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  • #6966
    @kasper

    The following is a real story at an undisclosed client.

    At this client we were changing to continious deployment (more or less) and I was busy making sure that the test environment could cope with the new demands – especially continiuous regression testing.
    I needed to generate several thousand files to be used in an automated test tool. I coded the test tool myself but the data came from an external party which used an ancient proprietary format.
    Now the developers decided in all their wisdom to put the data in Excel files in order for us testers to understand and manipulate the data. This is all well in good in a manual environment but in an automated environment that is a really bad idea.
    If that was not bad enough the devs – in order to make things understandable for testers- mixed data types in several columns of the Excel so that it is easy to read by humans – and not so easy by machines.
    So now I needed to transform the Excel to csv, make sure it is utf-8, enrich the data, put it in a database, write functions / stored procedures to handle the changes needed to use the data in the automated environment and then export the whole lot back to Excel because the devs made an “easy” tool to run the test data using Excel.
    All the things the developers coded worked as advertised but the problem was that they did not consult with their client (the testers) when they made technical decisions regarding formats and running the test data. As a result they created a lot of extra work.
    The funny thing is I see this all the time with applictions. The developers decide on technical solutions without consulting their customers about it. They talk functionality with customers.
    By behaving like rock stars developers feel they own the universe but by chronically underestimating their customers they generate a lot extra work to integrate their ‘perfect’ code in the reality of ongoing business changes.
    So here is my advise to programmers: please consult your clients about the technology you are going to use; they might surprise you with their domain knowledge!

    Do any of you have a similar experience?

    #6991
    @ronan

    @kasper Quite a situation! I came across a blog post this week on working in Agile with developers by Maaret Pyhäjärvi .

    Relating to your point, the quote if found interesting about it was when talking about Agile and working with developers she said the worst thing was that “the sense that so much of my energy goes into fighting for my right to exist and feeling isolated, different.”

    Sounds a bit similar to your experience.

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