Testers and programmers are two groups of people who should get along, but often don’t. It’s a sad fact of life that testers (by virtue of what they do) often bring bad news. And programmers, by virtue of what they do, are the source of the defects that create the bad news. Rather than both accepting that this is a reality of life and working together, they allow the relationship to become acrimonious.
James Bach is no stranger to this problem, and his latest blog post is a blueprint for making that relationship more productive and professional. Titled A Tester’s Commitments, James starts by writing:
My job is to help you look good. My job is to support you as you create quality; to ease that burden instead of adding to it.
What follows are twelve commitments a tester should make to their programmers. They include things like:
- I provide a service. You are an important client of that service. I am not satisfied unless you are satisfied.
- I will learn the product quickly, and make use of that knowledge to test more cleverly.
- I will not carelessly waste your time. Or if I do, I will learn from that mistake.
But James is not in usual form unless he invites controversy, and that first bullet struck quite a chord with some of his readers. Testers provide a service!? Since when?