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.
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???
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