What would you tell junior programmers about software testing?

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    Ronan Healy

    I thought this might stir up some interesting advice/thoughts. If you were to meet a junior programmer, what would you tell them about software testing.

    Or better, what should they know?

    Obviously the first one would be: it exists! 😆


    Hi Ronan,

    I would tell a junior programmer how important the software testing job is because te tester is mostly the last tier that uses and checks the product before delivering it to customers.

    I would also explain him/her that when testing, the tester should think as a customer that uses the product. A tester should always see the software on both directions: from inside the company that develops the product and from the user’s perspective.

    Furthermore I would tell a junior how important the communication is. A tester should be able to communicate well to all members of the team especially with the development colleagues when finding a bug.

    Also a junior must be very curios and not be afraid to ask questions. Even if he/she questions a lot, the junior tester must be encouraged to go further, to analyze all the details of the software and try to find as many bugs as possible.

    Of course, the tester should also not forget the programming skills. The tester must be prepared to be able to adapt himself to new technologies and products.



    I would tell a junior programmer that testing will be part of his or her role as a developer. How big a role will depend on the team structure. In the past when I was programmer we did not have dedicated testers so we tested our own and each other’s code. In the teams I have worked in recently developers created and ran unit tests before releasing the code to testers. In Agile teams developers may be expected to take over part of the testing if it creating a bottleneck. Even if this was not explicitly required I would expect a developer to carry basic tests before handing over. Don’t waste testers time with code that won’t load or crashes during the basic flow.

    I would tell him/her that the testers are part of the same team with a common goal to producing a quality system. The tester’s skills will allow her/him to find more subtle defects. A bug report is not a failure on the part of the developer. I would also say that he/she can go back to the tester and ask for additional tests to help pinpoint an elusive bug. On occasion I have sat with a deveoper while he ran code in debug mode and between us we have located the defect and worked out the required fix.

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