Monday, 22 September 2008

Don't be a Negative Tester

I was reading a blog post about the concept of a Net Negative Producing Programmer or NNPP

A NNPP is a programmer who

"inserts enough spoilage to exceed the value of their production"

It made me wonder if there were NNPT's, Net Negative Producing Testers, and then I read a discussion on the Software Testing Club site about low quality bug reports with the great title of

If I were a developer...... I'd hate you too

Having been on the wrong end of such bug reports when I was a developer I knew just what he meant - and then I thought about the amount of time wasted trying to find out what the bug was and how to reproduce it

It wasn't only poor bug reports that wasted time. The majority of the bug reports were low-hanging fruit ones, easy to find ( and fix ) but trivial in nature - tabbing order, buttons misaligned etc. There was no bug triage in place to sort them into priority order so it meant either reading through the entire bug list to find the severe ones - or most commonly just starting with the first on the list and working through it

The result - lots of time spent fixing minor bugs and the customer finding the severe ones.
This then led to management wondering what the point of testing was if they were unable to find the bugs that mattered - why not send it straight out to the customers ?

Make sure the developers hate you for the right reasons and make sure your efforts are helping the project, not hindering it

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