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How Do Googlers Test Software?

By SiliconIndia   |   Friday, 27 April 2012, 05:14 Hrs
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We all know that Google is the best company in maintaining the quality of its products but have you wondered how Google tests software to provide the best quality?

Below are some of the Google's best practices as discussed by James A. Whittaker, the former Test Director for Chrome and Chrome OS:

At Google, software testing is part of a centralized organization called Engineering Productivity that spans the developer and tester tool chain, release engineering, and testing from the unit level all the way to exploratory testing.

Testing in a company like Google operates in almost every industry vertical right from the client operating systems, to web apps; from mobile, to enterprise and commerce and to social.

Software testing problem areas in Google are as large as any company’s out there and even so, they keep smart people actively and energetically involved in the testing domain. Google has fewer dedicated testers who take the burden of quality on their shoulders than most of the companies have on their product development teams.

In Google, quality is not some tester's problem; those who write codes are also testers and quality is a problem that all of them face.

Quality is achieved by putting development and testing together until one is indistinguishable from the other. In order to merge development and testing so that Googlers'; cannot do one without the other. They build a little and then test it; build some more and test some more. In this way Googlers test - their own codes to bring out the best quality product.

Google's development mindset focuses on the idea that development and testing are inseparable and developers acknowledge it, from code review notes to posters in the bathrooms reminding developers about best-testing practices.

Developers own quality, this is the reason why Google has very few dedicated testers.

But apart from this midset of developing with quality, Google also has software that it uses to test its projects: systems like ClusterFuzz, which was used to est. the Chrome OS recently, according to PCWorld. Its virtual machines subject chrome instances to around 50 million test cases every day. It’s being an industrial-strength testing system has flagged 95 unique vulnerabilities and fixed security holes in the Chrome browser so far.

In addition to running tests and detecting browser crashes, ClusterFuzz is also used to manage the distribution of test cases, analyze them and verify if vulnerabilities have been fixed properly.

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