Friday, 30 January 2009

Size Shouldn't Matter

Over on the Software Testing Club, the old chestnut of the ideal dev/test ratio came up
( I really should add this topic to my list of testing cliches )

The person asking the question mentioned the 1:1 ratio that Microsoft has and that
"As my company aren't the size of Microsoft, nor have the budget I don't think that will go down well"

Which got me wondering what the scale is - is it a linear scale, a logarithmic one ?
Maybe it's even simpler
Company Size < 100 Ratio 10:1
Company Size < 1000 Ratio 5:1
Company Size < 5000 Ratio 3:1
Company = Microsft Ratio 1:1

But what happens if you are a company the size of Microsoft but without their budget ?
Or a company smaller than Microsoft but with their budget ?

Do the directors of companies asking these questions simply cross their fingers and hope the devs dont produce too many bugs so they can then grow enough to start employing testers ? and also hope that by that stage the code hasn't grown into an unmaintainable pile of spaghetti

Whilst writing this blog I read a tweet from Simon Godfrey trying to deal with devs complaining that test hadn't found all the defects and wanting the test cost to be 15% of the dev budget
( hmm, wonder what percentage of the dev budget is spent on customer support... )

I'm blaming Philip Crosby and his Quality Is Free slogan, managers saw the title but never read the content...

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