My recent post on No Testing met my needs in that it helped start, and sustain, some interesting face to face conversations at Agile Testing Days 2014 in Potsdam, last week.
Of course, face to face, one can explore a subject and clarify confusions rather more easily than via online channels.
I Can’t Believe It’s Not Testing
Some folks have expressed some incredulity that there might exist strategies – other than “testing” – by which software teams might attend to folks’ needs. These needs including: a quality product, confidence in that quality, and so on. Many of the questions about my post seem to have stemmed from reading it through the lens of “there must be tests, and testing, therefore he must mean…”
So, for clarity, my original post suggests that, yes, we don’t necessarily need testing. Not that testing could be done by others, such as developers. Or at other times, such as before code is written, or even as it is being written. Rather, I suggest that folks’ needs can – in some cases – be met by e.g. more capable developers, more humane relationships, an Agile Path to Quality, and letting the team make the difference.
I guess this position is a little closer no “No testing” than some have guessed.
What Happens To The Testers?
Listening at Agile Testing Days, I heard a lot of folks – the majority, testers – expressing frustration, disappointment, etc. about their situations. Specifically, how they felt they could be contributing so much more to their teams and products, if only the opportunity was there.
It strikes me that there are so many “testers” willing and able to do so much more than just “testing”, yet find themselves pigeon-holed into a narrow definition of their role. A number of the conference presentations spoke to this theme, including my own and that of Antony Marcano (links to videos soon).
So, for clarity, I’d suggest that many testers would be fine in a No Testing shop or team, as it affords them opportunities for:
- more autonomy in attending to folks’ need
- more scope for mastering software development
- participating more fully in a broader range of team activities
- addressing the core purpose of their organisations, teams and products.