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Rebelcast Episode 6 – On Testing Software

Rebelcast Episode 6 – On Testing Software.

Nobody knows software better than developers. But even in a perfect world, developers can make mistakes that could jeopardize productivity flow and cause sleepless hours with gallons of Redbull. This is why it’s important to integrate testing throughout not only your production pipeline, but also in development too.

Your ability to test your software is a huge part of being a great developer. In Jevgeni’s words, “devs can write the software and run testing alongside so they can have some predictability.” Functional testing is the most important one for JK; finding something that was failing before, and make sure that it’s succeeding now. But if you do test, which components do you test and how often should you do it? Tom believes that unit testing is easier for devs to do, though it may not be the safest all the time. While in some instances unit testing is sufficient for small pieces that require functional checks, at its core that only takes care of one very particular aspect of a project.

Every job is different. What about having a secret testing team… how accountable could that be? Tell us what you think @ZeroTurnaround on Twitter.

  • Simon Maple

    I disagree that developers are better at testing because they know their code. (Caveat – unless you’re talking about white box style/unit testing)

    A tester should test what the product is supposed to do and how it is supposed to function, whether it be behaviour or API. You shouldn’t need knowledge of internal implementation to do this. It may be useful to talk to a developer to understand which areas they think may need more testing.

    I don’t think a developer can test as well for a number of reasons. Firstly, if they made an oversight/assumption in during their development they may well make the same oversight in test. Secondly, developers and testers have different pressures (rightly or wrongly), a developer has pressure to deliver code and a product. A tester has the pressure to ensure the quality of the product. The two often do not mix and often the latter will be lost. Lastly there is a point of view difference between the developer and tester. A developer will have their head in their code, and could miss out on the big picture, including UX, UI etc, where as a tester should live in the users shoes.

    (Spoken as an ex tester and test-team lead :) )

  • Ike

    Depends a lot from the project which type of testing should be done (more), but ideally if you could feature both aspects, it’s great.