Thursday, May 17, 2012

Developer Tester Relationship - make love not war!

Developer Tester Relationship

So its not dev against test. These roles might have different bosses, different organization, different job functions but that does not mean its war. In reality is it the opposite, dev and test are basically like two pea's in a pod... you are married to each other... you are in a relationship. And depending on your relationship... life can either be awesome or suck!

Dev's and Test must work together, especially if they want to ship high quality work quickly!

Just like there are expectations, guidelines to marriage, dating. There are things that all testers and developers can do to make the relationship solid... and last forever :) ahhh...

I will break it down into Rules and Suggestions on how to be good to each other :)



1. Tester supports their developer and the developer supports their tester.

(thats it for rules)


Suggestions on how to Support each other:

  • During specification phase, or early coding phase, ask the developer how you will be able to test this feature? Are there hooks? Are there logs? What kind of information do you want in the logs. And ask them to put in these features.
  • When getting bugs with no information on what the fix was - ask the developer, the scope of the change, what the developer thinks could be affected, what is high risk, what you should focus on? Ask the developer to include this info in the bug, or you can do this.
  • Don't be shy! I know especially if you are new, you might be shy or afraid to interrupt the developer. BUT, if there is something you need to know, because you can not do your work, it is your responsibility to go to the developer (through email/in person/IM) and ask the questions you need to be answered. If the developer gives you attitude, then tell him, to fuck off (no just joking)... tell him that you are blocked. Remember if you can not do your job, it is up to you to fix it. (no excuses... because they are just excuses)
  • Ask the developer the preferred way of communications is (email/IM/in person/scheduled meetings)? You can't always just talk through bugs. If that is the only way you are talking with your developer(is through a bug database), then your relationship with them sucks! And you have no idea what is happening with the product. You need to start doing the other things mentioned above!

  • Figure out how technical your testers are.
    • If they are technical, help them configure a dev box, so they can do white box testing, enable them to be able to debug the problems, or simply trace through the code. The more details they know about the product, that faster they can test, you will not hear any more "we have to test everything" comment. The tester will be able to reduce the test cases considerably if they understand what changed.
    • If they are not technical. Make sure you are very verbose in your logging! Write simple tools to make the entry point to your feature easier.
  • Explain to them how the infrastructure works. The better the understanding of the product, the better the tester. Draw a diagram for them if one does not exist. Then they can reference it!
  • Enter information in the bug when you assign it back to the tester to verify. Valuable information is, was this a hacky fix? what to focus on? what integration points they should worry about? talk about high level what the fix was.
  • Invite the tester when you are having discussion with your program manager. (this is very important). You can tell the tester before the meeting "this meeting is not to test break, but brainstorm" (just to get the tester out of breaking mentality and into finding solutions).
  • Tell your tester your preferred way of communication. Are you ok with them just dropping by to ask questions? Do you prefer meeting everyday at a specific time to go over any questions?
  • If you have a new tester, reach out to them. Alot of testers are easily intimidated by developers. Yes, adults get shy! Be the bigger guy and start the communication by introducing yourself, and offer to help them ramp up on your features.

Ok this is all i can think of right now! Will expand when i think of other things! :)

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