Dan related how important a fully integrated Quality Assurance team is to his company’s success. Dan’s QA team is involved from defining the initial specifications through delivery of the final product. That means when the app gets to the testing stage, those doing QA know exactly what the app is expected to do and how it has evolved during the life-cycle of the project. They have a test plan capable of taking the app to its design limits because they know where those limits are.
As an independent beta tester I’m unlikely to have that kind of access to the design process. The greatest barrier for those in my situation is geography — I can’t run down the hall to sit with a developer. But there are ways to mitigate some of the disadvantages.
Dan has outlined how Black Pixel does Quality Assurance. It’s posted online. In a five-part series he writes about bad QA scenarios then discusses what his company has done to make great QA pay for itself.
I’m not Black Pixel, but I am incorporating as many of their processes as I can into my test plan. Good communication with the developer, early in the build, increases the probability of launching a best-in-class app right out of the box.