Software Tester: First Steps

Our opinion regarding the effectiveness of software development principles can be varied but there can never be a second thought about quality. Regardless of the approach, you have chosen, the software you deliver should be accurate. So, who’s in charge of quality?

Experience shows that the essential part of delivering a reliable product is having an effective testing team. But the question here is how testers can assure quality if developers write the code??

Before we address the above-mentioned question, I would like to speak about another controversial issue: the difference between Testing and Quality assurance. Nowadays in many job portals, we see job postings like “Hiring QA Engineer” and “Hiring Testers”. There are a number of questions people ask themselves: “What is Testing?”, “Who is a Software Testing Engineer?”, “What do Testers do?” and finally, “Is there a difference between QA Engineer and Software Testing Engineer?”

Starting from the last question, I would like to state that there is no QA Engineering in software development.
Many people have tried to define what is testing but for me, James Bach and Michael Bolton gave the best description, defining testing as:

Testing is a process of evaluating a product by learning about it through exploration and examination, which includes some degree; questioning, study, modeling, observation, inference etc…

Now that we have clarified what’s the right term to use, I would like to go back and discuss how testers can assure quality if developers write the code?
Testers test the product and report about its quality, but testers do not assure quality. I will have another post covering the topic of the responsibilities of each member within the team.

The importance here is to understand that as a tester, you’re a provider of information, not a process enforcer. If you’re a tester in the development team, you’re the one, who should help the development team and make sure that the steps you undertake do not ruin the authority of Managers, Product Owners and of course yours. Product Owner is the final decision maker about the products, but that decision should be based on Tester’s reports about blocking issues and risks that can occur. Tester guides the quality level of the product by constantly monitoring changes, but the product owner is responsible for enforcing quality. Quality guidelines and constant reports help product owner to plan future improvements and prioritization.

To work more effectively, testers should diversify their skills and tactics, as Karl Weick says, “If you want to understand something complicated, you have to complicate yourself.”

If you are just starting your career in the field of Software Testing, never give up learning, keep on testing and think outside the box!

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