3 Major Misconceptions that Testers Need to Dismiss


Sometimes, for various reasons, there are a lot of expectations that we set for ourselves that aren’t always true. These expectations often lead to a lot of disappointment and distress because none of them are going to be met, as they weren’t valid in the first place.

Today we want to list a few of them and also in a way start a forum for discussion on what the rest of us testing professionals think regarding this topic.

My personal experiences in the following areas listed tell me that I am on to something. But I would seek all of your opinion all the same. I invite you all to participate.

First here goes my top 3 Misconceptions:

Misconceptions that Testers Need to Dismiss

Misconception #1:

Automation testers do not have to bother themselves with manual testing

Nothing could be more farfetched than this statement. Automation testing, as we stated repeatedly on STH, is testing also. It only differs in the area of how testing is performed. It also should not be forgotten that, automation testing always succeeds or follows the manual testing process. Sometimes, automation testers and manual testers are the same. Also, not all projects are automation projects.

So, we are testers first, and it is important to remember that before we make the specialization our main area of focus.

Having worked on one automation project does not and ideally, should not ruin us for manual testing. Manual testing is a skill that we all build on; it is the fundamental and our foundation. Automation testing is great. It is the closest thing to magic we have in our QA field. But considering one to be inferior or superior to the other is not the attitude we want to see in the field. Automation testers perform a manual testing role in some projects and manual testers perform automation in other cases. They are not mutually exclusive. In fact, the differentiation of testers as manual testers or automation testers is quite disturbing. Let us not encourage this culture.

Misconception #2:

Test leads do not ‘test’

I had a colleague at a client location in US, where we were both handling a module each in a project. He had 3 offshore resources reporting to him and whenever he made effort estimates or test plan, he always did so taking into consideration only 3 people for test design and test execution. When this came up in an audit meeting and he was asked why he was not counting him (my colleague) to be involved in these activities, his answer baffled many of us. He actually thinks it is beneath him as a test lead to write test cases and execute them. He would not bother with those tasks, because he thinks they are ‘lowly’ and that he would only overlook or coordinate the process.

What followed in the meeting is not relevant to us, but let me tell you that he is not alone to feel that way.

The reality is that, the industry standard for coordination efforts is just 10%. Test lead is also, always a part of the QA team, which makes a lead responsible for contributing to the testing activities. Agreed, there are other tasks as well. So, a percentage of the QA lead’s bandwidth, however small it might be must go towards testing activities. We have to prepare yourself to be a tester doing all the tasks you would normally as a QA team member for the rest of our careers, or it might be time to consider a switch in fields.

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Also read => Test Lead Responsibilities and How to Manage Test Team Effectively

Misconception #3:

Testers doubt everything and that are the forever ‘skeptics’ in the IT industry

Imagine how difficult life would be when if we did not trust anything. A skeptic’s life is the toughest to live. If it were true that we doubt everything – we would even be questioning the very existence, implementation and efficiency of the software – which means we are working while believing that the product is useless. Do you think that’s the right attitude? Can we really do justice to spending a good amount of time working on a software system while we think it is absolute garbage? I think not.

When in need for some guidance as to what kind of mind set is best, the quote by a former US president, Ronald Reagan comes to mind –“Trust, but verify”. Even though the context is completely different, this hits home like nothing else would.

Therefore contrary to popular belief, we testers believe in the software’s ability, performance, efficiency, productivity, its purpose & capabilities and we always root for its success when it hits the live world.

But, we want to make sure that it is at its absolute best. We test keeping in mind, that the product is great and that we need to identify and remove anything that might negatively impact an already terrific product. We actually believe in it and are ardent fans of it. Isn’t that true? It is for us and we are sure that it is the same for you too.

In conclusion

We hope that this article has put to rest some rumors that have been going on in the IT circles about the QA community. (Just kidding..!)

What do you think on the above list? Agree? Disagree? Somewhat agree/disagree?

