E*Trade IRA Volunteer Form

Memo from reader Isarian:

Found a bug you might want to feature on QAHY – it affects E*Trade Financial’s IRA sign-up process. To reproduce:

1) Navigate to https://us.etrade.com/e/t/home/transacct
2) Click on “Apply Online”
3) Enter test user information, enter CAPTCHA string, select “Individual Account”, set Account type to “Individual Retirement Account”, click on “Continue”
4) Enter test user information, click on “Continue”
5) Select “Cash Account”, click on “Continue”
6) “How did you hear about us” field shows test fields left behind, see screenshot

I’ll be sending the same on to E*Trade – I’m guessing that it affects all of their referral menus since it’s likely they all populate using the same fields.

Note that QAHY does not actually endorse following those steps, as using junk data on production servers violates federal law if prosecutors are done working on their campaigns for attorney general or governor or reading Perry Mason novels for practical insight.

Isarian sends along this screenshot:

E*Trade bug
Click for full size

This drop-down list is probably managed administratively through an interface accessible to E*Trade staff, including testing. Remember what I said about trusting administrators? Yeah, that applies, although these test entries probably conform to applicable data entry.

I doubt that testers were conducting this sort of testing (checking to see that dynamic entries appeared in this list)–or at least, I really hope not. Instead, this might have happened when deploying code from a staging environment and just copying up the database.

It’s never a bad idea to buzz through dynamically driven items like this to make sure that test data doesn’t crop up as part of your deployment testing. If you’ve got time, the wherewithal, and access, it wouldn’t hurt to review the admin data through the admin interface to ensure that the administrators’ fat fingers hit the right keys before they clicked Save.

And as for Isarian’s comment I’m guessing that it affects all of their referral menus since it’s likely they all populate using the same fields, well, Isarian is young and has not seen the Web application administrative interfaces that I have, where the individual dynamic tables and the interfaces for entering them are added exactly as they’re needed, meaning that a drop-down list like this might have its own administrative screen somewhere whose data only shows up in this one place. Sad, but true. Check every thing, every time, you know.

(For more drop-down list fun, see “The Definition of QA Insanity“. Also related: “Keeping Your Test Data Clean“, although nobody was apparently caught being too clever.)


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