Status of Software Testing Professionals Rikard Edgren

Many testers feel underrated; they don’t think they get the respect they deserve.
There are more reasons for this than suggested solutions.
One proposed solution is to define the profession more thoroughly, to get standards and certifications that can guarantee more than the bare minimum of test quality.
I am confident this isn’t the “good” path.

Main reason is that the role is so dynamic, it depends so much on the environment that standard processes or certifications often won’t be good practices. This is true for many professions, but some things are special for testing:

Expectations – there’s a huge difference between testing of a pacemaker, and testing of a personal blog. For some software the importance lies in reliability and security, and for others attractiveness is all that matters. Sometimes testing has traceability requirements, sometimes there just ain’t no time for planning.

Responsibility – even if the goals are clear, you have to figure out what is covered by other roles. If developers have good unit tests, you might not have to bother so much with regression testing.
There might, or might not, be usability, security or performance experts whose work you don’t want to overlap too much. Customer testing might cover requirement holes, and limiting contracts or “physical” access might set the scope. Regardless of your title you
might also deal with customer support, quality assurance or configuration management.

The solution for our status is small-scaled: do a darn good job by doing the testing that the product needs, and isn’t covered by others.
This will be valuable, and you will get respect, and higher status eventually.

This might mean creating automated regression tests, or very thorough testing of some details, or manual, lightweight testing beyond the requirements, or all of these and a lot outside and in between.
Your test team needs to figure out where and how you provide most value, other people can only guess (and help with expectations, responsibiities, goals.)

Long-term, we should promote testing so we get more talents, more diversity, more ideas; more, merrier and better.
University degrees might be nice, but our reputation will come with the products we help deliver.

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