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#1 n8schatten  Icon User is offline

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(How) Do you present tests to your customers?

Post icon  Posted 21 June 2011 - 08:05 AM

I'm curious, do you and the companies you work for present tests to customers? And if you do, how?

We recently had a customer who did not accept an offer which had testing (unit, integration and acceptance/system tests) as one of the top level tasks. However, when one of our developers talked to him, they finally moved it from top level to being part of programming-activities. Neither did the price change, nor what we actually did/do. The customer simply did not want the tests to be prominent in the offer and following contract.

Did you experience similar, or perhaps completely different, reactions? How do you deal with such situations?

Thanks in advance for any answer.

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#2 Curtis Rutland  Icon User is online

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Re: (How) Do you present tests to your customers?

Posted 21 June 2011 - 08:44 AM

The only customers we have at my company (at least, that we present solutions to) are internal customers, and we've stressed the importance of our testing phases. Of course, I work for a credit union, so it's pretty obvious that rigorous testing is necessary for any technical solution we roll out. We don't have to "sell" it to them, it's baked into our project timeline.
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#3 Topher84  Icon User is offline

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Re: (How) Do you present tests to your customers?

Posted 21 June 2011 - 08:22 PM

3 words:

Program by contract

If they want you to test, then they need to pay for it. Otherwise, you get what you get in the time given.

Ethical? maybe not but you can't let people squeeze you.
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#4 n8schatten  Icon User is offline

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Re: (How) Do you present tests to your customers?

Posted 22 June 2011 - 01:27 AM

Topher84: Of course customers have to pay for tests. If they want high quality, they have to be ready to pay an appropriate price*. This is out of question.
The customer I mentioned above did not hesitate to pay the price we told him, he just did not accept testing to be a major position of the offer. After explaining our testing approach and after moving testing to be a sub-part of coding (in the offer and contract) he agreed. The actual work and the price remained completely unchanged. It was a pure paperwork issue.

Given the customer will pay anything you want, will you let him know about your tests? Will you show them to him (perhaps at least some of them)? If you do, in what way?

We also had another customer invited to our offices once. We showed him our test infrastructure and some of the extreme feedback devices connected to our continuous integration system ([1] [2] [3] [4]). After a demonstration he was enthusiastic about testing.



* This is not an excuse for creating low quality products. On the contrary, every developer (and basically everyone else too) should always deliver high quality products. If a customer is not prepared to pay for quality then leave him. (I know, depending on the economical situation this might not be as easy as writing it down here.)
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#5 Topher84  Icon User is offline

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Re: (How) Do you present tests to your customers?

Posted 22 June 2011 - 12:39 PM

I guess I misunderstood then. Honestly, I wouldn't even show them the tests. Ask yourself: Who cares? For example, say you take your car in for a break job. Do you REALLY care how they do it? or do you care about the end result and that it works well? I know I wouldn't want the repair person to tell me every small detail about what they did to make sure that my break job works. Also, the common person is not going to understand what you are doing anyways, so I really do not see a need to show tests.

This post has been edited by Topher84: 22 June 2011 - 12:41 PM

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