About Author: This post if written by STH team member Swati S.

As we mentioned in the beginning of the article, we hope this post would be a great initiation for long, productive, enlightening discussion on the subject in the comments. Common, let’s hear it.


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20 comments ↓

#1 MAYUR on 07.07.14 at 8:32 am

Agree,

#2 Rajahmix on 07.07.14 at 8:46 am

This article has cleared all the confusion that has been going on within the QA field, awesome topic indeed thanks

#3 Vamsi on 07.07.14 at 9:08 am

Agree and it’s true.

#4 Raja on 07.07.14 at 10:07 am

its true, even though a person has 15 or more experience handling multiple activities or roles in testing life cycle, test design and execution should be always close to our heart.

if Test Lead or Test manager not involved in uderstanding feautres and end use of the system he/she may not able to do justice to even to build test strategy or approah. if we understand the feature and end use of system, its like what happens if we keep biriyani available next to us when you like it most.

10% may vary based on client environment and size of the team.

#5 Infosys on 07.07.14 at 10:17 am

QA lead too test!
My team lead needs to show this post :)

#6 vir on 07.07.14 at 12:14 pm

Yes, agree to what all said and its a great thought that came up.

#7 Gaurav Khurana on 07.07.14 at 12:21 pm

Agree with all points,, specially the second one,, not only lead, manager director ,, all should be able to test the product.. which shows they have the knowledge of it..

#8 Swati on 07.08.14 at 4:17 am

@All: Thanks for leaving your comments. We appreciate your readership.

#9 Jithin on 07.08.14 at 1:03 pm

My Test lead is waste

#10 Bineet on 07.08.14 at 2:41 pm

Nice article,almost pointed out the important misconceptions of the testers.But i do have a query,if we don’t see the product in a skeptical way or try to break it down searching for defects,how can we rate the quality or deliver an error free product?

#11 Swati Seela on 07.08.14 at 6:38 pm

@Bineet: If I were testing the transfer operation of a Banking application, would it help if I thought “transfer is useless and I do not believe for one second that it will work” or “Transfers works and does what it is supposed to be, let me just verify that one more time and be sure”

This is what we mean by Trust, but verify. Be a fan of the product and its usefulness, but be vigilant of anything that might stop it from being amazing.

Hope that makes sense!

#12 Miro Barsocchi on 07.08.14 at 7:16 pm

Totally agree!
And…I’m a QA Lead and I test as well
:-D

Speaking seriously, I think this is the only way to manage and helps your report.

#13 Jim B. on 07.09.14 at 4:59 pm

I do agree with all points outlined and also been inspired by the quote by a former US president, Ronald Reagan.

#14 Ritesh on 07.11.14 at 5:36 am

Very good aricle swathi. Totally agree with all the 3 misconceptions. Also would like to say that If trained, anyone can do Automation testing. But manual testing is an art. Where would you find the fun and excitment of doing an exploratory testing!!!

#15 Swati Seela on 07.11.14 at 3:46 pm

@Ritesh: Well said, Ritesh. Yes the fun of exploratory testing is a huge loss if all was automation. Never thought about it that way before. But now, I could not agree more.
Thank you for joining in with us.

#16 Swati Seela on 07.11.14 at 3:48 pm

@Miro Barsocchi: QA needs more leads like you. Kudos to you and thanks for stopping by…

#17 Anu on 07.19.14 at 7:48 am

Such a sensible post :) Went through the post once and re-read the sentence “We actually believe in it and are ardent fans of it.” Yes, Love it and work with it, That should be the mindset. well said and Thanks for sharing your experience :)

#18 Sharad on 07.21.14 at 7:10 am

Nice article and there are different perspective about testing concept but i thought attitude should be always to break the software

#19 LL on 07.23.14 at 5:22 am
#20 Urmila Suneja on 07.23.14 at 12:21 pm

Best.

I am a team lead and i enjoy testing too.

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