Demonic Developers

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    So I had my first fight today! With a female senior developer. I pointed out that I wanted to tighten things up a bit. Make a case for more robust method of bug tracking as I felt this area could be improved as people have gotten lazy!! I got chewed out hard! She did not like me telling her her baby was in danger of going out broken because her method was lacking. She said that I didn’t know what proper bug tracking was and in fact testing as a whole is a waste of time cause all the real testing is done at the start in the code. She said software testers are now obsolete. Her rant continued after lunch. The only thing that counts in test driven software development is the code. It’s the only area that is consistently up-to-date. Test plans are out of date. Manual testers just fill out reports. They serve no real purpose. If it was down to me I wouldn’t hire anymore testers. Let the users do the testing as they expect it to be buggy anyway and they just give it back to us to fix!!

    Please give me some ammo to ram down her throat.


    You could always ask if all her code and all the tests in it have revealed the lacking in procedure that you just told her?

    Or as some people put it: Machines can’t test. Machines can check!


    That was a nice welcome to Test / Development collaboration. The Developer seems to be a bit frustrated with the Testing. Let me guess are doing either BDD or ATDD mixed with manual and some automation. It also so appears she took the phrase the “Code is the Source of Truth” out of context. After moving to BDD and ATDD I had similar battle. What I did was to being the develop to my desk and ask is this the “Source of Truth” we would like to release?

    How did this change to less battle and more collaboration, Forget about yesterday, With each new project once you have the acceptance criteria would with the Developer to identify what should become part of you CI tests. She will then begin to see the value that Testers can being. You may want to work with Business to identify Business Scenarios (make this a game) Then bring these back to Developers to see what can be turned into CI tests.

    On Bug Management you should make your case with the team not individuals, I’ve never understood why develops’ get upset when discussing defects, but approach as a collaboration opportunity; can you help me I don’t understand, or Do you have any more information, Can we discuss the fix, What impact does the fix have to other areas, Using “asking” not “telling” phases, My favourite phase “isn’t it great a colleague found it instead of being embarrassed in front of the business”. I know this sounds like you are rolling over, and yes sometimes I have to go outside and scream at trees but at the end of the day, They are happier for some strange reason.


    I’d like to ask 10 questions. I’m limiting myself to 10 because I also want to include some other points.
    1) What is it that you want? What is “more robust method of bug tracking” to you? How do you handle it now? Why it needs to be more robust?
    2) The way I read your text makes me feel you are agitated. It’s almost if the problem you need help with is fighting against the developer, not the case about bug tracking method. Have you clarified to yourself where you need help with?
    3) Did you use for example the words “lazy”, “baby”, and “broken” in the discussion? How did the discussion proceed? Did people listen to each other?
    4) Do you have users reporting bugs? Who are the users? Is the management OK with them reporting bugs?
    5) Will a more robust bug tracking method improve the quality of the product? How?
    6) If the developer would have been a man, would you have started your text with “With a male senior developer”?
    7) Does your product contain sensitive content, such as personal information and credit card data? What kind of security and privacy related risks there are?
    8) Who else are in the team? What do they think about? Who pays your salary and why?
    9) Is it somehow possible we would know what she has to say about this discussion, how she felt etc?
    10) Why did the discussion continue after lunch? Who kept it going on and how?

    Now some points (I’ll ignore a few sentences, but comment on most):

    She did not like me telling her her baby was in danger of going out broken because her method was lacking.

    Later you mentioned she said users are already telling this.

    …testing as a whole is a waste of time cause all the real testing is done at the start in the code.

    Some testing is done before the code, some while writing the code, and some later on. What is the waste she wants to remove? Could it be that she doesn’t like to receive bug reports? Maybe the way how bugs are communicated? How have you explained the value of your work?

    She said software testers are now obsolete.

    Testers can be, in some cases, but testing is not. Nothing new or revolutionary in this.

    Test plans are out of date.

    Do you deploy live directly or is your application in production out of date? What is the problem if a test plan is out of date? What is a test plan to you? If the developer the test plans should be updated sooner, why would you not work together to reach that goal?

    Manual testers just fill out reports. They serve no real purpose.

    Have you tried to show the developer what you do, how you investigate a product, what you find from it…? Do you have also managers who “only sit in meetings and drink coffee”? This kind of comment makes me feel there is little-to-none collaboration and teamwork. Think what you could do to improve it.

    Please give me some ammo to ram down her throat.

    This makes you sound like a douche. Please consider editing the post or asking someone to delete the thread so you can start from a “clean table”. If you edit the post, notify me and I will remove this quote, too.



    One of the Senior Management did mention, he would like to see the passion in the job, that can bring the real value. Hence, we need to be clear about what, why, what and how we do things.

    You are indeed trying to work the way out, and you need support, to tell you that, yes, this is the correct way of doing things, we need to deliver rather than just treating things as a piece of work.

    In realistic, things just don’t seem to get right. At times, from your point of view, it is still room for improvement. For the other party, they might have their concerns, i.e., the testing effort is charged by test case; the quantity of bug will lower down the KPI; over times, they have shown good reputation, and out of all sudden, someone appearing and say this is all need to be revamped.

    Yeah, “collaborative” is the word. Can we choose to collaborate, and change things stages by stages? If this helps.

    Moreover, system development now becoming a collaboration between testers and developers from all different countries, different cultural back ground.

    The way people deliver, what is the expectation of the Senior Management, all this bring effects to the current situation that you are facing.

    Constantly communicate is the way, to get the same tick in the head, and eventually make a change..


    This conflict raises some questions for me regarding how long you two have been working together?
    If either of you are new to the company perhaps her experience with testers has not been very good. There are all levels of competency out there on both sides. Perhaps also, she was having a bad day for something else and you just got the brunt of it.
    Also are you her boss? If not then you have no authority to tell her how to do her job. Are there standards in the company for what she should be doing? If not then again you have no leg to stand on. If there are standards and she is not keeping to them then that is a discussion with her manager.
    Be a leader not a teller. Present to the team, developers and testers, a better way to do things and why. Let them add to it to make things better. Collaborate. Do not make this an Us vs Them thing. Creating a quality product is a collaborative effort.
    And yes bugs can reach the customer. They always will. The question is are the number of defects found by the customer acceptable to the leaders of the company. Until the situation becomes a pain point change will be hard.


    Hi Ben.

    I suppose this is what happens when you come to someone that is under stress.
    Timing was bad and probably the words you used were not chosen well.
    Collaboration between development and testing is of a great importance.
    I think that mutual respect is needed and here it starts from you.
    You have to come out with ideas that you can improve your work and not burden others with it.
    As I understood from the writing… and it stated with senior female developer, etc. you have to see this from another perspective.
    Prepare something you can show – automate some tests, make a template of what you want to test and how to improve it and show it.
    Get the attention of all involved and get feedback.
    Never start fights where is not necessary.
    You are all on the same boat.
    The ones who get it are the users at the end …and their UX is the most important on most of the cases.

    Hope you will resolve your differences and find the same interest and start building up from there.

    BR, K

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