IT mythbusters: 5 Common Myths About QA And Testers

Igor Dąbrowski

You don’t only test with your brain, you test with your heart also. “I’m spending my days understanding what people need and making it possible”

A user with knowledge of an expert, expert with user skill, possessor of the enormous bundle of knowledge and logical thinking. He feels the breath of bugs hiding in the furthest parts of the application… Who is he? He is a tester. 

For the unknown reason, the work of tester always had an atmosphere of mystic around it. It has been said that the work is boring. Or too easy. Or even not necessary in all! But we are here to bust all the most popular myths about the work of software tester.

Any similarities to actual persons or places, alive or dead, real or fictitious are NOT merely coincidental, because myth-busting is done by the expert and really passionate tester – Maciej Stanisz. He knows for sure how it works.

Ok then, what tester does? Tests? Right. But not only. This is the person who gives information about a product and possible solutions to make a product intuitive and fast working. He is solving problems by understanding what is wrong and what is right.

Let’s look at myths connected with this mysterious profession and decide if a tester is an irreplaceable team member. 

Myth no. 1: We can cope without testers

(Development field may exist without testers, but not without testing.)

Every product has to be checked: it is the only thing to make us sure of good quality: even if the work is done by the best experts.

Somebody must do testing as a function. The person who understands how all processes work and the one who is experienced and skilled enough to literally evaluate and ensure the quality of a product.”

And this begs the suspicious question now. If we need testers because of the non-qualitative work of developers? Why developers could not write without defects?

It is mandatory (!!!) to test code to have a really high-quality one. The programmer concentrates on an enormous amount of details while coding and he could sometimes just not notice some imperceptible things, so it is important to have a look from common human-user sight. The second person is necessary to find things that are not obvious.

While a person is coding he has absolutely another perspective and could just not notice some things.

Every product, even a good one, needs another perspective.

Myth no. 2: Tester is the programmer who didn’t make it

Ok. If testing could do every person who understands how programs work, every programmer is able to test? After all, programmers could develop and test, and testers- only test? It means that testers are people who just didn’t make it to become a real programmer? So many questions! But we have an answer.

“You don’t have to be a car mechanic to be a car tester, but every knowledge about car systems will help – the same is with tester’s work. You have to understand both sides: technical one and a side of clients’ expectations with a consequences of design’’

The best tester is a generalist. Tester doesn’t have to be an all-knowing person, but a one who understands how the web browser works, to have knowledge about cmm, css, something about code, app, and fully understanding of language he is writing in.

More knowledges are giving more opportunities. “The more you know- the more you see” It is not a philosophy quote – it is just testers real life. Then, the more you see, the more problems you can catch and predict.

What is more, programmer could be nice at calculations but don’t understand things from the point of view of user and conversely.

Myth no.3: testers are working with ready products

It is one of the most popular myths about testers: they are testing ready products and finding bugs in there.

“Testing is a multistep process: if tester is involved from the start of a project, he has an opportunity to learn more, understand clients’ needs deeper and as a result – to make an app more intuitive’’

It is not necessary for a tester to take part in the project from the beginning. But it is a great opportunity to make work even more fascinating, to deepen understanding of a product and the needs of the client, which is the most important thing.

Doubtless, it is possible to test at the end of the process. In the case of checking the ready program, it is hard to feel the motivation and all the needs of the client. The purpose of testing is not just checking if buttons are working correctly but understanding the value for client problems and to find the best solution for it. And sometimes it develops that testing, in the end, is a possible way, but a waste of time of developers.

“And what about project manager?” – you may ask. Of course, project manager could bring the client’ message and idea, but often it looks like a telephone game (Chinese whispers). You need to be close to the sources to understand what values.

Myth no. 4. Tester is the person nobody likes because he crashes developers’ work

Fight between developers and testers, vicious look and red angry faces. “It works on my machine! It’s not a bug, it’s a feature!” Is it a real-life situation and a part of an everyday routine of testers?

“I have never seen such catastrophic situations. Maybe, when it is huge developers and testers team and they are sitting in different rooms and never communicate with each other, besides bug reports. But in a small team with close relations, it works in a right and humane way, where everyone does his job professionally and maintains a friendly atmosphere.”

There are so many situations which have an influence on relations in a team, but it is really important to have a friendly, humane and friendly atmosphere at work.

Myth no. 5. Boring job

What could people say about testers? Hmm. They are sitting and looking for bugs in an application. Boring? Not at all.

“Profession of the tester is one of the most exciting jobs in the software development field.’’

If you are involved in this brilliant process from the beginning of the project, you have the freedom to gain new knowledge and communicate with people. Only wrong work approach could make work of software tester boring.

“I’m spending my days understanding what people need and making their dreams and needs meet up and come true” – said Pudel one day. How could it be boring then?

Thanks to our tester – Maciej Stanisz, myths about testers are absolutely busted. Be afraid, next myths. We are coming.

You don’t only test with your brain – you test with your heart also.

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