Why do some Software Testers never analyze the product extensively or use different techniques/heuristics?



  • I am a black-box tester myself. I take my job seriously and try to find new ways to improve my test design experience. I have seen some of the Software Testers in my company take their job very lightly. For them, its just simple black box/manual testing. They write beautiful test cases and mark them Pass/Fail and then they can justify the Management that they have done something, even though they don't bother to go little deep inside the AUT.

    They get very happy on find low priority cosmetic issues like a "comma" is missing in the text sentence, even if serious financial transaction failure issues exists around the corner.

    I asked one of those testers and he said that what's the use of trying different creative thinking techniques or heuristics to guide their test design. He seemed non-interested in any conversation related to analysis and test strategy. I think he is not using his full potential to perform his job as a tester.

    He said that he just compares the product to the spec and never tries to find more interesting information that can be found outside the specification. Eventually, he doesn't find much problems in the application and then the customers reports serious production issues which cause loss of money, time and reputation.

    What do you think is missing in those testers? Do they lack the skills of analysis and creativity. Is thinking deep about test ideas a waste of time, if it doesn't matter much to the stakeholders.

    Do testers really need to think about a problems from many different angles, even if its testing a simple Text-box that accepts alphanumeric characters.

    What would you suggest to them? What kinds of activities, resources, courses, videos, tweets feeds, blog posts would you suggest to trigger in tester the spike to be professional and look for what is important for a project?



  • Why? In some ways the answer is quite simple:

    Different testers have different backgrounds, experiences and motivations

    To dig into this more however, here are the areas to address in light of that with the goal of improving things - probably the main goal of the OP asking this question and other readers of the question.

    Education

    If folks do not have the broader viewpoint that you show, they should be provided with the opportunity to gain education, experience and the viewpoint of customers of the product. You want folks to understand why customers are choosing (or not) this companies product and what value it provides to them in their lives.

    Leadership

    The organization needs to do a better job of engaging employees and getting them to understand the mission and the value of the customer viewpoint. Folks need to be able to view themselves as helping customers not just 'running tests'.

    Compensation

    More specifically compensation that is comparable to developers to avoid the second class citizen issue. It's hard to motive testers when they see developers earning two or three times as much

    Making a difference

    Folks want to make a difference. If they spot things outside of scope but important they will quickly learn whether that is appreciated and value or dismissed as 'not their job'. Over time testers can become jaded or enthusistic depending on what happens when they speak out.

    Involvement throughout

    If testers are only involved right at the end they will not be as dedicated as if they were involved throughout the investigations, design and coding. Similarly, if testers meet with and spend time getting to know users and their underlying needs they will think more about them and the bigger picture when testing



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