Adopting DFT thinking

design for testability

(In this SmartBits, Girish Elchuri outlines “Adopting DFT thinking“.  The video is at the end of this blog)

Understand big picture Part 1
When developing a product, one must have an understanding of the big picture. It’s not only about the product, it’s about the entire process of developing it. Putting oneself in the shoes of every role is a must be it a tech writer writing product documentation, quality engineer testing the product or a salesperson. One must understand the function of each of these roles for the success of the product . We must facilitate all these roles including quality while developing a product. We must treat ourselves as a product manager, a documentation person, a quality engineer or a marketing person in order to understand the roles better.

Put yourself in every role
While trying to understand each role, we need to put in more efforts to make sure that the requirements of each and every person are met. Understanding the big picture from a product perspective, process perspective, and having an attitude of making this successful and facilitating this for every role in the product development and launch is certainly required. This is what is needed to be done and this is how we can contribute to make sure we achieve quality.

Understand big picture Part 2
Quality is not achieved by just meeting functional requirements, customer requirements, quality requirements or sales requirements. For example a perfectly working umbrella when opened the wrong way, passes the quality, but does not result in any sales as it is no more useful to the customers just like the popular phrase “operation successful but patient dead”. This should never be the case. At the end of the day, that product should succeed in the market Hence we need to have an understanding of the big picture and this is what needs to be understood by every person in the organization.

Inject probes to test better
You talked about the ability to put in hooks, put in test switches etc. Do you think that is also a mentality that I have to develop, to facilitate the probing the system?

Absolutely. I put in probes to do scalability testing. If there are a few isolated test cases that I am running manually, I can always go and look at the log and manually do these things but when I am doing scalability testing, that’s where I find the scale at which things will happen. It’s not possible to manually collect this data and write them, hence the probes to collect such information.

Attitude key to probe design
So in my opinion, it’s the attitude that matters. When you have an attitude that I want to help this guy, be it a test engineer, documentation person or salesperson, then what I do is to facilitate those things to happen in the product. What will a sales guy want to do? Sales guy would want a demo system with live data. You should facilitate that in the product. You should facilitate creating scenarios so that it can be shown to customers. You cannot expect the sales guy to do it after the product is developed without assistance.  That is why I say that attitude is key to fulfil the needs & expectation of every single person associated with the product.

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