing to a minimum. However, there is an optimum, where the total SDLC cost is the minimum and the quality is good enough. This requires more testing, but the bug fix costs will be significantly reduced. Another example is two- or three-value BVA. The reliable solution is to select four tests. With Attila, we try to spread the correct theory and practice, but our voice loses in the huge noise of “test professionals” having better marketing and less knowledge.
Rajeev Verma: What changed the most in the field of quality?
Istvan Forgacs: That’s my problem: I think the average software quality remained the same and it’s poor. There are plenty of new low-code MBT tools for non-developers to automate testing. There are buzzwords such as shift left, continuous testing, etc., but the bugs remained in the code after release causing a huge loss in money. According to Jones, “about 60% of US software engineering work time centers on finding and fixing errors, which could be avoided with greater development discipline”. Fixing bugs costs at least six times more after release than during systems testing.
Why? The answer is the lack of professional test design. In the last 20 years, there have been no new test design techniques invented except the three ones we introduced in our books (Practical Test Design and Paradigm Shift in Software Testing) that have been read by no more than 500 people. If the test design is poor, then even using the best test automation tools, the tricky bugs remain undetected, the code quality will be poor and the bug fix cost goes high.
Rajeev Verma: What is the best advice you can give to someone who just started their career?
Istvan Forgacs: We developed a method called LEA: Learn, Exercise, Apply. Instead of reading books such as Starting Your Software Testing Career, I read technical books, blog posts, and go to conferences. Find good exercises and solve them. Then you can use your knowledge in your work. If your knowledge is useful for a company, it will hire you and not the ones reading several books about “how to start a carrier without valuable knowledge”. The only problem is what to learn. There are lots of invaluable, outdated books, posts and conference tutorials. How to select the good ones? It’s not easy without strong knowledge. The only advice is to consider relevant testimonials. If a book is offered by Bill Gates, you can buy it. (Unfortunately, Bill will not offer any software testing book.)
Rajeev Verma: What's the best way for learners to reach out or learn more about you?
Istvan Forgacs: Anybody can contact me through LinkedIn or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
At BugRaptors, we always try to bring you extraordinary when it comes to the QA revolution. Since the only way to explore the deepest secrets of the industry is by leading great conversations, we are on a mission to create an environment full of information.
If you think you have something extraordinary that can contribute to the QA industry or just in case, you need any assistance related to software testing services, feel free to reach our team through email@example.com