Who’s testing in your team?

There’s no denying it. Testing is awesome and the most fun and amazing part of any product development!

Strangely enough, I have found that most people look at me weird when I exclaim something like this. I don’t know why…

I’ve often been the first tester in a project. A very common first reaction from colleagues is that test is not performed at all in their team, but I don’t believe that’s the case. Just because your team doesn’t have a dedicated tester it doesn’t mean you don’t test! Where there are professionals, there is a lot of quality work being done. Some of it is just second nature to all of you. Let me list some examples!

For many tasks, test data is required from the get-go. Oftentimes the developers fix this without regarding it as a test activity. 

Code review is increasingly becoming a standard practice. Code reviews have so many benefits it’s hard to count. One of them is that they increase quality, and thus this is a test activity.

Before release, the new deliverable is shown to the customer. This acceptance test is a test activity.

At the start of a project, it’s unlikely that we will have all the requirements in place.  Refining requirements to match new findings is a – you guessed it – test activity. 

I believe we all have experienced UX flows that didn’t quite communicate the intended message. Tweaking the UX flow as we go is a test activity.

Development environments usually don’t look and feel the same way as a production environment. Making sure that what works on my machine also works on your machine, is a test activity.

There you have it – a small selection of quality work that is already in place in many ongoing projects.

I’m trying to make the case that everyone in a team performs test activities. However, everyone needs to feel confident that what they’re doing is the right thing… that their quality work has quality. There is always room for increasing your confidence in the product, and that’s where a dedicated tester excels. 

So tell me – who’s testing in your team?

This Post Has 3 Comments

  1. Cindy

    Thank you for a great reminder that so much of what a team does is testing. It’s not just automating scripts or coding unit tests. It’s often more about the non code activities and sharing the information or getting everyone onto the same page or exposing the misconceptions where the most is discovered. It’s all those interactions that are testing activities and everyone on a team has a responsibility to think about what is happening and how it measures up to what was or is expected to be happening. Maybe just like there’s no ‘I’ in team, there’s a ‘te’ for testing:)

    1. Emma Lilliestam

      I’m totally gonna steal that the “te” in team is for testing :D

  2. Lars

    When I read “Making sure that….” my first thought was yeah, basically any activity where you “make sure” includes checking or verification of some sort or another.

    And Cindy, when it comes to team members’ responsibility to think of quailty and the big picture, I’d like to add that managers also need to allow and encourage that, and not just go “that’s the testers’ job! Why haven’t you started on the next feature?” I’ve seen good and bad…

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