The mindset of a tester

The mindset of a tester

The mindset of a software tester is unique.  The tester is the only  participant in the software development lifecycle that behaves like a pessimist.  The tester’s approach when testing software is the assumption that the product is flawed and it is their duty to shine a light on these flaws.

The developer is an optimist.  The developer assumes  that their solution is the right one based on their  understanding of the problem.

The fundamental difference between these two stances can lead to confrontations between the tester and the developer. As a tester, we look for the flaws in the programmer’s code.  The programmer is certain that their code is correct.  Both sides are often right and wrong at the same time.

It is our job as testers to work with the developers to understand the issues we find without making it seem like we are making a personal attack on the developers themselves. Our mission is to help the developer to understand that we are there to help make a better product—to find the ‘evil’ in the product, and deliver it to the gallant knights of coding to slay.

A word should be said about Requirements Analysis. Oftentimes it is a misinterpretation of the requirements that causes issues.  I have often come across situations where I understood the requirements one way and the developers understood them another way.  In such a situation, herein enters  the business analyst, who corrects any misunderstandings and promotes harmony between both camps.

Something that few people may realize is that a tester never  stops testing.  When looking at requirements we are looking for flaws.  It’s in our nature.  We cannot help ourselves. It is simply what we do every single day.  Some professionals label us with terms such as “anal.”  Others call us “geeks with OCD.”  In a very real sense, albeit without the slang-laden “street terminology,” this is all true. We are extremely precise. We have to be, in order to do our job correctly.

I hope to bring understanding to non-testers and testers alike in this blog — namely what we do for the greater good of products and for the company  itself as a whole.  We are not simple-minded button pushers — as I have overheard it said of testers too many times.  Nor are we clueless idiots who do not understand coding — again, something I have heard more than once in my career.

I look forward to building a community of software testers here that will join me in sharing knowledge and advice as we continue to challenge ourselves to attain greater heights of accomplishment in this challenging  career.