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Velocity, code quality and manual QA

Unless you can remove manual QA, you can either have code quality or you can have release velocity. You cant have both goals, you need to compromise on one of them.

We recently did a big release where we replaced lot of old DWR apis with REST apis and we revamped a big part of old ExtJS UI with backbone based UI. The release was done in a duration of 4 weeks and even after delaying the release by 1 week, there were some bugs found by some customers.  I had expected some issues and I am of proponent of "fail fast and fix fast".  Many of these issues we were able to find and fix it on the weekend itself.

In the coming week we found an issue on Friday afternoon and we had a similar bug fixed for next release that would fix this bug also, but QA was unsure of merging this fix as most of the QA team was out. This is the second last week of december and it seems everyone is out for christmas so it was decided to delay the fix to be done when QA was available. Now I have to daily run some query to detect the bad data and run some cleanup scripts.

Doing this cleanup for last 2 days I realized this is BS and how can we break this dependency on human touch points. We have code coverage but only 45% line coverage and some 31% branch coverage.  It seems we have two conflicting goals "Velocity of feature releases" and "code quality".  We do one release every 2-3 weeks and until we can automate the hell out of code base to get close to 90%+ code coverage we would continue to run into this situation. We want to release every week or every day in future and unless we can eliminate human QA that goal seems far fetched.

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