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An Uncomfortable Truth

6 September 2016

An Uncomfortable Truth

An Uncomfortable Truth About Testing

Several months ago I started writing down my beliefs about testing. One of those beliefs was:

My customers are: Developers, Product Owners, my clients’ Customers, Management, Operations, and other Testers.

Another was:

The most important thing I can do is give accurate, clear, fast, and concise information about the SUT.

Finally, I mentioned:

I am not a proxy for the user.

At the core of those beliefs lies an uncomfortable truth: as testers we have very little power and control over the product. We don’t create it or build it. We can’t keep it out of users’ hands (in most cases). We can’t make it better and we can’t change requirements. We can’t change business direction and rarely have a full understanding of business drivers. There are even times we don’t know if the behavior of the application is correct!

So… given these limitations there are only two things we’re consistently able to do. First, learn what the product does under certain circumstances. Second, report our learnings to people who have influence.

My focus at Beaufort Fairmont, is on how to get the most important information to the people who need it. These are my clients. They are Executives, Developers, Product Owners, Test Managers, Development Managers, Scrum Masters, and others.

I work with teams to make their quality process quick, consistent, & reliable. It’s my duty to communicate the information clearly, succinctly, and in real-time when possible. This enables my clients to meet market demands faster, grow revenue, slash costs, extend market share, increase customer satisfaction, enable customers, and sleep soundly at night.

Decision makers must have accurate, real-time understandings of applications. We accomplish that by helping teams implement reliable, fast, and consistent automation-enabled testing.

About the Author

Paul Merrill

Paul Merrill is Principle Software Engineer in Test and Founder of Beaufort Fairmont Automated Testing Services. Paul works with clients every day to accelerate testing, reduce risk, and to increase the efficacy of testing processes. You’re Agile, but is your Testing Agile? An entrepreneur, tester, and software engineer, Paul has a unique perspective on launching and maintaining quality products. He also hosts Reflection as a Service, a podcast about software development and entrepreneurship. Follow Paul on Twitter @dpaulmerrill.

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