Testing is still alive and always will be

As usual, the swing against testers has gone way too far (again). More technically competent, sure – but advertising for testers, focusing on programming ability alone will get you another developer. And maybe someone who neither a good tester or good developer.

I am quoting myself from a linkedin update, but what the hell – after 17 years in QA, I think my views must be valid enough to quote.  I find it frankly tedious the swings between valuing, then devaluing, testing.  Even more annoying is this time around, people are confusing the task with the role.  And the role has changed for sure, for the better – unfortunately most have seen it as a chance to cry “testing is dead”, with accompanying subtext of “tester is dead”.  Again.  The day software testing is dead, is the day that testing has it’s name changed to something else that means the same.  The idea of any engineering being completed without testing is utter horseshit.  And spoke either by developers with a arrogant sense of self-worth, and sideline pundits looking to make a make by being “controversial”.  I call it being a sad desperate prat.

Whilst testing is always under the spotlight when project trimming is under discussion, what is never discussed is the wealth of crap developers out there.  When a project goes wrong, the assumption is always it must be problem outside of development.  That is only examined later, usually when too late.  Testing has always been an underdog on a project, and part of the reason I like it – battling ” we don’t like outsiders” mentality is a pleasure, and defending testing’s place also.  As such, it is also an easy scapegoat, especially for bad developers or managers, covering their backs.  Oh yes, don’t fall for the flowery language of Agile, as unfortunately the averahe compnay culture doesn’t allow for such “enabling” or “transparency” or “trusting self-organizing teams”.  Don’t get me wrong, Agile principles are good stuff – almost a no-brainer.  But Agile was supposed to apply to more than “the team” and process of development, it was a new way of working.  I don’t think that was clear enough in Agile world, but maybe simply assumed rather than specified. According to many at the time, Agile manitesto didn’t reference testers – no, but it was designed to be a high level manifesto, and what is mentioned is “quality”.

The “testing is dead” mantras don’t bother me, because those same people will eventually fall flat on their metaphorical behinds.  As I have seen many times over the years. So don’t worry, testing is still alive – and always will be