The #1 mistake Testers should avoid
In our lives, we listen to the people we trust. If we are suggested ways to improve our lives by a passerby stranger, we never pay attention. We only heed to the advice of our trust worthy resources: our family members, dearly friends, mentors, subject matter experts etc.
Now as testers, we suggest ways to improve the software. These could be as little as reporting bugs that expose potential vulnerabilities or those can be as big as introducing a new process in our Development practices. The ones listening to us will only listen to us if they trust us and respect our opinion.
That’s why the biggest mistake we should avoid as testers is ‘to lose trust’.
How to gain trust or how not to lose trust has been a subject of interest of many authors, and all those findings are relevant. Other testers have also written in detail upon this subject which are worth reading. And here is my top list of things that break trust in a way that it becomes hard to re-build.
– Asking basic questions about the domain
A friend of mine who is business analyst by profession suggested in a recent discussion that if you go to a client for finding their requirements and say things like: “Okay, tell me how you do it and I’ll note it down” never works. You have to start the conversation in an engaging way after doing some research on the subject. For example, if you are visiting a Bank, you might be better asking: “So what happens once an account is dormant?”.
For the tester, the rest of the team is like a client and you need to learn the domain.
– Reporting bugs that are not bugs
If the bugs that you report are not reproducible consistently or prove out to be duplicates of existing bugs or prove out to be behaving as desired, you’ll lose your credibility as a tester. Just yesterday a colleague of mine mentioned that a new tester in their team reported a bug and sent out an email claiming it to be “Bug of the Century”. By afternoon, it was evident that the bug already existed in the database and was scheduled for the release.
– Acting as a fake tester
When something is in demand, copies of it get flooded in the market. Such is the case in the recent years that the high demand in testing profession has resulted in some fake testers. If you don’t ever want to be one, read this advice from James Bach. And read the fake tester’s diary column in Testing Circus magazines.
Have you experienced a situation where you lost trust as a tester or you had a tester in your team you didn’t trust? What was the reason in your case?