I need your software to work so that my son can breathe!

I won’t name the pharmacy but I need your software to work right now so that my son can breathe! Not in 10 minutes, not in 30 minutes, not in an hour or more. My darling, dingbat, 12-year-old son neglected to tell me that he used his last puff of inhaler yesterday. Let me start from the beginning. I am sitting in a marketing meeting with my team discussing automation and continuous integration and how to market our software testing services. There is a knock on the door and I am told that my son’s school nurse has been trying to call me. He is having trouble breathing. My darling, dingbat, 12-year-old didn’t use his inhalers before school today and the pollen is on the march. “Lovely”, I drop everything to run home and get his inhalers. I grab them and notice that one of his inhalers has a big red 0 on it. Are you kidding me? I call the pharmacy and am told “Our system is down – there is no telling when it will be back up again. My apologies.” But, I need your software to work NOW so that my son can breathe!

Clearly, there is a critical defect causing this pharmacy’s system to be down in the middle of the day. How many customers like me are in a time of need while this system is down? How many of us are going across the street to a competitor to get the prescription we need? Can you imagine the revenue they are losing every minute this system is not working? It really drives home how important it is for the SDLC (software development lifecycle) to be working seamlessly. And even more, how software testing needs to be seen as a critical component of this lifecycle. Too often testing is left to the end or companies don’t have skilled software testers doing the testing. In this case, I suspect that a new feature was added and a full regression test was not run. The new feature may have worked on its own but when added it caused something else – something critical to break.

Thankfully my son is fine and he is breathing again. But, it is scary to have something like that happen. It especially hits home and is a bit frustrating when I know how important it is to put value on testing. I wish we could help every company out there doing software testing so that none of us have an experience like I did today.


Kelly KieransAbout the Author

Kelly Kierans has provided sales and marketing leadership to national companies for more than 12 years. Kelly currently serves as President of Celtic Testing Experts and is responsible for driving marketing initiatives, company culture, CTE’s aggressive business development, and operations expansions.