Do you get rude comments from devs?

HI!
I wonder if this happens to more people (I guess it does) and in that case how you behave?

Im in a company now with a huge huge system and the devs are organized by subsystems but the testers, we are testing one day the link of x and another the performance of y.
There are many cool devs, they try to help you a lot but there are too many who are really rude.
For example, there was a test to check a link being disabled/enabled and I wrote a bug saying that after pressing the Enable button in the human interface, there was no reconnection.
So a dev wrote me to ask me to check the port and some traces and as there are many different traces from many subsystems and components etc I replied that no problem but specifically which ones. Then she replied that if I didnt know about the subsystem maybe I should ask people before doing anything.
I ignored it and asked again and got a reply and then she said that if I was going to repeat the test, she would call me and tell me step by step.
I replied : “ok, then let me start the connection first” and she replied: “I dont know you, right? Who are you? Who is your manager? I mean, because normally starting a connection is the last thing you do but if you need help, go and ask x to help you”.
This really hurt me, somehow, and replied to her trying to be professional:
“Ok, so Im following the steps written in the bug: first starting the connection, checks, disabling, checks and enabling again and see if it reconnects, which its what the discrepancy is about. Is this correct or you were thinking of another process, to be on the same page?”
She replied: “yes, we are on the same page. Im just saying that if you are checking if there is reconmection you have to KNOW if it should reconnect and if you dont know, ask people who know”.
So I replied: “alright, I have the procedure and please, imagine that I might be testing this and at the same time the link of x or the whatever of other thing (not relevant for the forum) so what really helps me is to get direct and concise information. So you mean that you think that it’s not a bug for x and you recommend to check what?” And then she replied finally but at the end was like :“Bye, have fun and good luck”. A gave me a polite F U. Of course replied professionally but I’m quite upset.
This is not the first time.
Once, another dev was like: requirement 4578 and I asked: “ok, of which subsystem?” And she replied: “what? You dont know???” No, I dont read minds or know what you work on. Of course I replied: “sorry, I was working in another topic now and I need the subsystem identifier too”.
Another one, there was a bug and he said “do you do anything rationally? Or just you go randomly doing stuff with no control?” The next day he wrote that he checked and it was really a bug.
Etc.
And to be honest, I try not to be affected but little by little it hurts because it’s a very complex job and being not just not recognized but making you doubt… am I stupid? It makes the job a little hostile. Why am I working so hard and learning all about all subsystems, all tools, all procedures…?1?!

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There’s always jerks in the world. Some companies are worse than others with regards to toxic cultures/attitudes. Sounds like you’re at a huge company, and the way you’re structured (QA as a service) makes it hard to have actual relationships, which can be a contributing factor to this us vs. them attitude.

On the flip side, probably worth asking yourself (or maybe a coworker or your manager) if there’s any basis to the feedback you’re getting, or if you’re reading more into things than is there. The truth is probably somewhere in the middle - i.e. there may be things you’re missing, you might be asking obvious questions, etc, or you might be reading too much into comments that folks are making (not saying that it’s not rude, just that the environment/culture might necessitate a thicker skin).

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Ernie, thanks for your reply.

This is not an external service but just two different departments with different managers from the same company. The thing is that in the past I met some devs who thought that our job was not important, maybe there could be a little of that too?

On your second opinion, I dont agree but thank you. After 15 years in testing and validation Ive seen many many mistakes made by designers and devs and deployment and testers, including me (a lot of mistakes). A lot of obvious questions and missing information. We all make mistakes, that’s why this job exists, right?
The thing is that when finding a bug and reporting it or when speaking with someone difficult or whatever, I never disrespect anyone, in any ciscunstance, this is just a job.
I make a conscious effort.

It’s not me and the same way I dont get personal or disrespect anybody in any case I dont think that, even if I was asking obvious questions, it would be a reason to get personal or disrespect me, which its what happens.
Even when sometimes they do, I still manage my frustration and stay professional.

Ive been in really toxic places where people would attack each other and where people would send “bomb” emails to each others and these departments end badly so the idea for me is to avoid that at all costs and not engage and descalate always but - it gets exhausting. And that’s what I was speaking about.

