“Can you develop the product in which you are finding bugs? “, “It’s OK that you are finding mistakes, but can you fix it yourself?” – There is list of such questions, which I have heard throughout my career, often derogatory, from professionals (at times friends) who happen to be developers. The very idea of finding a bug in some one else’s developed code in itself, puts a tester in a very awkward situation. But as they say, for every job there is a person, and for this job, that person happens to be a tester.
I do not completely blame developers for this. Testers often contribute themselves to this feeling against them. Many a times, they fail to understand that they are finding a bug in the product they are testing and not fault in the person who is developing it. Quite often, under the pressure of deadlines, the managers will contribute to this hard feeling against testers. They think that developers are people who are in favour of shipment of the product in time and working hard for that and testers are the people whose intention is not to get the product shipped by finding more and more faults, and they hardly work!
I am sure, that some time or the other, we all have faced such a situation. We often ask – “Why the hell all people seem to be against testers?”. We can not change the world. But when we start taking corrective actions on our part, we can make the situation a little better, and soon others might follow as well.
I think we should all start by respecting our profession. Testing is not a non-technical job. It requires a lot to learn and with various domains of testing into picture, there’s lot to explore. When someone asks you, “Can you develop the product in which you are finding bugs?”, be polite, look straight into his eyes and say, “It’s not my task to develop products, but I have seen better products. My task is to test it, to make sure that when it is shipped, it’s much better product than it is now.” What kills a tester is his inferiority complex about his job. He should get out of this feeling, and start doing what he is being paid for – finding bugs. No organization, despite its not-so-helpful developers or mangers, will like to have a no-bug-detecting-tester in it.
Abraham Lincoln has correctly stated, “He has a right to criticize, who has a heart to help.” By design, testers are critics. By virtue they should be helpers. We should find bugs in the products, and then do our best to help the developers to get them fixed. For developers, I found another beautiful quote – “To avoid criticism, do nothing, say nothing, and be nothing.”. So, if a tester has a found a bug, treat it as if a friend has pointed out something wrong, which you can correct, before the world knows it. I always wish an IT world where developers and testers share a healthy relationship, which they surely are entitled for.
I hope, we all get the point. It’s not that I am perfect in terms of practicing what I say. This is that tester inside me who dreams and writes, and there’s another silly tester inside me, who does mistakes and tries to learn from the former. So, I am very much a part of the race of being a good tester.