Adding humour to Tester/Developer collaboration
Pat Kua has a recent post where he talks about the language used between testers and developers when talking about defects that testers come across when testing some functionality and while I would agree with him that the language used is important, I’ve always found that injecting some humour into the situation takes the edge off.
As Dahlia points out I think this is probably only possible if there is good rapport between the developers and testers on the team so perhaps this has been the case for the teams I’ve worked on.
I would find it quite disappointing if my first attempt at a story cleared all the way through to business sign off without a tester in the team at least coming up with some cases where it doesn’t work properly - I try to think of the scenarios that someone with a testing hat on would come up with but they are way better at that role than I am so there’s bound to be something that I’ve missed.
Now this doesn’t mean that I should keep recreating the same types of defects/bugs over and over again - that would be the waste of re-learning and doesn’t add a whole lot of value.
In all the teams I’ve worked on there has definitely been a bit of banter between the testers and the developers whereby the testers tell us off ‘tongue in cheek’ for putting so many bugs into the code and we respond by asking them not to keep on breaking the application.
I’ve always felt that this approach worked reasonably well although it should probably be pointed out that I only do that with my ThoughtWorks colleagues where we pretty much have an implicit understanding that we are not criticising each other when talking in such a (supposedly) blunt manner.
If there’s any underlying lesson from this approach then I would suggest it’s that developers would be better of assuming that a tester is probably going to find a bug in their code and that they shouldn’t assume something is finished just because it is development complete.
Testers on the other hand maybe can be less confrontational (as Pat suggests) when they find bugs - the developers didn’t put them in there deliberately! You guys just happen to be way better at using the application in a way that finds its’ flaws than we are.
Keeping it light hearted is also way more fun!