Decoding the friction between developers and testers

Software testing team leaders need to take action to demonstrate their unit’s value and get out from the shadow of developers.

Software developers and testers have long had to deal with a certain amount friction existing between the two business units. Most of these related issues stem from the fact that programmers tend to not readily recognize the value of software quality assurance. Many developers see testing as something of a burden that drags down the production process.

Without a strict adherence to QA best practices, however, organizations will inevitably see their software development efforts end in failure as they release deeply flawed programs. Ultimately, it’s the responsibility of QA managers to demonstrate the tangible benefits of conducting thorough software testing. By doing so, they can shed their department’s image as a hindrance and get out from the shadow of development teams.

Java Code Geeks contributor Remon Sinnema noted that delay in returning tested builds back to software programmers is a major source of friction between developers and testers. Any slow down in the production cycle that can be attributed to the QA department will likely be seen by coders as further evidence that this unit stands in the way of meeting tight release dates.

It’s important that QA leaders do what they can to speed up the testing process without sacrificing diligence and attention to detail. One way to accelerate testing is to deploy automated tools. Automated test scripts can analyze far more code than a manual operator ever could, resulting in shorter turn around times on test results.



Speed Up the Testing Process

Another way to enhance the testing process is to utilize real-time updates with all relevant reports. Developers won’t be left sitting around, unnecessarily waiting for their QA counterparts to send the latest documentation if this information can be uploaded as soon as it is finished. A quality, comprehensive test management system offers the ideal platform to freely share reports and other crucial resources between testers and developers.

Speed and efficiency are vital to keeping software testing processes on track and preventing projects from stretching longer than originally expected. It’s up to QA management to monitor team activity and ensure that everyone is carrying out their outlined duties within a desired time frame. As Software Test Professionals noted, maintaining a high level of oversight will enable QA managers to make better use of the personnel and tools available to them.

“In order to successfully allocate resources, a leader must have a clear focus on the testing department’s end goals and maintain a visual above the minefield,” the source stated. “When a leader understands both human and technical resource allocation, they can most effectively be open-minded to revolutionizing change for the betterment of the organization.”

Test management software enables QA leaders to obtain the monitoring capabilities needed to keep teams on task and meeting deadlines. Becoming a well-oiled and efficient department will go a long way toward demonstrating the value of software testing.


About the Author


As the VP of Client Service for Zephyr, Sanjay brings over 15 years of leadership experience in IT and Technical Support Services. Throughout his career, Sanjay has successfully established and grown premier IT and Support Services teams across multiple geographies for both large and small companies. Most recently, he was Associate Vice President at Patni Computers (NYSE: PTI) responsible for the Telecoms IT Managed Services Practice where he established IT Operations teams supporting Virgin Mobile, ESPN Mobile, Disney Mobile and Carphone Warehouse. Prior to this Sanjay was responsible for Global Technical Support at Bay Networks, a leading routing and switching vendor, which was acquired by Nortel. Sanjay has also held management positions in Support Service organizations at start-up Silicon Valley Networks, a vendor of Test Management software, and SynOptics.
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