In a previous blog post I spoke about me being incapable to defend testing and testers.. What stroke me when I wrote that blog post was a discussion I had with a prospect. This prospect clearly expressed that testers, if they would have been in the project, should have been paid much less than developers with same experience. For example a senior tester should not be paid the same as a senior developer, actually it should be half of the price paid for a senior developer.
What was even harder for me was that my colleagues somehow agreed. In those moments, shortly after the discussion with the prospect concentrated on other subjects, images of all testers from the firm flashed in front of my eyes. When I ran those images through my mind, there were a few dozen of testers, I realized that they also do not see testing as I see it. For me, testing is Context Driven Testing(via Rapid Software Testing(1), Black Box Software Testing(2)), for them it is more like Factory Style testing(3).
It’s time to speak/act about testing the proper way (and by testing I mean the testing envisioned by Jerry Weinberg, Cem Kaner, James Bach, Michael Bolton… – this line of direction). It’s becoming really embarrassing how such an important discipline is being trivialized in such a ugly/unprofessional/shameful/disgraceful manner in our industry.
The main issue here is not about “underselling”/”underrating”(4), these things are effects. It’s about under-appreciation of the craft of testing. Seriously, what expectation should that tester have about being appreciated when the tester sees himself/herself as a manual/automation tester or qa automation tester and so on? I saw in interviews that testers are asked about how they write a test case, if they know jira/redmine/…, and if they know waterfall/agile/.. methodologies. Seriously?! And we wonder why testing is badly seen? I saw testers who encourage these kind of interviews( well, despite the fact that they label themselves as testers, for me they are not). The sad part is that managers believe this nonsense and are paying for it and they will be fooled again that “test automation” can solve/replace everything. Actually, if a tester is defined by writing test cases, knowing jira/redmine and knowing some agile/waterfall, no wonder, all can say that their work can be automated or underrated.
Are testers to blame for this? For sure they should do more to defend their craft. It’s time for testers to know what professionalism in testing really is(5).
Also, it’s time for the Agile community to understand that testing, the real one, is very different: http://www.developsense.com/presentations/2017-09-TestingIsTestingAgileIsContext.pdf (careful, it’s a long document – not just a list of platitudes. It’s serious stuff . No fooling around.). After reading this document and thinking of that kind of tester and testing described there, for sure the words “underrated” and “underselling” will not popup in anyone’s head anymore in regards to testing and testers. They will say, probably, something like: “wow, what I saw till now regarding testing was a bad comedy” or “I lost money in a stupid way”.
I am a developer trying to make a sense of what real testing is. I was glad to see a public feedback about this topic from a Context Driven Tester, Klára Jánová. In part 2 of this post is her feedback regarding the subject discussed here.
(1) James Bach, Michael Bolton, “Rapid Software Testing”, https://rapid-software-testing.com/
(2) Cem Kaner, “Black Box Software Testing course”, http://www.testingeducation.org/BBST/
(3) James Bach, Michael Bolton, “RST Appendices”, http://www.satisfice.com/rst-appendices.pdf (pages 3 to 7)
(4) Claire Goss, “Testers – Is it our own fault we are Underrated?!” http://www.exactest.ie/blog-testers-underrated.html
(5) Robert C. Martin, “Sapient Testing: The “Professionalism” meme”, https://sites.google.com/site/unclebobconsultingllc/home/articles/sapient-testing-the-professionalism-meme