In any case, I would never ask for feedback to know if being disrespected it’s maybe my fault too. If I engaged in that or attacked someone, that would be my fault. Nothing that I could have said justifies rude comments.

About not having a thick skin, as I said, Im always managing my frustration to avoid any scalation and I just focus on the job.
If feeling deep down hurt after getting rude comments and writing about it in a forum not even telling anyone else is not having a thick skin, then the next step is being a robot.

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Hi Tester, this can be so frustrating when developers say, it wasn’t in the requirements, its not a bug etc. I had that at one point because a test manager measured both devs and testers against bugs and everyone argued!

The way I handled it was to stop raising bugs. In the first instance I went directly to the developers face to face (if it was possible) and described the behaviour I was seeing as unexpected. That helped the conversation as I wasn’t ‘accusing’ them just asking for explanations. Maybe that would help in your situation. I also wrote a rap to the tune of Fresh Prince of Bel Air. Might not help your situation either but may cheer you up. Good luck and I hope you find a good balance.

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Hi General

I think Ernie was really pointing out that your team is raising bugs “internally”, and that Ady’s approach of just not raising bugs, but going direct instead is a way of finding out what the requirements are. Without a real live “flesh and blood” customer, you just become a gatekeeper and are cut out of the conversation that lays out the goal of a system. I can see why you are unhappy.

I have been here - one thing I had to help me was a customer proxy. A person who is a quality champion, and high up in the company enough, to be heard. He told us testers to raise bugs with the title “Make it easer to test x.” . And to back that up with a promise to alert developers as soon as possible to any breakage in X by having overnight automation tests as well as per pull-request tests that validate X is working in all the environments that the developers care about.

Getting the developers to trust the testers is a journey that requires testers to actually stop, down-tools, and think about themselves as being helpful gatekeepers. Testers need to be a messenger of sorts, and have communication skills to cross the barriers that exist between teams. You must however never try to be a peacemaker, that will wear you out. So! All testing requires tools - and some of these tools have to be written by the developers themselves. Once we force devs to make the checks easier, we are able to turn integration around much faster.

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Hello General,

This cultural problem is longstanding. I’ve seen it from both sides: as a contributor and as a manager. Good management won’t tolerate it, for obvious reasons. And I doubt the situation will improve without management leadership. On the other hand, talking about it with management has its own risks.

I like Conrad’s idea of a quality champion who has clout with developers and their managers. Is there a manager you’re comfortable talking with about the problem?

George

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Hi! Have you heard about Karpman drama triangle? We can behave according to this scenario in any area of ​​our lives. The only thing we can do in the circumstances is to remain in the position of a professional and not succumb to provocations. It is very resource-intensive - thinking why the interlocutor acts like a … (use any words you prefer). Instead of overthinking and reacting better invest you time and mood in work prosses to grow as a professional.

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Hello. First, what an ugly situation you find yourself in. I’m sorry some elements of your work environment is so toxic. Is your manager someone you can work with on this? It seems like you are missing information and you may be able to come up with a template of the kind of information you need before you can begin testing something.

Another option is to send an email asking for a meeting to discuss what you will be testing before you begin. The start of the meeting can be the developer describing what the code is supposed to do, and then you can ask questions from there.

Finally, is it possible to work with your managers and blacklist testing some products? Your manager could forward the message chain to their manager, letting that manager know that QA won’t test their application since requests for information are not handled appropriately by the developers.

Good luck and keeping up the good fight.

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Managers who cannot push back on behalf of their team are a problem, they rarely get good scores in my performance reviews. Train your manager I say.

I do get this from my own team though. We have a “in-testing” lane in Jira, and I am expected to move all tickets to done by testing each one, but very often the ticket has no written up definition of done or success criteria. Mostly the only notes I have are the pull requests themselves. I am lucky to be part of the pipeline, and I push back on testing workload actively all of the time.

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Personally never heard of it. Thanks for the information!

I, too, suffer from a situation where there’s a, ahem, disconnect between development, specifications, the code, the software testing and the customer. It can result in frustration and low delivery/quality. Personally I find it quite stressful and low in terms of reward.

Here’s hoping the Karpman can give me a different angle or view…

Thanks