Developer + Tester = 1?

Recently I attended a software testing conference where the main focus of discussion revolved around future of testing and how innovation can be ingrained more in testing!

The speakers included Randy Rice, Michael Bolton and Lee Copeland. When asked about the future of testing, and each one said that it was a too dangerous to predict. They realized that when they were asked this question ten years back, their predictions failed thoroughly J  Quoting Neils Bohr “Prediction is very difficult, especially if it’s about the future”.
A common point said by each was that it would be more complex and besides functional testing, security testing would be a major game.

One of the intriguing points I found was in order to enhance creativity,asking the developer to also play tester. I think it is a recipe for disaster to expect a developer to test his baby.

The reasons why the developer and the tester should be different are:

–          The developer works  on building a particular module but the tester has to think of the integrating that part as well, thus varying  the scope and efficiency expected from the tester and the developer

–          The creative process of a developer works on a structured constructing process, where as a tester proves his creativity by breaking the barriers and rules

–          A developer is entitled only to the code and does not work with the mindset of looking for failures, where as a tester whether access to code or no code works towards digging failures

–          However, when a new Functional Specification Document or a Business Specification Document is acquired, the tester and the developer can start working simultaneously, by adopting Agile more productivity and efficiency is attained over a limited period of time.

If I must combine the role of a tester and a developer, then

A developer can enhance his productivity by unit testing, if there is an error in the code it is easier found by the developer rather than a separate tester who might or might not have the knowledge of that technology/language.He can also build by thinking of end to end business flows.

A tester can wear the developer’s shoes by building automated scripts and applying Oops concepts in his test cases.

I believe this would also add in enhancing the innovation in testing! These are my views acquired over dedicating a period of time in testing, Would be great to know yours?

Poonam Rathi |Test Consultant | ZenTest Labs

Top 10 Non Testing skills you never knew you needed!

There is a good amount of discussion on testing skills out there. But what about non testing skills for testers? In 2008, when Mukesh (Zen Test Labs’ CTO) and I had to choose a topic for what we shall present at the STARWEST Conference in the United States, we decided to do a talk on the “Top Ten Non Testing Skills” for testers.
Using our experience with training testers and building a testing company, we got our heads together on what in our opinion are the “Top Ten Non Testing Skills” that testers will find useful. We came up with a laundry list of skills. From that list we deleted any generic skill that any professional ought to have including learning skills, communication and presentation skills, leadership skills, initiative. planning & organizing skills, time control, self confidence, interpersonal skills, self control and even focus on quality. After all our focus was on non testing skills that impact testing!
The list and the premise for why we listed this as important for testers is given below:
1. Collaboration: Good testers not just communicate well, they actively collaborate with everyone from developers to project managers to business analysts.
2. Creativity: Good testers have the ability to think up of test cases that nobody else can think about. They practice lateral thinking in test case design and exploratory testing.
3. Experimentation: Good testers do common things uncommonly and keep experimenting with newer methods, strategies and tools.
4. Passion: Good testers are highly motivated and they never give up. They ask empowering and uplifting questions to themselves and others.
5. Alertness: Good testers have an eye for detail. They use every defect to unearth more defects.
6. Connecting the dots: Good testers have the ability to connect the dots. They understand the requirements, the big picture as well as the details required in the current phase of the project.
7. Introspection: Good testers are honest thinkers. They hold up a mirror to themselves and others.
8. Challenging: Good testers challenge the status quo. They challenge assumptions. They practice critical thinking and challenge claims or bias laden statements.
9. Prioritization: Good testers prioritize their tests, their metrics and their strategies. They have a virtual effort impact matrix going on in their hands constantly.
10. Not carrying testing home: Great testers stop being testers at home. They remind themselves to tune off from work when at home and can enjoy the colors of life, not just the defects!

So, that was the list of non testing skills useful for testers in our opinion. Anything else, you can think of?

Krishna Iyer | CEO | Zen Test Labs