Thursday, April 16, 2009

Tenants of a Software Testing Team

If you had the chance to write out the tenants (unbreakable ground rules) by which your quality assurance team lives, what would they be? Here are some I’ve been thinking of:

  • We partner actively in quality-first development, by participating in the entire SDLC and by contributing tools, process, and time to the development activity.
  • We do not and cannot ‘test in quality’. We test to validate requirements, discover missing or inaccurate requirements and implementation, and to expose defects.
  • We use tools and process to discover defects, validate functionality, and improve quality. Not to use tools and process.
  • Secure software is a top priority—we protect our users’ privacy as well as our applications reliability.

What about you? Do you have other tenants on your team?


  1. My tenets would have to be

    1. highlight the positive aspects within your team: as testers it is all to easy to focus continually on the critical aspects of software, which can become demoralizing

    2. Set realistic goals: if you can set goals with your testing you can engender a far high level of satisfaction and achievement within your team. If you don't set goal you never really feel like you completed as much testing as you could have done.

    3. Encourage developers to be positive about the work testers do: testers are there to help developers. If testers get good feedback from developers then it makes the tester's job far more rewarding

    4. Encourage testers to be positive about the work developers do: it must be quite demoralizing for developers to always have the same people knocking holes in their work. It makes the developer's job far more rewarding too if every now and again a tester compliments a developer for something he or she has done.

    Just a few thoughts. Hope they help.

    William Echlin

  2. Joe, embarassed... I used to be a tech writer, too--you think I could have caught that!

    William, good points. I focused a lot on what business to do, but I like your emphasis on HOW to do business. Testing can be a 'drag you down' experience, so this is great feedback for keeping it positive.

    John O.

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