Tuesday, 13 June 2017

Your test team is a challenge - not a safety blanket!

It seems that the 'us and them' relationship between devs and testers is gradually dying out. But I'm not so sure that this was entirely a bad thing. I've even experienced developers almost relying on their testers as a safety net. You need a bit of healthy competition.

A while ago I heard a developer say:
"That'll do. If it's not right then Test will spot it..."
While I appreciate this vote of confidence, it felt as if he was just passing the buck.
Newsflash: Testers don't want an easy ride. We get bored if you pass us something buggy or wrong - that you know is buggy or wrong. It's really frustrating if I fire up a new app, only to have it fall apart as soon as I wander off the happy path. Errors that just jump out at you are no fun to find either. There's no challenge. There's no thinking required. I don't feel like I've worked for them. And also - writing up bug reports and batting them back and forth all adds to the time taken to get something built. 'Bug Tennis' is my least favourite sport.

So how can we make life more interesting for both of us?
It's a very simplified view, but ultimately:
  • Developers like solving problems.
  • Testers like exploring and taking things apart.


What's missing from the spec? What could possibly go wrong? How would you 'break' this solution? Give your developer a list of the basic (and lets be honest - boring) things you would do first. So you don't have to waste as much time doing them.


We're going to point out all of the easy things straight away. Consider it an extra challenge to not give us any bugs to find when you're done! Can you beat us at our own game?

## Gamification Klaxon!! ##
And for the record, I have also overheard the following phrases from the other end of the spectrum - all of which made me smile:
"Ok... What would the testers do to this?"
"Yeah, but Iain will just say that's broken and throw it back..."
"Have we missed anything? You know what he's like!"
I like that last one the most. 😀 I think I might get our devs some "What Would Test Do?" wristbands. Just as a reminder.

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