Interview Questions

Tell me about daily builds and smoke tests.

Software QA/Testing Technical FAQs

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Tell me about daily builds and smoke tests.

The idea is to build the product every day, and test it every day. The software development process at Microsoft and many other software companies requires daily builds and smoke tests. According to their process, every day, every single file has to be compiled, linked, and combined into an executable program; and then the program has to be "smoke tested".
Smoke testing is a relatively simple check to see whether the product "smokes" when it runs.
Please note that you should add revisions to the build only when it makes sense to do so. You should to establish a build group, and build daily; set your own standard for what constitutes "breaking the build", and create a penalty for breaking the build, and check for broken builds every day.
In addition to the daily builds, you should smoke test the builds, and smoke test them Daily. You should make the smoke test evolve, as the system evolves. You should build and smoke test Daily, even when the project is under pressure.
Think about the many benefits of this process! The process of daily builds and smoke tests minimizes the integration risk, reduces the risk of low quality, supports easier defect diagnosis, improves morale, enforces discipline, and keeps pressure cooker projects on track. If you build and smoke test DAILY, success will come, even when you're working on large projects!

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