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If you had read that title and assumed that it isn’t possible to be true, then you assumed wrong. Facebook, now known as Meta does not employ dedicated personnel for testing their product. But you might wonder how it is possible for an application that has around 2.89 billion active users built using 60 million lines of code to work without testers. Here’s the catch, Facebook does in fact test its product. It just doesn’t employ dedicated people to get the job done. Instead, Facebook makes use of automation testing wherever possible. Automation also does have its own limitation as not all tests can be automated. So let’s find out Facebook’s Testing Strategy to manage this obstacle.
Facebook’s Testing Strategy
Facebook tries to reduce the number of bugs that get past the developers by making the developers test their own code and test each other’s code as well. Though developers will be more careful with their work, this method does lack the benefit of fresh and unbiased eyes reviewing the code.
Another one of Facebook’s Testing strategies is dogfooding all their employees by making them use the application. They are also provided with the required tools to report the bugs they find. So almost every employee is a tester in this scenario, but what makes it different is that testing alone isn’t their main task. Likewise, few employees will be focused more on QA, but that alone will not be their purpose.
Facebook will not deploy any changes directly to their entire base. Instead, they make canary releases to their employees at first. If there are no reported issues, it is released to a smaller group of real-world users before it makes a worldwide release. Facebook’s various clients are also made to perform QA activities as their services are heavily reliant on the platform. Clients will be able to access the beta versions by visiting beta.facebook.com 24 hours prior to the release.
Bug Bounty Programs
As a part of Facebook’s Testing Strategy, they have been running bug bounty programs ever since 2011. It is used as a way to discover any major concerns that could have slipped past their existing tests. The prize amounts are calculated based on the severity and impact levels of the issues that are discovered. On the 10th anniversary of their bug bounty program, Facebook announced that had awarded over $1.98 Million for the winners. According to a former Facebook employee, they even have a few privileged channels through which ex-employees can report the issues they find. The employee also claimed that he reports around 13,000 bugs every month.
Owing to the larger user base, Facebook has large amounts of data at its disposal to monitor the performance of the newly deployed changes. Facebook has aggregated user reports and workflow success rates to analyze the success. It also keeps the existing users under check by using data like how many messages were sent during this hour of this week versus the previous week.
Are Testers not required?
Facebook’s Testing Strategy is in no way a perfect way to go about testing your product before a release. In fact, Facebook itself is aware of the shortcomings in its strategy. But they still follow it as Facebook feels social media is non-essential. This kind of approach shouldn’t come as a surprise as the motto for the company’s developers was “Move Fast and Break Things” until 2014. As a leading QA company, we believe that involving all the employees and developers to focus on testing makes it impossible for them to focus on their primary objectives to deliver their best. It is also a very messy plan that can be difficult to keep track of. A dedicated team can be instrumental in bringing down issues and costs in the longer run.