Do Developers And Testers Remind You Of Anyone?
Developers versus Testers: it’s a familiar relationship. The Developer’s job is to create, design and impress, the Tester’s is to find as many defects as possible before it gets released to the end user. And for those of you who remember the sitcom Married With Children, their relationship is not unlike the interactions that Al and Peggy endure.
For those of you unaware of the ’90s American comedy, it’s all about a (dis)functional family that seemingly hates each other, coming up with an array of ways to annoy one another, yet always sticking it out together, as a family. Distrust of motives is a constant theme of the characters of Al and Peg.
Distrust exists with both Developer and Tester, who want the same thing, a product that works, but approach the problem from opposing directions. They might disagree about a lot of things, yet deep down they know they couldn’t exist without each other. Sometimes what actually is and isn’t a defect can be matter of blurred debate and their soap opera begins.
While Developers are the core of the software, including its flashy design and creative coding, it’s the Testers role to bring them back down to earth with a slice of reality – as Peggy does with Al…
Peg: You got a night job?
Al: I’ve already got one of those. It’s called ’Getting in Bed with You.
Peg: Well, then. You’ve been missing work.
But in reality it’s the Developers and the Testers working together that is the driver of software development. It wasn’t that long ago when these separate roles weren’t that separate at all.
In a short period of time these roles have become a critical dichotomy of well-produced software; one creates and the other ensures it works in the way it should. They are dependent on each other’s skills in order to prosper.
Developers want things to look good and impress, testers just want them to work and the best way for a developer to get what they want is prolonged avoidance:
Peg: Now, I want you to take this to work with you and hang it up, so I can be with you all day long.
Al: Well, that kinda defeats the purpose of going to work, doesn’t it?
Software testing is enormously popular these days, especially when issues of security are taken into consideration. Defects can prove costly, we are living in a time when nearly everything we do relies on some piece of software to make it happen. It can be frustrating when we can’t complete the simplest of tasks because of some glitch in the technology.
Peg: Al, I want the whole enchilada. The whole 4 yards.
Al: That’s 9 yards, Peg.
Peg: Do you really want me to get out the ruler?
There can often be a battle of many rounds between the two sides, the Tester finding bugs where the Developer does not. Those smart Developers realise the Tester will enhance their work. Some will still see them as destroyers of their work, criticising their code writing – no one likes to hear fault in their work.
Peg: What should we name the baby?
Al: The reaper.
Still, when code goes live and bugs are absent, positive user experience usually means both Developer and Tester got it right.
It’s not easy to separate the Developer/Tester relationship. While they might approach software from different directions, the end result must be a partnership; without Peggy there is no Al Bundy. Sometimes they fight, sometimes they work things out together and sometimes they just hug through clenched teeth.
Ascent People are interested to hear your Developer/Tester stories, is this familiar, or do you work in an integrated, supportive team?
Have your say…