6 Things That Digital Agencies Get Wrong About Testing

During the development of My Website, I interviewed literally hundreds of digital agencies – I was mainly talking with developers, designers and account managers. That allowed me to learn a lot about how digital agencies work, manage projects and communicate with clients.

Digital Agency
Digital Agency

Much to my surprise, the interviews revealed some general misconceptions about testing that most of the design agencies share. Therefore, in this post, I would like to share 7 most common things that they usually get wrong about testing and why it’s important to think from a different point of view.

“We hired a tester. Now our developers don’t need to care about bugs!“

Hiring a dedicated software tester shows that a company cares about the quality of services they deliver. However, it also can be a trap for your team’s attitude to work.

When you outsource testing, developers are more likely to deliver lower quality work because they simply feel less responsible for bugs in their code. After all, “we have a tester to catch bugs”.

As a result, this can lead to a longer development time for a few reasons. First, as I said, your code is more likely to be of lower quality. Second, it takes much more time for a tester outside a company to test code than for a developer who writes it.

Anyway, you should find an optimal proportion of in-house and outsourced testing that fits your company best.

“No need to test because it was just a one-line change”

A lot of minor fixes are made when getting close to a deadline. Agencies, however, usually don’t bother testing them at all. After all, what one line can change?

In fact, one-line change can have a disastrous effect on a website. Especially CSS and Javascript related changes can have far-reaching consequences that can literally make a website useless.

Always check everything” should be the motto of your team, especially when making any changes in code.

“We don’t need software testers because a client checks everything anyway”

Why do you need to test your code if a client does it best?

By behaving this way, you’re actually destroying the credibility of your company. Would you hire a mechanic that always returns your car with something that “he forgot to fix”? This is how your client will see you.

Software Testing
Software Testing

Don’t let your client find a bug. Test everything 100 times before delivering your code to client.

Not having a staging environment

It’s a common practice to update and overwrite code on a live website when making minor changes. There are tons of things that can go wrong by doing so.

The development and production environments differ from each other a lot. Also, it’s better to test your code out for a while before releasing it to production.

Having a staging environment gives you more time to find bugs and makes it easier to collect feedback from a client.

“The developer is responsible for quality”

No. Everyone is, even a customer. Remember, who has “skin in the game”? It all starts with the customer’s business. If your customer’s customers are happy, then your agency has done a good job. Look at the whole chain, not just the coding part of it.

“But it worked fine when we deployed it”

Things change fast, especially in the Web. Browsers release updates on a weekly basis. WordPress updates. Plugin updates. In other words, it’s not enough to monitor only the up time of a server.

You also need to constantly check if everything looks as it supposed to look a month ago. For example, one of the latest Chrome updates broke thousands of websites due to a font handling change on Windows platform. Only super-attentive people saw this coming.

Summing up

The most important thing here is not to go and try to implement all of these recommendations at once. Pick the ones you think can be the most beneficial for your company. Then, try to implement them one at a time. Be persistent and you’ll reap the fruits of your efforts way sooner than you would have expected to!