Talking to a Knowledge Tester

It takes two to three minutes to find out if you have Knowledge Tester in your team or not. Here are some conversations from my own experience:

“how’s the project going?”

“good, we shipped a build to client last week.”

“that’s great. What’s the client name?”

“umm…aaaa… I don’t remember exactly”

Well, this guy is definitely not a knowledgeable one. Need to put on a learning path


(photo from

“your project name is XYZ support, right?”

“no, it’s actually YXZ support”

“Oh Ok, so is this YXZ the company in US that works on yxz stuff”

“well, I’m not sure what YXZ stands for”

Better than the previous one, but still don’t know the domain much

“your project name is?”

“it is ABC support. ABC is a file format of our competitor’s product LMN and we want to export that data as one of our file formats and then import into our database”

“that’s great. Thanks”

See the difference and now imagine what levels this tester will go.

“so you are the only tester on the project?”

“no, there are 2 more, one in our East Europe team and other… ummm… perhaps in US”

“ok, what’s the name of colleague in East Europe?”

“it is … well, I don’t remember right now”

Seems like this tester is always sleepy on the status update calls and have no clue who the other tester is and what that tester is up to.

“how many defects are pending for the release?”

“I have 15 defects assigned to me and not sure how much is the total count”

“ok, thanks…”

See how narrow is the view window of this tester and chances are less that it will contribute for the team goals.

“who is your project’s product owner… John?”

“well, product owner is in fact Dave who is talking to the client. John is acting as Scrum Master to get the work done. And then we have Amy working from the Test Management side to look for release readiness”

So this tester is in picture of what’s going on in the project and who runs the show.

Did you have conversation with the tester in your team that sound similar? I’ll love to hear those.



12 responses to “Talking to a Knowledge Tester”

  1. HH says :

    Good post, it does say much about the lack of knowledge at the testers end. But at times a knowledge-less environment ends up making knowledge-less testers or even a knowledge-less team.


  2. SamreenM says :

    rightly put forth… n sometimes the environment and team structure keeps the tester in dark in terms of bigger picture and it takes a lot of time and extra effort to ‘extract’ info out of test managers, scrum masters, and leads.


  3. SamreenM says :

    as for me, I can relate to each and every conversation written in the post :$.

    Sinusoidal Tester


  4. RabiaA says :

    Nice Post!!!!Esp for Testers,,,
    A tester without knowledge is not a tester, a tester is one who should know the domain and other things related to project very well,,


  5. Ather Imran says :

    All good and valid scenarios. The only point I want to add is that in each of these cases, I would tend to blame the tester’s manager, Development manager or probably most importantly the Product manager as well. You cannot expect the individual contributors to know the big picture – but the executives and managers need to inculcate the value of it and provide it as well.



    • majd says :

      I have to agree Ather that it is the job of management to create a knowledge environment. You know it’s hard to ‘fix the Managers’, so I thought to let my folks get ready for more questions to extract information. You can either wait for the information to be ‘pushed’ from your high-ups or you can try to ‘pull’ that information.


      • Ather Imran says :

        I always liked the ‘Pull’ model better. It is more proactive and initiative-driven, and hence most effective. People tend to hear better when they ask something themselves rather than being passively informed or updated. The key is to inculcate in everyone the value of understanding the bigger picture and that is where the managers/executives role is. They need to prepare the platform.


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