To Protect and Serve

Protect and serve If you’d need to choose a motto for the testing profession and all the testers worldwide, regardless of the company they work in or applications they test, what would it be?

For me, the choice would be –

To Protect and Serve


And not because we are “testing policemen” patrolling the “functional streets” of our AUTs (Applications Under Test, for the non-testers among us) looking for “criminal bugs” and placing them in “bug-tracking-jail” like petty thieves – although the mental picture is kind of funny 🙂

But because our responsibility as part of our team and organization is to serve our internal and external customers (e.g. the external end-users; and also the internal developers, product managers, executives, etc) and to protect them from making the wrong decisions about the product we are developing and the process used to develop it.


Protecting Who and From What Exactly…?

Boiling it to the minimum, I believe that as testers we are here to:

(1) Make sure that our teams are developing the right product – with the right features, answering the real needs of our users, without any unwanted issues, etc.

And at the same time:

(2) That our teams are developing the product right – following the process we decided to follow, without wasting unnecessary time, working in a socially and economically efficient way, etc.

We are here to provide visibility into the product and the process, to reduce the time to market uncertainty and to answer the $25,000 question or whether we are ready to release or not – in the past I’ve called this QA Intelligence.

And if all this wasn’t enough, in many organizations we are also been asked to lead the task of performing Risk Analysis and Management throughout the end-to-end development lifecycle.


Risk Analysis?

Simply put, as a tester you should make sure that if there are any risks that may affect the project from been completed on scope, on time and on budget, then these risks need to be identified, tracked, if possible avoided, and if not then they should be handled correctly.

I will write more about risk management in the context of QA & testing in a future post.  But for now I want to add it as another one of the tasks we are doing in order to protect and serve our customers.


Bottom Line… Are We Policemen?

It is true there used to be a stigma of seeing the tester as the bug-policeman some 10 to 15 years ago, and I believe there are some development teams where this might still be the case (let’s call these guys cave-men-developers, since they seem to be still leaving in the stone-age of software development).

But Reality seems to evolve, and so in today’s development practices, and as we become better professional testers and QA specialist, more and more of the actual tests and bug detection activities are carried on by developers and others members of our organizations.

And we as testers are taking on a different responsibility of guiding and steering the process in the right direction.  In many advanced of cases we are serving as (Military) Intelligence Officers to our Organizations, helping to make the most complex and challenging strategic and tactical decisions.

What do you think?

What motto would you choose for us testers, and why???


About PractiTest

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7 Responses to To Protect and Serve

  1. Igal Altshuler November 13, 2012 at 7:14 am #

    Verify perfect product delivery

  2. joelmonte November 13, 2012 at 10:37 am #

    Hi Igal,

    Thanks for the motto, but can you explain why? Even if it sounds trivial to you I am sure that your explanation will bring insights into your personal meaning of this phrase.

    Personally I have a problem with the word “perfect”. Mostly because unless you are working for some comparative small number of industries (healthcare, aerospace, etc) releasing a perfect product is actually against their economic goals.

    To understand this simply think that the difference between a “good enough” product and “perfect” product is usually achieved by investing 5 to 10 times more resources as part of the development process.

    What do you think?

  3. joelmonte November 14, 2012 at 2:23 pm #

    Hi Venkat,

    I agree that we don’t have the powers of Policemen, this is why I think that trying to approach our jobs this way is a waste of time and will eventually become a frustrating experience to all the parties involved.

    Regarding being “informers” I think we do more than just provide raw information. Our task is also to process this information, to look for the threads linking the isolated testing clues, and finally to paint a picture (even if incomplete and sometimes risky) of the product and the process to our stakeholder.

    I also don’t think that our positions are that much apart…

    Still, I want to ask you, if you had to choose a Motto for Testers worldwide, what would it be?

  4. Shirley November 16, 2012 at 3:09 pm #

    “To infinity and beyond” because there is always somewhere new your journey can take you when you look at the testing roles – manual, automation, cloud, performance, etc, etc, etc – testing is only limited by the ability of the tester to think of new ways to test 🙂

  5. joelmonte November 18, 2012 at 8:26 am #

    Nothing like a Pixar quote – Go Buzz GOOOO!!

    Amen also on the understanding that testing is ONLY limited by the ability of the testers, although I would amend your ending to “to think of new ways to test and create more value with the information gathered by his testing”


  6. Farooq November 25, 2012 at 1:23 pm #

    Think like end users!

    Understand the end users and test AUT with passion.


  1. Of Testers & Soldiers… | QA Intelligence - a QABlog - January 21, 2013

    […] believe he was referring to the following quote from my post “To Protect and Serve“: “… In many cases we are serving as (Military) Intelligence Officers to our […]

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