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Testing around the world – Real world observations from 6 continents

mcooper ‎04-24-2014 02:20 PM - edited ‎09-18-2015 10:55 AM



On the 17 hour flight back from my recent trip to South Africa for the HP Software SIG, I realized that I have travelled to six of the seven continents on my journey to help improve software quality around the world. (In the picture above I am in the blue hat. I was joined by Toby Marsden, Beth Parker, Riccardo Sanna and Eddie the Cheetah in South Africa...)

 In North America, South America, Europe, Africa, Asia and Australia, I observed many similarities in the challenges that all QA professionals face, as well as the methodologies, techniques and tools used to overcome these challenges. From country to country, I saw unique differences in the processes that each country takes to improve software quality:


Social/Cultural Factors:

  1. Language – In some nations, software needs to be supported and tested in multiple languages.
  2. Holidays and vacations –The length of vacation and holidays celebrated vary depending on the area. In many countries, it is normal to have several weeks of vacation and holidays, while others have far less…
  3. Cultural norms – When working in India, I found that it was required in some companies to arrange for a ride home for female testers working after a certain hour.  In England, it wasn’t uncommon for the entire team to meet in a pub after work.
  4. Importance of the Tester/QA Professional role –Professional testers are more valued in some countries than in others. While some countries hold quality assurance and testing in the highest regard, others do not view it as a necessity.





Political, Geographic and Industry Factors:


  1. Laws and regulations – I found that some countries embrace the Cloud while others have laws that govern what data may reside outside of their borders. 
  2. Expectation of quality – I was told in several emerging markets that end-users are willing to accept some bugs just to experience the latest technology. 
  3. Level of investment in testing – In some nations, it is the norm to have large testing organizations, while in others, it is unusual to have any testers at all. 
  4. Advancements in test management, test automation, performance testing and security testing – During my travels around the world, I saw many accomplishments in the test management, automation, performance testing and tuning sectors with HP Software. It was deeply encouraging to see the progress made worldwide.     
  5. Network reliability – In some countries, network coverage is very spotty and it is not uncommon to have power outages. Regardless of the environmental conditions, testers adapt and adjust to their surroundings and still get it done. 
  6. Pace of change – Even though there are vast differences in the pace that IT moves from industry to industry within each country, it is clear that agile trends are catching on worldwide and technology as a whole is continuing to speed up. 

Now that I’ve shared my experiences as a globe-trotting tester, it’s your turn: what differences and similarities have you notices in QA and Testing around the world?  You can learn more about the differences in Quality around the world in the World Quality Report.

Be sure to join us at HP Discover Las Vegas, June 10-12, where we will preview the newest version of the World Quality report. In addition, there will be dozens of sessions, roundtables, keynotes and demos dedicated to Quality Assurance and Testing. Along with Capgemini, I will be leading a World Quality Report session BB2971: “Emerging trends in testing: Conclusions from the 2013-2014 World Quality Report.”

I look forward to seeing everyone in Las Vegas. If you still have not signed up, use code DSCVRSW before April 30th and save $400 on your discover pass. As always, for everything HP ALM, visit our homepage: and join in on the conversation @HPSoftwareALM.

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About the Author


Michael Cooper is a leader in the fields of quality assurance (QA), software testing, and process improvement. In November 2012, Michael joined the HP Software Applications team. Michael brings more than 15 years of hands on and QA and Testing leadership experience.

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