Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Respecting testing not testers

There's a recurring discussion I'm having with pretty much these points:
  • People who joined us as "testing specialists" are no longer testing specialists but specialists of everything software. 
  • We value good testing and good people with good testing skills, but we see no need of having testers or testing specialists. 
It's the same discussion again and again. I identify as a tester. I'm told by some of my peers I don't qualify because I am also able to do other things (and will, for the good of my company - knowing that a lot of times my special skills is the best I can do for my company as others don't have same deep skills). I'm told by non-testers that I can do testing, but not identify as tester.

This is a recurring discussion that makes me sad, and often makes me feel like I want to quit the IT industry.

This "we're all developers", "we don't let people identify as testers" discussion is a lot like the discussions on gender. Be it "guys" or "men", the women are supposed to feel included because "naturally these words include all people". 

I want to be a tester. I want to be respected as a tester. Any references to "monkey-testers but we know you are not one" are just as offensive as saying that I'm one of the men, "not like other women". 
It's not enough to see that testing is important. You also would need to see that testers is a description of specialty and a real profession. Stop pushing people out with wordplay, and just help them grow within (and stretching) their interests. We need good people to create good software, being inclusive would be a better route.