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    How many developers are in you development team compared to testers?
    Do you think there should be a set ratio and if so, what should that be?


    impossible to say really.. hwo should I count it, if the dev’s do testing/automation – and I sometimes do problem solution (like Allan Page.
    What if there are no devs – then the number is either 0, NotANumber or inifinite depending on your math interpretation of division by zero.


    At the moment most of our teams are 3 devs and 1 test with the test covering manual and automation in some teams and just manual in others (depending on the product). I’m currently covering test for a team of 3 devs plus testing for my own dev and a dev from yet another team. I tend to automate in parallel or ahead of manual testing and find that this maximises my output, I know that the tests for other teams prefer to cover all manual first and go back to the function later and automate (although this has a tendency to turn into “if there’s time”). Ideally I’d prefer test resource to be assigned in relation to complexity and size of project rather than number of devs as not all devs have the same rate of output.


    @jesper-lindholt-ottosen Good point.

    @christina Sounds like you have to be good at time management working with those different devs for different projects?


    @ronan – it’s actually simpler than it sounds! Just a case of making sure I know from the morning scrum who’s likely to be waiting for testing before moving much further forwards and prioritising that way. One of the teams is mainly working on bug fixing in legacy software so testing for them is concentrated mainly on small isolated adjustments and is always manual only (some requires regression for impact from inherited or shared code but not a lot). Luckily, apart from bespoke projects, all teams have the same delivery dates so balancing test allocation tends to be fairly straight-forwards (only gets complicated if something falls apart badly on testing and the devs throw in a lot of extra hours on overtime to get things sorted as test doesn’t usually get authorised overtime).


    @christina That actually sounds straight forward. Nice balancing act there. I suppose like anything, it all works perfectly until something goes wrong!


    Hi Ronan,

    It is hard to say and I think it depends on the context. There are domains where the products need to meet specific standards like health industry, avionics, automotive etc. and there is a large focus on testing. In these cases there might be departments where the ratio is 1.

    Another aspect is time to delivery; projects not delivering very frequently can have no testers but hire them only during releases or outsource the testing activities.

    I have seen that companies try to have something like a business agreement for this ratio. In companies where there are different teams and projects the companies decide a standard ratio for all teams. Most often I have heard about 3 dev to 1 test. Personally, I don’t think there should be a standard ratio because you have to take into consideration various aspects like product’s/project’s complexity, velocity, technology etc.



    In my experience generally is 3 to 1 (3 developers to 1 tester), but it changes depending of the type and size of development, sometimes could be just 1 to 1. But as I mentioned before I think is a matter of each project/case specifically.



    So it seems to change with the type of industry. What do you guys prefer. I suppose 1:1 ratio means that the testing is as valued as the development and a lesser ratio means that companies might not be worried about catching every bug before a release.

    Have any of you guys changed teams where the ratio has changed? How have you found that transition?


    Hi Ronan ,
    There is no right answer to the question of “what’s the right ratio”. Many software testing companies may answer with a 1:1 ratio. But the bottom line is that it’s just very difficult to estimate the amount of QA and testing that should accompany a software development effort. A lot of it depends on your company’s software development process, skills of your development staff, and complexity of the logic in the software you are developing .


    I agree with Sneha. There cannot be a fixed QA to dev ratio because there can be so many factors that are involved. The first testing project I worked on had a team of around 50 developers and we were a team of 11 testers. And now as a freelancer there is always 1 tester to n number of developers 🙂

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