Right Sourced Software Testing: Overcoming Obstacles
By Tomomi Uchida Molin
Right sourced software testing and its importance cannot be understated. When done correctly, by professionals, testing can reduce costs. We can increase the quality of a system through testing to identify and remove issues found. Unfortunately, many are still reluctant to commit to testing. In this blog, we look at why that might be from a psychological perspective.
When testers provide developers with a list of defects to address, it is often viewed as a critique. I have often had to reveal that neither the developed system nor the product are ready.
This has led to tension as we go through the issues identified in the testing process. The tension is an emotive response but working as a professional requires you to set your emotions aside. It is therefore crucial to deliver this type of news in a logical fashion. Let the facts speak for themselves.
Right Sourced Software Testing & Psychological Factors to tackle
Psychological factors are the basis for the tension described above. ‘Confirmation bias’ and ‘cognitive bias’ are two of the most common. The first relates to people believing something to be correct and struggling to accept it is not. The second describes the difficulty they may have in processing the information uncovered during testing. As a result of these factors, testing can be seen as a negative force.
It is important to always remember that everybody on the project is working towards the same objective.
Delivering the Test Results
Testing reveals facts which when shared, should be framed in a constructive manner. There should be no criticism of anyone – after all, we are in a collaborative process.
Present the defects clearly and concisely so that they can be understood and fixed.
Clear Objectives & Clear Communication
Testing is done to uncover information – it’s as simple as that. This information can then be used to decide whether or not the system is ready to go live. Testing therefore makes achieving a higher level of quality possible.
Testing is conceptual by nature. It is not a tangible product, so it can be difficult for people to appreciate its true value. For those new to it, the important role testing can play is not easy to convey.
One way to demonstrate this value is by establishing clear testing objectives. List out the tasks required to achieve them and communicate them early on. Ensure they are clearly documented in a test plan and include details on resources, risks and the level of testing involved.
A Variety of Mindsets is Key
The mindset of a tester is generally different to that of a developer. One is looking for potential defects whilst the other is just trying to build something that works..
Those different mindsets combined can augment the overall quality of the software. They can also help to ensure the correct level of testing is applied by the right people, making the end goal much more achievable.
The aim of this article was to present testing in a different light. It is a fact that human psychology plays a large role in the software testing process. Overcoming emotional challenges can be crucial in testing.
About the Author
Tomomi is an Application Specialist for theICEway ecosystem of companies. As eTestware is the testing arm for theICEway and Tomomi is such a test enthusiast, she was only too happy to contribute towards our blog!