Life has been very hectic in the last two months, before the New Year. This is the time, when our customers renew the IT contracts and prospects invite us to bid for new testing opportunities. This is a great time for two reasons:
The questions are direct and mostly fundamental, something that you and I have perhaps forgotten during the daily grind of project execution. During one such instance of customer interaction, a testing head of one of the fast-growing business lines asked me “What is the purpose of testing?”
While I responded to that question, we felt that there was a merit in discussing it with a larger group separately. What followed was a long debate with the group, including the customer.
Many of us talked about “analysis,” “diagnosis,” “defect finding,” “verifying,” “stability,” “performance” and many other purposes. After spending considerable amount of time, we all came to a consensus that in the IT context, testing is carried out to “ensure that the end-user of the system has a great experience using it.”
If this is the purpose, then there are many aspects to look at. First and foremost, the testing team needs to be involved in the SDLC testing phase completely and all artifacts must be tested. To ensure a great product, the issues need to be unearthed at the earliest, preferably in the phase of introduction.
The second aspect is the capability of the testers. Many testers are used to verifying the product against a specification. Additionally, a deep insight into the end user is what is needed. Simulating the deployment environment is also equally critical.
Last but not the least, a tester truly needs to be the voice of quality. Being a tester, one has to only think of the end-user experience. Keeping that in mind, a tester is expected to be fearless in exposing the issues before the product is released.
I will be glad to hear your thoughts with this short experiment on back to basics thinking.