WQR 2021: You Expect Too Much from Testers

WQR - We're Asking Too Much of Testers

The World Quality Report 2020-21 (WQR) is out and it’s a massive document. If you've not read it, I don't blame you. 

There is, however, a lot of interesting content nestled within the WQR's many pages. One such section focuses on this key idea:

There is too much expectation on testers

I don’t always agree with the WQR, but they’ve got this spot-on. Here’s why…

WQR: You Expect Too Much from Testers

Sometimes I wonder, how many people read the WQR from cover-to-cover? There are interesting titbits to be found, but it takes a lot of digging through.

Luckily for you, I’ve read it and pulled out some nuggets of interest. Here’s what the WQR says about testers and your expectations of them…

What do You Expect from Testers & QA Engineers?

Testing involves so many different skills. Because of this, QA engineers are often (unfairly) expected to possess the following:

  1. Testing Best Practice Knowledge and Experience
  2. Developer Skills for Test Automation 
  3. Business-cum-User Centricity

This is quite a skillset. Ask yourself, would any other team expect so much? I don’t think so. Testers must effectively contribute to multiple teams, adopt new technologies, and perform their day-jobs. 

All Testers Have Different Skillsets

Testers and QA engineers come from a range of disciplines, and your projects are all the better for it. Throughout my many years in the industry, I’ve known testers who’ve come from all manner of roles; 

  • End-users, 
  • BAs, 
  • Developers, 
  • Accountants, 
  • Admin assistants
  • ...even a rocket scientist.

All testers bring something to the party - No tester brings everything to the party 

Whether it’s a fresh perspective, a more cautious approach, valuable business insight or the ability to build relationships with the wider team – all testers have something to offer.

Integrating those skills into a highly functioning test team can be a challenge, but that’s the job of a skilled test manager.

Maximise Your Testers By Developing Their Skills

While the perfect tester is rare, moving your resources in that direction is, of course, desirable.

Most people do have the aptitude, if not the capacity, for additional tasks. We’ve all worked with superstars who seem to pick up any task. Obviously, these team members can be incredibly useful, but you need to be cautious and realistic – can they do this alongside their existing role? Do they really understand their new role? Would they say if they didn’t? What if they’ve got it wrong?

Get the Best out of Your Testers - Invest in Professional Training 

If you do need to develop your team, then training must be put back on the agenda. There is a worrying trend away from training at the minute. I have spoken with so many companies who have slashed their training budget over the last few years.

Testing, more than any other role, requires rigour and robust processes. Testing is the only thing standing between your code and your customer. You can’t afford to take chances; you can’t just hope your team will be ok – they will need proper training and education. 

The right courses and certifications will develop real skills, boost productivity, and increase morale. They’ll also provide that rubber stamp, the reassurance that yes, your software is safe in their hands.

Develop Your Testers With Calleo Education and Certification

If you’re interested in developing your test team then Calleo can help. We offer digital learning, instructor-based training and certifications for the full suite of Micro Focus products and solutions.

We’ll work around your priorities and make sure your team develops in the right way.

Stephen Davis
by Stephen Davis

Stephen Davis is the founder of Calleo Software, a Micro Focus (formerly HPE Software) Gold Partner. His passion is to help test professionals improve the efficiency and effectiveness of software testing.

To view Stephen's LinkedIn profile and connect 

Stephen Davis LinkedIn profile

3rd February 2021

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