Is Software Testing an Emotional Task?

What do you think after reading the title of the post? How can we include emotions while testing software? What kind of emotions am I going to talk about? How does daily life emotions effect/impact software testing? Please read on…

Software Testing is an unavoidable part of the software development lifecycle. Many times I have heard the argument that software testing is not that difficult and anyone can be a software tester. Right and wrong.

Right for them =>  for those who see software testing as just executing documented test cases, it is really easy.

Wrong because => Software testing is not and will never be limited to documented test cases. No matter how many test cases you write for a particular application and test them thoroughly for a number of rounds, products never come out bug-free. Why are we, software testers, facing humiliation in the conference room when every face looks at us like we are responsible for each and every bug reported by a customer? Indirectly, it is true because the bug reached the customer as we did not find/report it.

While testing software, it is expected that you work as an end user. You make mistakes as an end user, you play with the product as an end user, and you follow the documentation as an end user. Although initially followed, once we settle down in that comfort zone of testing with limited thinking and vision, most of us forget about the end user. Then the real end user comes into the picture, reports a bug and makes our life like a BUG.



Is Software Testing an Emotional Task?

Today, I am going to correlate some daily life situations/problems with software testing, how they can be prevented, and what kind of contribution a tester can provide. 

Please read and understand the below table row-wise:

Daily situationFeelingCo-relevancePrevention or input as tester
How would you feel when the carry bag carrying groceries will burst out on the way?Oh My God!!! Can't this adjust this much load?This is how the customer feels when the website you tested (although works fine functionality wise) crashes when 100th number of user logged in simultaneously.Most of the time, customers are not sure about requirement OR the requirements keep changing is the truth. But at the same time, as a tester, if we keep an eye on requirement and their reciprocals, and test likewise.
How would you curse that knife which did not cut the fruit when your toddler was crying for it?Want to throw it outThis is how the customer curses the FTP site, you tested, does not transfer data when his customers are waiting for the sameNegative testing and out of box thinking can help in identifying scenarios end user is going to face.
How would you respond when you find that you were late for office because the clock was not working properly?Frustrated. They told this clock is automatic and needs almost nil maintenance, what is this?This is how the customer gets frustrated when he has to call your customer care department for more than 3 times within a week. Either the product was really not tested properly or the customer was not educated properly.Software testing is a package of responsibilities. You just don’t need to test the product, you need to provide review of product, you need to understand customers, you need to figure out in advance - how customer will feel while using this product or while seeing specific behavior?
How would that administrator react when at the end of month the downloaded report from badge system comes out blank due to minor changes he did in system?Lost and does not know what to doThis is how the customer responds when the confidently delivered antivirus did not start working on scheduled time due to time zone issue, and a critical virus was introduced during that duration.Thinking globally and understanding customer stake of product and reflection of same while testing.
How would you control the anger when you get ready for an important function and you find that the tailor forgot to put those show buttons on the dress?Angry and want to slap that tailorThis is how the customer is expected to react when the outsourced testing project marked as "completed successfully" at your end and the customer observes that GUI was not taken into consideration while testing (because it was not mentioned in the document)There are some basic things which are supposed to be checked in each iteration, about which every tester needs to be aware, about which incremental knowledge update is required. Sometimes, artifacts do not mention everything but those missing things are the things to be taken care while testing.
How low your excitement would sit when you reach to the amusement park, you wanted to visit since long and find that it remains close on Monday? Why can't they publish this information?This is how the excited customer feels when he tried to install the software on unsupported windows version, as the user guide did not mention about specific support for windows versions.As a tester, it’s your duty to test documents, especially user guide (no matter, whether it has been included in your task list or not). Suggestions and responses about wrong information in user guide will always welcomed.
How would you approach to a problem as a product owner when you find that the color of product is not right, while the product is ready to deliver?Why so late? Why did not we find out this early?This is how the project manager, management of company, customer (who is waiting for the product) and others react when the bug is identified lately.The tester should report the problem as and when found. If something is questionable then speak, get clarification, and always get latest documents. Always think practically and finally provide your inputs.

Conclusion:

So, this is software testing, discovering hidden scenarios (which most of the time get revealed when end user use the software) and working towards continuous improvement. These are the only factors that can make this community strong.

Shall we start today?

Are you joining?

We are waiting for your suggestions and improvement ideas.

About the Author: Awesome post by Bhumika Mehta. She is a project lead, carrying 7 years of software testing experience. She is totally into testing and loves to test everything that exists.