Very basic roles of a testing team



  • I'm the lead developer in a team of 10 devs of varying skill / experience. The majority of the work that we do is in-house but the projects are getting increasingly complicated and the business is becoming more and more reliant on them to save money. We've decided to set up a small 3 person testing team to perform manual / interactive testing. One of the testers is male and is extremely good at structured testing. He will look at an application, write a test plan and then work through it rigidly every time a new version is released. This approach works really well for us; he can quickly spot bugs and things that have changed, document them and explain them to whoever is developing that application. He's asked me to show him how to use the Selenium add-on in Firefox to quickly run a batch of tests. I personally think that testing this way is the only way but am open to having my mind changed. The other two testers are female. The male tester has tried to explain this approach to them but they are adamant that it won't work for them. I want to try and be as flexible as possible over this. Do male and female testers approach their work in different ways? How can I engage and teach my female colleagues the benefits of a structured approach to testing?



  • You may want to take a look at a blog I recently wrote the role of the tester in a team: http://www.softwaretestingclub.com/profiles/blogs/a-conspiracy-of-quality The primary role of a tester is identify risk (e.g. bugs) as early as possible in the application lifecycle and communicate that risk as early as possible. That means that communication (team meetings, emails, written bug reports) is critical to the testers role. You may want to consider having the testers explore different roles, with the male tester acting as the "army" (e.g. test planning, automation) and the female testers acting as the "scouts" (e.g. exploratory, session-based testing focusing on identified risk areas). That combination can work well as long as everyone keeps up the communication and you don't grade testers based on bug counts, but instead how they work with the overall team. Here is another blog I wrote on training a tester to perform structured, exploratory session-based testing that may help: http://www.softwaretestingclub.com/profiles/blogs/applying-the-lessons-of-rapid-testing-intensive I hope that helps!


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