Software testers ‘need to own their power’
Software testers, once seen as being below developers in the software hierarchy, are crucial in every stage of the software development life cycle, and need to be more assertive throughout the development process. This emerged during an Institute of Information Technology Professionals South Africa (IITPSA) special interest group in software testing (SIGiST) webinar, entitled: Why are we testing?
Akshaye Fotedar, Test Lead and Agile QA Coach, said in the waterfall development era, testers had come in at the end of the process. This, said webinar participants, could have resulted in their being less valued than developers and meant they often came into the process too late to course correct.
However, with agile now mainstream, testers are crucial throughout the software development process, and should be more assertive, said Fotedar. “We are like software detectives – looking for bugs and for anything that doesn’t feel right so that we can ensure that the team is able to deliver quality products that add value and quality to someone else’s life. Good testers need passion, drive and the attitude of an explorer. We aren’t there to break the software.”
In order to champion quality as a tester in an agile team, he said testers needed to strengthen their verbal and written communication skills. “One skill we need to acquire as custodians of quality is to be able to coach the team on quality; to be both a coach and a leader within the team. In an agile environment, we should be able to drive change rapidly, at any point in time.” However, testers had to change the narrative they sold to themselves and everyone else, he said, and start speaking up more.