Testing Wars (Episode V): The Software Tester Strikes Back

If I believed every “Testing is Dead”, “The Tester is Dead”, “No More Testers Required” headline I’ve read in the last 12 months, I’d be dummer than a Donald Trump supporter!!! I was alive and working fervently as a Software Developer at the advent of the Tester and so I remember why this discipline came to be in the first place. We were working on ever increasingly complex IT solutions and we were trying to be all things to all men. We, as Developers, had already morphed into Analyst/Programmers and now we were morphing into Quality Assurance and Quality Control professionals. In fact, I morphed from a Developer into a Tester myself….

I don’t remember the exact day that the Software Tester came into being, but I am damn sure I won’t see the day the Software Tester died. Software is becoming more invasive in our lives every day, so to think that the risk and/or quality aspects of its production are going to decrease beggars belief. Yes, we are going through changes in the way software is delivered (this will always be the case) but the fundamentals of how this is achieved (via scientifically-based endeavours) means that the rigour through which it must be subjected will continue for the foreseeable future. I say foreseeable future because I don’t have a crystal ball.

The majority of (Tester is Dead) propaganda (and that’s what it is, dear reader) is being spread by those with agendas, supported by a significant amount of self-interest. We already have significant challenges attracting brilliant minds into our magical world of software testing, without naysayers putting extra bumps in the road and creating unwanted dead-ends.

Software Testing is an essential endeavour in our world today and will increase in importance until we improve our critical thinking skills and learn how to build software that is truly self-correcting. I have written several times over the years about the work that needs to be done so that software can fix itself, but I do not see this coming to fruition, on a commercial level, within the next 10 years. So, until that day comes, we (Software Testers) will not being going the way of the chimney sweep or the Telex operator anytime soon.

The Software Tester is ALIVE and KICKING (arse); remember, you read it here first!!

Dateline: Melbourne, Wednesday November 30 2016

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One thought on “Testing Wars (Episode V): The Software Tester Strikes Back

  1. Yeah, every time I read that i just go: “Another deluded soul that has no clue what testing really is”

    There is something that does actually seem to be dying out and that is non testers selling themselves as such. Our industry is so much in demand that we have legions of people I’d barely qualify as testers being sold as such (I wouldn’t have a problem with that if they weren’t being sold/selling themselves as experts instead of “grads”). These people do not portray critical thinking over and above what we’ve seen in the 70-90ies.

    The demands on testers these days are immense and they are really quite special. You need to be able to deal to not only critical thinking but be versed in all kinds of technologies and processes. Increasingly I see managers and non testers questioning, why their “testers” can’t keep up. Yes, those are the ones in danger of dying although demand still far outstrips supply and it still hasn’t really percolated through all layers, that -yes- you are probably better off with no tester than a bad tester. At least with no tester you are not comforted by a false hope that you’re actually doing some form of QA.

    So in summary all those “Testing is dead”, “Testers are a thing of the past”,… basically just pivot on an abysmal definition of what testing is and a tester does. So in a sense -yes- they are correct but in a way that nobody is really selling them.

    And just to preempt agilistas and CI/CD fanatics, no, the testing role is not dead or anything like that. Even if you delete the name from the role roster! There will eventually still be a person doing that and just running some automated stuff in your build doesn’t prove a whole lot (don’t get me wrong, it is still vital and should be done but don’t confuse that with “testing”).

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