Its a developer’s world!

Being a tester, I should be trying to bust that myth. Yet, here I am endorsing that view. It is an irony. But this is the truth.

The world of software has come a full cycle. It started with only developers who wrote abstruse code. Then testers came into the picture. Their job was to break it and they were getting paid for that. They were absolved from all responsibilities of understanding the code beneath. They were only concerned about the functionality.

With the fast paced changing of the business and the rise of internet, their arose the problem of increased number of users and thus the performance of applications became a determining factor in the success of the business. Thousands of users accessing the application around the same time broke the servers. And so the performance testers were born. Yet in all these cycles, one thing remained the same – Only developers would look at the code and testers will ignore the code. Even the unit testing was supposed to be done by the developers and the testing will be done by independent testers. This was to remove the my-code bias they said. All true. But the adage remained –

Testers would not look into the code beneath.

Some claimed the world is changing. The testers will be the new lord of the software world as more applications will go in maintenance mode. But technologies evolve faster than a single cell amoeba. The developer remained the king. The testers  became the judiciary, holding aloft the high ground of ensuring the business functionality is as per the requirements.

However, today testers are getting challenged. This time it is not the old rival – the developers. But technology itself on which they worked. Instead of the straight-forward, three tier architecture, the architecture moved to n-tiered architecture, involving newer design principles. The first technology that challenged testers was the Service Oriented Architecture (SOA).

Suddenly the familiar UI, which was the tester’s playground, was robbed from them. They were asked to test a non-UI functionality. SOA was sacrilege for a tester’s religion revolved around UI. Now it is the norm. With host of new middlewares coming, each of them non-UI, the testers have lost their favorite playground.

The MQs, JMS, and the webMethods of the world have asked a new question to all the testers. How are you going to test? How will you break the code, without knowing the newer technologies? What testing can be done to ensure these middlewares are functioning as designed?

To answer these questions, testers need to abolish the old adage. They not only have to look into the code, but they have to understand it and then write code themselves which will try to break the developer’s code. A big challenge for a tester is the shrinking testing time in SDLC. Yep that is why, the business do not want a tester who knows only business and write test cases around. Organizations want a person who not only understands business and but can write codes to break the code. A person in whom both technical and business skills are in yin-yang balance.  That points to a developer with business understanding.

So testers – to save your jobs, become the next generation developers. Alright, that is a bit over the board 🙂 . Yet the essence of the post is brush up your coding skills – your next project may just need it.

PS: Just to be on a technically correct side, testers these days need to know the language in which the code was developed, may have to write wrapper codes which would give interface like features. Of course, there still exists UI-based testing, yet organizations depend on automation to get the UI testing done. What they want testers from testers is innovative test strategies which can efficiently test the mix of old and new technologies, independent of the developers. A big challenge, yet an achievable one like all other challenges.. 🙂

P.PS: I have taken the liberty of taking some assumptions in this post to emphasize my point. So your comments are most welcome.


2 comments so far

  1. Test Oracle on

    Hi Dishit,
    Nicely articulated. Yes, when it comes role of a tester, there are some darker sides and some sides with bright edges- and believe me, such is the life for anyone.

  2. Dishit on

    Completely agree with you.
    Also with technology turning the tables most testers cannot stay in the comfort zone of not knowing the underlying technologies. Its a challenge and that makes life interesting. 🙂

    Thanks for visiting! 🙂

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