All conversation halted in the conference hall, and upon enduring several minutes of silence, I finally succumbed to my impatience and posed my query again:
Who is willing to be a part of the testing team?
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We had 20 apprentices undergoing training on multiple facets of software projects. Heads and managers from diverse departments such as business assessment, development, testing, and sales convened with these trainees, imparting knowledge and helping them comprehend the inner workings of a real software project. As a test manager, I elucidated the fundamentals of testing and the significance of the testing cycle to these newcomers.
When I earnestly posed the question, I wasn’t expecting a resounding silence. Unsurprisingly, no one was eager to join the testing team. Disheartened, I decided to take a fresh approach to enlighten this new generation of tech professionals.
I adjusted my query to uncover the reasons behind their hesitance towards considering software testing as a potential career:
What’s stopping you from pursuing a career in software testing?
Their responses were quite enlightening (and somewhat justified):
- Testing is easy, development isn’t (good to know)
- Testers aren’t paid as much (partially true but not a hard rule)
- Being a tester is thankless (tend to agree but that’s not a legitimate reason)
- There’s nothing to learn (What! Who told you that?)
- Why even consider a career in software testing (the lousiest reason)
What You Will Learn:
The need for software testing
Alright, it was time to put these rookies in the loop about why software testing is integral and what they need to know about it as aspiring software developers.
My Approach To Persuasion
In this section, I will provide a succinct recap of our discussions that afternoon and how I managed to shift the perspectives of at least 20 individuals by debunking software testing myths.
#1. Software testing is far from time-consuming
Consider entertaining guests at your home and hastily concocting lemonade for them. When they leave their glasses half-empty, you realize something is amiss. You taste the lemonade and realize it’s abysmal. You wish you’d spent just 10 more seconds on tasting it before serving.
Companies usually skip testing due to project delivery deadlines. This common mentality that software testing is unduly time-consuming still persists. But isn’t it better to invest time in testing than to get a late-night call from a client canceling the upcoming project because they found over five critical bugs within the first two hours of using your software? That hurts!
#2. Software testing is compulsory
Software testing is an integral part of the software development cycle. Just as:
- Film editors enhance movies
- Proofreaders improve the quality of books
- Security guards ensure safety
- Oil allows machinery to operate smoothly
Software testing improves the software’s quality, which doesn’t need further justification.
#3. Unit testing is solely the developer’s responsibility
When you create something, it’s your duty to examine it before passing it on to someone else. Just like:
- Cooks always taste and smell their dishes before serving
The developer is exclusively responsible for testing their own code before submitting it to the testers. Testers exist to help enhance the code and product quality, not to pinpoint tiny mistakes made during coding.
Additionally, the quality responsibility should never be presumed to rest solely on the testers.
In the contemporary agile setting, both developers and testers are expected to share product quality responsibilities. Developers are urged to conduct pair testing with testers, illuminating potential pitfalls and reasons, and testers to devise testing strategies based on those insights.
#4. Developers and testers are on equal footing
Every work or project involves collaboration. Therefore, all participants are equally crucial. If a developer thinks they deserve higher importance because they create something from scratch, they need to reassess their views. Yes, developers create something from nothing, but they can’t finalize their creation without testers.
Testers offer a user’s perspective on a product. A seasoned tester can detect loopholes in a product, which might not even occur to a developer. Testers bring fresh ideas on what a product should be, look like, how it should function, behave, and potential failure points.
Just as salt is required in every recipe for it to be palatable, testing is necessary for product delivery.
Therefore, both developers and testers are equally crucial; they represent the two hands of a project.
#5. Early involvement of testers from the project inception is vital
Avoid assuming that testers don’t require awareness of aspects such as requirement analysis, the logic applied when coding, client modification requests, or client feedback as a developer.
The testers, being stakeholders, should be engaged right from the project’s kickoff. Their early involvement instils confidence, continual discussions facilitate understanding between the development and testing teams, supportive assistance boosts their morale to strive for excellence, and seeking their suggestions makes them feel valued.
A tester’s role extends beyond merely testing a module or product. They assist in delivering the best possible product by providing valuable insights into user expectations and alerting you to frequent crashes in your code. As a developer, you truly need that, don’t you?
Author’s note: Bhumika Mehta, a member of the STH team with over 7 years of software testing experience, authored this insightful post. As a project lead, Bhumika is passionate about testing everything that exists.
As always, I’m eagerly awaiting your comments, views, and suggestions regarding the topic.