Raising the Awareness of Good Testing outside of our World

I refer to the above quote I made in a recent podcast recording. Correct me if I’m wrong but if feels like we all agree within the testing world what good testing is, it’s value and how we do it. But step outside of a room (virtual) of testers and suddenly the narrative is very different. Still old misconceptions of “breaking software” and “only needed at the end of a project” still seems quite rife.

Has anyone had any real success of changing this? I’ve been working on building a culture of quality in my last two role and made good progress through bettering the skills of the test team and making what we do more visible. Also being that annoying voice who always pipes up with “have you thought about testing/quality”

Would love to know peoples thoughts…


It’s true hard to change the culture of organization, there is always the feeling of break the software; where “developers: problem solvers” Vs. “Testers: problem finders”

In my opinion, starting with pairing DEV-TEST is really great so that testers and developers can contribute together to the solution and the hidden problems on it by uncovering, discussing and improving them !

In fact, the whole team is responsible for quality :slight_smile:


Well, there is also a lot of debate within the testing community about what good testing is. I hate to do this but as an example just look into the amount of blogposts that at great length go into the (non existent imho) difference between testing and checking. And that is also part of the problem you’re touching on here. Outside of the testing community there are very little people who give a damn. That’s not their fault and that’s also not because they want (or need) to be jerks about it. It’s simply because not everything is about testing. In the grand scheme of things, testing only makes up a tiny fraction of what a company or even an IT department does.
I’ve met very little testers who actually realise this. Places like MoT are a bit of an echo chamber. Here we find like minded people and here we can go on and on about our work and the importance of it. If you want to be acknowledged outside of that bubble, you need to actively break outside of that bubble. See who else is working for the same company as you do and try to understand their motivation for doing things. Spoiler: they don’t know about testing and they also really don’t care about testing because it doesn’t help them in achieving the goals they have.
Now, this doesn’t mean that your work isn’t valuable and that you shouldn’t care. But just realise that testing isn’t the center of the universe. Try to understand what motivates people outside of your bubble. If you can somehow link your work to their goals and outcomes you’ve probably found a new ally. But that also means that you must first stop seeing the world as a place with testing at the center.

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This is why, when I see an IT story in the news where there is (or I think there may be) a testing angle, I blog about it to non-testers, usually along the lines of “this is why we need proper testing” or “there are no computer errors, only human ones”.


Thanks for your response, I have first hand seen the difference it makes for the rest of the business to have some understanding of the importance of good quality and testability being a factor across technology. Improving the practice of testing in teams such as infrastructure, architecture, and even finance means the checks they do themselves are more thorough.

I never thought that testing is at the centre of any universe, but upping our game on the outwards communication front is only going to improve how a company works together. Maybe i’ve been lucky that the internal community i help run now has attendees who work outside of testing and even outside of technology, and by them learning more about testing, it’s helping bring a better quality product to our customers.

Equally, we are doing our best to learn from the other teams too so that we have a better understanding of everyones needs.

I am aware like we all are, that around 1/20 of the salary bill at a software company go to those in test and support roles. Sorry, but this is no surprise, but if we do use real world events more often as a narrative, about what we do, then it suddenly makes more sense to readers. For example when 29 people died in one totally out of the blue crash back in 1994, everyone blamed it on the people, and it ruined peoples lives. It took a decade to even suspect in the minds of more than a few people, probably all technophiles, that the accident was a computer software error. And it ruined 2 families lives, destroyed them with the blame cuslture humans seem to enjoy, until the truth was found. Read more here Chinook helicopter disaster - computer software failure or pilot error?

So yes, we do need to put the real world into our software world, and put that world into our testing world. I love trying to badly draw parallels between things, like when my kettle or toaster stops working, and my job as a software tester. But I completely agree with @hylke , we need to cover wider ground.

I’m also completely aware of “clubism”, been journeying on MOT for a while now, and as a very bad people reader, I never noticed the little gangs in the test industry until I noticed people leaving the clubs and the industry. This does mean i get into arguments with people in twitter too, because I have to disagree with my world, in order to know that it is solid and real. I’d like to think that as testers, we take our “club” (I mean being a tester, not the MOT club) seriously, and realize that as testers we are all working together to do amazing things such as enable self driving cars, moon landings, and much more. It does sometimes distort our own perspective, and one hopes we as testers have heuristics by now to alert us to this kind of distortion. On one level even your faith or none, is a system of tests. As usual, test everything, and keep the good.