Recently I attended the Eurostar Testing Conference in Manchester and came away with some mixed messages and thoughts about the content of the conference. Some of the presentations and tracks were really good whilst others appeared to repeat the same old information. I hope to write a few blog articles on some of the positive messages I got from the conference along with lots of ideas I have with regards to social science and how it can be used within testing, these may have to wait until after the holiday period.
The reason for writing this blog post is due to the, what appeared to be a negative, message coming from some of the key note presentations, this is my opinion and how I understood the messages in the context of my views on testing and testers. The one point I wish to raise (and maybe rant) is one of the messages that James Whittaker made.
“at Google ‘Tester’ has disappeared from people’s job titles. People who were ‘testers’ are now ‘developers’ and are expected to code regularly”
Now my thoughts on this may be taking the point James was making out of context however I am not sure in what other context this could be made.
James during the presentation made the point that testers should be part of the team and not get bogged down in who has what role and I whole hearty agree with that.
However from a social and status perspective people need to be able to identify with a title and there has been a lot of talk within the development community about removing titles especially the title of tester. Take the following scenario:
You go out on a social evening with a group of friends and their partners would you work with a project manager, a developer, a business analyst and a tester, As the evening proceeds each person is asked by a non-team member what they do at work.
The developer could reply: I write code and create applications
The tester could reply that they test to ensure the system works
The project manager could reply that they make sure everyone knows what target they have to meet
The Business analyst could say they provide information on what the customers who will use the application need
Each person answering this question I would say would be proud of their job title and what they do.
So my take on making a statement in which we say get rid of the of the title of tester and call everyone a developer is a little insulting and makes me personally feel unappreciated and unvalued. I feel I have been working as a tester for a long period of time now and whilst I can understand that within a team people can have a variety of roles and responsibilities why should I have to give up something that I feel passionate about? I wonder what would be said if at a developers conference everyone is now going to be called a business analyst since we all provide something that the customer wants.
Why does everyone have to be a developer within a project? My concern is why has the word ‘tester’ become such a dirty word? It is if we should be ashamed of what we are and what our title is.
I AM A TESTER AND PROUD OF IT!