Lack of software testing and quality, often create a lot of frustration amongst end users – Defects and experiences that are annoying to deal with, performance issues that one loses patience with, security issues than can be nightmarish, usability and accessibility issues that limit app usage – the list goes on. However, not all issues are serious and show stopping. Some are funny to re-iterate the need for smart algorithms and proper software testing that considers real end user scenarios. That’s exactly what happened recently with a glitch on Amazon’s baby gift registry program, where several users, who were not expecting a baby, received an email, saying a gift is on their way and someone has purchased a gift from their registry. It wasn’t a marketing glitch, it wasn’t a spam – probably a bug in the data analytics engine that collects user’s usage and shopping patterns to make smart decisions – the AI, artificial intelligence engineering is still new in market and needs a lot of refinement. Amazon suspects it was a defect in the AI algorithm – while it is still a defect at the end of the day, which may have been caught earlier with ample end user case testing, there are a few things to remember here:
- With the growing complexity of use cases, not all scenarios can be tested before release
- No all issues are going to be severe. This one for example, was funny and could be lived with amongst other more serious issues with larger impact
- Testing has to look beyond system requirements to take in integrations at various levels and all possible combinations of end user scenarios – while not everything can be tested before release, given the resource constraints and the combinations to test, strong optimization techniques become increasingly important for a robust software testing strategy.
Not all software defects are critical or show stopping. We all know this as testers don’t we? But how often do we encounter issues that give us a good laugh? And what do they tell us about the need for quality? Read on more about a recent funny incident.