Saturday, August 20, 2011

Tester to testing is NOT like surgeon to surgery

I wrote a post earlier (quite some time ago). Today I realized I had comments on that post and other ones that I did not know of.

The main point that I was trying to write about is that some people may be right in saying you don't need testers - as in full time test specialist team members - in scrum teams, you just need testing - the skills in team members that don't identify as testers.

James Bach made a good point in saying he has not met any / many people who would make serious commitments towards learning the skills needed in testing other than those who identify themselves as testers. I've met some, but too few.

However, this post is about arguing the point he made I placed in title
"It could also be said that you don't need surgeons -- only surgery"
or the milder version of the same that Ru Cindrea, a respected colleague within Finland made that you don't need developers either, only development.

I would argue that testing to development is not quite the same thing as surgery. I mean that in the sense that surgeons are not in the information providing industry as testers are to developers and stakeholders, but are more self-contained. Perhaps there would be a second surgeon in surgery, that looks out to provide a service to the other, but without knowing much of surgeons life, I would still guess that person is called a surgeon too.

If there was no development, there would be little testing related to the development that was never done.

We need people trained in the skills of testing. Well trained. Both those who identify as developers and those who identify as testers. The essential difference to me is that it is hard to keep up with the skills of testing with the limited amount of hours available, let alone having to use half - or more - of my time on development skills.

I just don't want to go with the assumption that developers can't do testing, when I've witnessed in numbers more testers who can't test than developers. It may not matter what you're called.