The testing purpose post

I’ve been following this discussion ( on Michael Bolton’s blog lately.  I’ll admit to being a convert to the context driven school and to the idea that QA is something that a lot of companies just don’t do but everybody else at their companies ( outside of testing ) thinks is being done.  It’s true that most people don’t understand what testing is capable of or why it’s needed to be done by skilled individuals with a specific mindset.  I’ve been mostly successful at getting the product teams that I work with to understand and buy-into the testing definition that Michael ( and others ) use.  In essence it’s that testers provide information to a person who makes decisions.  We do that in a great many ways and if we do that well, then the risks are known and an informed decision is made, if we don’t, then uninformed bad decisions can be made.

I still have a few individuals who want ( or believe ) testing to do things that it can’t do or shouldn’t do in my view.

There seem to be three ways of dealing with this old view:

  1. Educate them and have them become an ally
  2. Work around them ( to the point that if the rest of the product is successful and they are less relevant )
  3. Ignore them and hope they go away

I’ve had 1 work well for the majority of individuals, mainly because they were open to it.  2 has happened twice before and is usually what happens when 1 can’t happen because they don’t want to hear it. This doesn’t mean the person is on board, but they know their grips and complaints will fall on deaf ears, they can either keep bitchin or go with the progress. 3 has happened twice also, mainly cause they were unreasonable people at their core to begin with and at some point, other people discovered that and they were no longer here.


I like to create things, work with interesting people, and do all things agile. I have a testing background and really want to make great products that solve problems.

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