January 11, 2009

More Differences Between Developers And Testers

Arik at Testuff writes the following about Ido Schacham (SQAForums member idosius). To me, this is a terrific explanation of some of the differences between testers and developers:
 "During development, there is always the dilemma of whether to let developers test the product or to hire testers to do the job. I always believed that it was better to hire a tester, but if you needed some more testers, you could use developers to temporarily extent the testing team. I thought that testing was an easier job then was programming, and it made sense to me that if the developer has some free time on his hands, the company can use him as a tester as well.

After a few months with Ido I realized that I was way off. Asking a developer do a tester’s job is like asking a hen to fly – he can do it, but usually rather badly. Developers have a particular state of mind that helps them write new code, solve problems in old code and improvise solutions when the direct approach doesn’t seem to work. They subconsciously trod lightly when using the software and cautiously walk around problematic areas and places they know might now work correctly. A tester’s state of mind is altogether different – he’s always looking for new and exciting ways to bring the program to its knees and is constantly on the lookout for the smallest inconsistencies, controls that are off by even one pixel and ways the application can be improved. I’ve never thought of it this way until I had a chance to work alongside a world-class tester."

I think that this is very well stated.

At SQAForums, I disagreed with much of what Ido wrote about Testuff's features, cutesy icons, fonts, and the use of video recordings as bug reports.

But if this change of attitude came about due to Ido, then he performed his job at Testuff well.