Ten Misconceptions About Testing

I was reading the article from Kate Paulk Ten Misconceptions About Software Testing-That Non-Testers Share. I’m sure we’ve all come across at least some of these misconceptions, if you haven’t where can I find this awesome team you are on? :joy:

I think it’s becoming increasingly important to address these and communicate the truth sections in the article. How have you approached this before? How was this approach received? I don’t believe there is a one size fits all approach as this is completely situational so I’m interested to hear the different styles people have taken.

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These are important misconceptions, but not the ones that disturb me the most.

What worries me about testing is the misconceptions about it that are held by some testers themselves. Such as testing being easier than they assume, or that they can “get by” without needing to understand enough philosophy or science to effectively dig deeper and become efficient, professional skeptics. It’s the social arguments that have the flavour of testing without the substance. It’s the lectures on what everyone already thinks. It’s the shallow advice and shallow thinking without a word about when the ideas fail. It’s the gatherings advertised as about testing when they are really only about socializing. When people say that passion is required to be a good tester, this is what I think that passion should probably lead to. This is what makes me afraid.

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Have come across them all in my time. However, there was one instance where it went from the person, who was a manager of an engineering department, saying that QA are just testers, there just so we can say we did some testing on the product, how many bugs you found etc. So I went through everything I did, putting in controls in place, analysing the risk to determine the best course of action, coding some tests, analysing documentation to determine potential errors in their product up front. After about an hour of explaining he finally seems to get it. Agreed that there is more to QA work then testing and it was shortsighted of him to think so.

Long story short, didn’t get the job. Though I do hope he did get some information from me about what QA’s actually do.

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I’ve also had the flip side happen to me where Testing is seen as a ‘dark art’ and therefore only testers can do it. This makes it frustrating that simple validation of a small ticket as part of a feature takes precedent and ‘must’ be done by a tester and not by a dev (or BA or PO etc) whereas the actual ‘dark art’ stuff, in depth exploratory testing, seeking the value or risk to value etc., is treated as a secondary.

But yeah the whole ‘simple job’ burns as well (especially around remuneration).

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… among testers, test managers and test people of all sorts. Contexts and vocabulary differs so much. One persons/company’s perception of testing is just one of many. There’s more to testing than agile development and automation skillz too. To get out of the bell jar, I blog mostly about the uncommon (to you, not to me). Podcasts, forums, webinars and newsletters for getting the uncommon to me. …

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I agree. I should say, though, that while I find the idea of a nurse not knowing what a surgeon really has to be able to do somewhat disturbing I find the idea of a surgeon not knowing what they really have to be able to do shocking and upsetting.

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Oh, I know - that’s a whole other article, about the misconceptions testers have about their work/our work. I’ve met too many testers who believe their purpose is to follow detailed test cases and if they’re really good, write detailed test cases. And too many who are terrified of digging deeper because that’s “not what testers do”. It hurts when I meet testers trapped in that mindset and there’s nothing I can do to help them move past it.

Unfortunately, if I tried to write that article, it would turn out very dark and sarcastic, which wouldn’t benefit anyone.

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If you find that team, please let me know! I’d love to work on it.

All those misconceptions are things I’ve personally run into over the years. And still run into. I’m kind of used to encountering them from people who aren’t testers, but it really hurts when I see them from testers.

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needs to be written though…
cue @melthetester and #ministry-of-testing:the-testing-planet

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