Friday, July 9, 2010

To Trust, or Not to Trust - Part 1 of 7...

"To be or not to be --- That remains the question..." - started Hamlet in his soliloquy. But, what he did not know was that he was being watched by a few other people when he was delivering it.....

Similarly, a software tester also has to, over time, build credibility with other team members – Be it peers, or bosses, or bigger bosses, or sub-ordinates. Having said that, a tester should also know a list of people he can trust.

Trees have been felled in the go-green world on writing millions of zillions of articles on why the test teams need to build credibility with other team members. But, the question that’s posed here is -- Have the other teams built their credibility with the testers?

Need for the Question
Is there a need for the question posed above? Why does the test team need to know which other team have built their credibility with the test teams?

Well, to cut a long story short, let’s take a quick look and ask the tester the following questions, before he starts testing.

1) What’s your confidence level on the fact that there will not be scope creep?

2) What’s your confidence level on coverage of non-functional requirements?

3) How sure are you that the defect is fixed, when the developer checks-in code at 11 PM?

4) Do you believe that the Dev teams have completed the code review? Or are they under pressure from senior management to start testing at the earliest and have turned a blind eye to the code being reviewed?

5) A problem has occurred in production and you have been asked to call the support engineer. How confident are you that the production support engineer has given you all logs? How confident are you that he’d support you?

6) You have goofed up big time. How confident are you that, when you confide this in your boss, your boss won’t blow it out of proportion, but would correct you?

7) You have just conveyed the biggest risks to your project managers, whose objective is on-time delivery. How confident are you that they would have conveyed the risks to the clients?

And the answer is…
The answer to all would be a confidence %. Or confidence quotient. And that directly will be more, or less, depending on how much credibility that the concerned person has built with you over time.

For the software tester, life is tough, since people start noting him only at the fag end of the test chain. He is the last line of defense and has to handle all the pressure.

During this time, the tester will need to make decisions on who can and cannot be trusted. How is this decision made? Only on the basis of your relationship with the person and how they have reacted to a similar situation in the past. And that’s why you need to know who have built their credibility with you.

I will try and pen my thoughts on future posts, on what can potentially happen when there’s lack of trust between the tester and the peer. Will try to post them in another 7 or 8 short boring posts…..

Till then … to Trust, or not to trust... remains your question to be answered!!!

1 comment:

  1. Hi,
    I like the question "Have the other teams built their credibility with the testers?" None of the non-testing teams even talk about this, forget about building credibility. All these teams think is that we are some sort of bravehearts who need to be helping them forever whilst they keep building bug over bug by not doing their bit properly.

    This question triggers many concerns in my mind as to what all atrocious things are done to testing teams in the name of building credibility. More often, it is one sided and unfair. Nevertheless, it is important for testers to create awareness about these and help understand that credibility has to come across teams and people, not just testers. It’s a struggling job, but a worthy one.

    Parimala Shankaraiah