testchat

Misunderstanding of Testing
The Misunderstanding of Testers and Testing. And What Can We Do About It?
   2 years ago
#TestChatAutomation TestingA testing chat on Automation, specifically the applications for using it in testing.
Amy Phillips
The topic today is “The many ways testers/testing are misunderstood”. Why do you think testing is misunderstood? #TestChat
Dan Sillitti
Very much so, if my experience is any indication.
Neil Studd
Because testers are generally not very good at talking about what they do. We're too frequent to resorting to simple terms such as "play with it" or "do some testing" without expressing what that means in terms of quality for the product.
Alan Page
I'm trying to think of any job that isn't misunderstood
Gem Hill
and quality is such a nebulous term that its hard to define for people, never mind how we contribute to it
Amy Phillips
@alanpage Good point. Do you think it matters that testing is misunderstood?
Rosie Sherry
I've noticed a lot of people in smaller companies just don't know where to go or how to start testing.
Alan Page
What you said is true (Neil) - but it's also true for a lot of jobs. But I do think that one reason the job is misunderstood is that it is hard to explain ...
Alan Page
And I think testing is hard to explain because it means a thousand things to a thousand different people
Alan Page
I try to make the product more valuable for the customer. I do a lot of different things to make that happen. Some / many of those things I do are called testing
Duncan Nisbet
@rosiesherry That matches my experience
Alan Page
My counter-question. How important is it to make testing understood?
Susan Whalen
Testers are not as smart as developers
Susan Whalen
@tester_thinks Meaning this is a misunderstanding, not a fact!
Alan Page
It's important that the team knows the value of what test-minded professional bring to the product, so there's that...
Dan Sillitti
@alanpage That depends entirely on whether you care about getting budget ;-).
Alan Page
@tester_thinks I'm sad for people who work in places where that belief is true
Patrick Prill
@alanpage testers provide a service, so the recipients of the service need to be aware of what they expect or can expect from a tester to deliver.
Duncan Nisbet
@alanpage I'd agree with that - the activities performed by testers has evolved. And now non-testers are getting in on the testing game as well. How can non-testers do testing...?!
Duncan Nisbet
@TestPappy How do you sell your services?
Alan Page
It only took 7 minutes for the conversation to turn from "Is /testing/ misunderstood?" to "Are /testers/ misunderstood?"
Alan Page
Two completely different topics
Duncan Nisbet
@DuncNisbet oh that sounds a bit saucy, sorry Patrick. How do sell testing services?
Alan Page
I think testers are more misunderstood than testing
Mirjana Kolarov
I have an opinion that people, when they say testing, usually think of one of the following activities: "just clicking" or "writing automated tests" and that's it ... nothing in between
Patrick Prill
@DuncNisbet I can tell you what I have to offer, you decide what you want me to deliver. You have to see value in what I do, else it's waste.
Mark On Task
We're misunderstood because people think shit just works the way the expect it to work without challenging their expectations.
Alan Page
@mirjanakolarov That's sad. One of the things I'm talking about at #testbash (PLUG) is on my team, there are no testers. We have plenty of developers who do some pretty amazing testing.
Ram (srm)
Testing is contextual. Testing roles need to be able to articulate well enough to show the value add towards product quality.
Dave Westerveld
does it matter if testing is misunderstood? I guess that depends on who is misunderstanding it. If my 5 year misunderstand no big deal. It a tester misunderstand, bigger deal
Alan Page
@TestPappy I've never liked the "testing is a service" thing. #oneofthethree
Patrick Prill
@alanpage are you denying your contractors again that cover some testing for you?
Duncan Nisbet
@alanpage The title is "The Misunderstanding of Testers and Testing"
Duncan Nisbet
@DuncNisbet might be why folks are discussing testers being misunderstood
Patrick Prill
@alanpage okay, we should move that discussion to #oneofthethree for later.
Rosie Sherry
@tester_thinks hah, thank god for that, I was a bit concerned there!
Alan Page
@TestPappy ahhh - caught me. They give me breadth coverage..which one could call a service. #eatcrow
Alan Page
@DuncNisbet Realized that after I typed. The two get crossed too often, I think - which may lead to misunderstanding
Duncan Nisbet
@TestPappy And you can communicate that in such a way people understand what value testing can offer?
Alan Page
I like to think of testing as an activity, where one often uses specialists (in testing) to achieve better results from the testing activity
Duncan Nisbet
@alanpage is that a legacy thing? where testers used to be the only ones to do testing (that people could see)
Alan Page
@DuncNisbet I think it's an evolving thing. At one time, it made sense to have silos. Today, the development / testing / deployment / etc. activities are fluid
Alan Page
One thing I explain frequently internally is the value that a testing specialist brings to a team with no testers
Alan Page
A team with no testers - and not testing expertise IME, makes pretty crappy software that nobody likes to use
Alan Page
But a team with no testers, but with a test specialist (or more) who test and coach can make pretty great software
Alan Page
A lot of misunderstanding can come from just not knowing clearly the value of testing
Patrick Prill
@alanpage I think it's the label "tester" that is misunderstood and describes a very restricted view on what values a tester can actually bring to a project.
Alan Page
@TestPappy I agree. The label has - for better or for worse - a bit of a stigma. I have a blog post somewhere on titles...
Patrick Prill
@DuncNisbet currently it seems I'm awful at that. But I hope to improve.
Duncan Nisbet
@TestPappy aren't / don't we all :-)
Duncan Nisbet
@alanpage So understanding the testing evolution is behind the curve, so to speak?
Alan Page
Honestly, I think testers put a little bit of stigma on ourselves. We do need to be able to explain what we do, and what value it brings. And also understand when context says that what we /used to do/ isn't the right thing anymore.
Nithin Shenoy
Not just explain, but demonstrate. Demonstrate the value that your skills provide towards the team meeting their goals and deliverables.
Alan Page
Yes - if you can't explain it, demonstrate it.