The Blind Judge-Plight of A Tester

Testing is an essential component for any kind of business. This has been attributed to anything and everything in life. The reason why every religion behaves in a certain kind of way is because there is this general believe that our works and the way we treat each other will be tested on the last day. So, leaving with that consciousness in our subconscious, triggers a lot of uncertainties, foster a lot of inconsistencies and promote different kinds of outcomes; because this has made human behaviour predictable and, in some cases, unpredictable. Software’s we use today, don’t just come into existence and immediately gain full adoption, drinks you take today don’t just hit the market, movies you watch daily don’t just hit your screens, clothes you wear don’t just hit the market; these but to mention a few passed through a testing process before the final consumer gets to enjoy the finished product. This made me to say that production process is only complete, when raw materials are refined, tested and at the end of the day taken to the final consumer. There is this popular saying that “Gold has to be refined before you can appreciate it beauty and understand its worth”. That happens to everything you use or consume today; I even feel that is where they coined “nothing good comes easy”. But in as much as this sounds like a “walk in a park” kind of work; it is the most difficult and most risky venture to ever embark on. This is due to the severity, sensitivity, complexity and velocity that comes with such responsibility.

Why is this so?

The nitty-gritty involved in this process can not be over emphasized. Let me give you a scenario, Imagine you are made to choose between your Mum (the first woman that has shown you unconditional love), was with you all through your life as a baby, took care of you, catered for you, who had to go hungry so you can eat; and then your wife a woman who you met at some point of your life who has been of immersed support to your dreams, goals, aspirations, the mother of your kids(who are your pride). This is highly a difficult task; because you will need to call upon the wisdom of Solomon, the politics of David and the heart of Abraham to be able to successfully handle it.

Software Developer

I fully understand the stress developers go through to even unravel or implement a new feature; most of those features are brought to life through many sleepless nights, unending research, constant iterations of ideas, many failed experiments and several hours of unending mind battles. So sometimes for me to get something as small as a notification to work, I will have to surf the net tirelessly for descriptions, services then code and not just codes but also languages that are compatible with the current framework I am using. Sometimes when I get to the last stage I realised the solution I have, is not a solution for me but for someone else because the programming language is not what I am using.

Software Tester

I was made the in-house software tester of my company and I was automatically the greatest enemy of my colleagues; because carrying out my duty was like witch-hunting; but being lenient wasn’t an option because it will be interpreted as being ineffective, inefficient and not being trustworthy and we all know the popular saying that “when salt loses its taste then it loses its value”. So, I was saddled with the responsibility of working and thinking like a user when I am working through an application; and then report bugs clear enough that someone that is trying to learn English can be able to flow with what I am writing. This will help the developer know what they need to do and for management to be able to relate with what I am talking about.

Middle ground

In as much as my report is exactly for the good of both parties, I can not start doing bug fixes on the application, so at the end of the day I will have to communicate with the developers for them to make the necessary corrections that is needed for the application to be fit for the client to use. So despite the fact that I have to be “A blind Judge”, I also need to understand how to execute that without losing any of the important factors in this equation; in other to achieve this, I need to call upon the wisdom of Solomon, the politics of David and the heart of Abraham to be able to successfully handle this; because yes I have to say the truth but sometimes the manner at which you say the truth really matters more than what you are actually trying to say; bearing in mind that “we can choose what we say to people but they choose what they are hearing from you”, so when I say “is this the boy” and the respondent is hearing “this is the boy”, same sentence different structure. So just like the person that is faced with a difficult situation, testers daily have to take the “God” sit when it comes to making sure what they are rolling out is fit and good for not just the user’s consumption but also their company’s integrity; bearing in mind that those that are responsible for making this happen are human and also have emotions that are delicate and blood running through their veins. So as a software tester I belief you need to posses the following qualities for be effective and efficient:

ü Good Communication skills: you need to understand how to communicate to client and to developers; because the client is paying for the product and the developer is creating the product. You need both parties to be happy because they are all important.

ü Emotional Intelligence: this is very important, you don’t only need to know what to say but most importantly how to say it. Bearing in mind that a misunderstood information is as good as an “accidentally discharged bullet”.

ü Good reporting skills: clarity of report makes it easy for the developer to understand what and where the problem or bug is found; it also helps the client to be able to go through your progress report, understand the degree of severity of bugs and how well measure progress.