From relays to smart phones

Human race has taken tremendous leaps in recent years and technology is changing our lives. What is once known as hot new stuff becomes obsolete in only a few years. Relay-based computers have transformed to many shapes and now are packaged in smart phones chips in around 60 odd years. But one thing has not changed: all of them have bugs.

My tester blogger friend nerdet reminds us that today is the day when the first software bug was captured. Read more details on the link but that happened in late 1940s and you’d imagine that with so many advancements in technology, bugs should be fading. But that seems not the case.

A few months ago, I mentioned how easy it is to find bugs on internet and estimated that you need 5 minutes of browsing to catch a bug. Now as all of us are switching to smart phones and the amazing ‘app’ world, we are witnessing even shorter development cycles and even lesser time to find a bug.

Another tester friend Amjad sent me yesterday this bug in Wifi Transfer app. This is so obvious that if you have worked on this app for 2 minutes, you’d have found it. It is even interesting that their Google Play page also have the same error:


This time around I’m thinking to bit nice to those who have bugs rather than just making fun of them in public. So I am sending an email to the producers of the app mentioning the defect. Let’s see how they react.

Do you agree that the app world is even buggier than the earlier worlds? Do you have some stories to share?


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8 responses to “From relays to smart phones”

  1. Ather Imran says :

    The threshold to entry for app development is low. Big organizations are doing it, but so are freelancers. Many organizations get set up to make apps, but they hardly get the development infrastructure right. In addition to being low-barrier to entry, the app world is also fiercely competitive (infact the low barrier to entry facilitates this competition). This results in “quick and dirty” development and just get to market, rather than focusing on quality.

    The consumers seem contend with that at many levels. The app consumers are all across the spectrum – from kids to teenagers to sophisticated professionals. The less sophisticated ones are those that potentially have low quality expectations as well.

    But, all these are reasons and not justifications. I firmly believe that quality has to be the foremost priority. You don’t have to shoot for perfection, but you definitely have to strive for excellence.

    Thanks for sharing this! Enjoyed reading it (as always).

    Ather Imran


    • majd says :

      You brought up a very good point Ather. In this app world, both producers and consumers have a very low bar of quality. There needs to be a rethinking as ‘Average is over’ concept is now prevailing that Tomas Friedman of The New York Times writes about.


  2. smita says :

    Really Enjoyed reading it as always.


  3. Sohail says :

    Looks cool…
    Bugs can never fade away….. as God has made it source of “Bread n Butter” for our testing Fraternity..:)..
    Having buggy apps is better than having no apps… as bugs can be fixed.. and quality can be complemented with time….Moreover, this will pave the way for the journey to “Perfection” and then to “Excellence”..where fittest will find the room to survive…


    • majd says :

      Thanks Sohail and you mentioned another reason for us to ‘love the errors’ as they give us job 🙂 You brought up a good point that these are initial days of apps and they are learning. Let’s hope they learn at the pace that is needed.


  4. Arslan Ali says :

    The Context Driven Testing school have been working on ideas on how to address the issues of testing volume and complexity in relation to the simple yet very fast delivered systems or now known as Apps. For this very recently James Bach spoke about “Boundary Testing Heuristics” at Test Bash 2013. Aside his blog here: and the video about “Galumphing” here : he has put forwarded a couple of very interesting terminologies which now I have used as Techniques for Boundary Testing and have material to present on. What he has expressed that we should consider the way we test in contrast to the complexity of the system that is being presented. Now that complexity is not necessarily relates to the “Logic” or the lines of codes it may also direct towards the time frame in which the App is being delivered. So we need to make our tests in accordance to that complexity.

    Secondly, he also addressed that the System exists in “Phase Space”, a virtual space of components and each component have circular representation. Some of these circles are big some small. Now, bigger the circle more context it provides to find that bug, whereas small the circle shall result in more difficulties for the testers to find the bug.

    I think we need to adapt what’s been happening around us in terms of Devices and apps and we need to let go of those “Structured” and “Traditional” approaches we used to follow…..because now I can definitely say that the World is changing around us.

    Thank You Majd for keeping us in shape with your blogs 🙂 Hope to read more from you!



    • majd says :

      Thanks Arslan for your valuable thoughts. You explained it pretty well that we cannot bring our existing practices to the App/Mobile testing and need to adopt all the time.


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