Home > General > Developers and QA – pair testing

Developers and QA – pair testing

I’m writing this from a developer’s perspective. I don’t have the experience or background to present this from a tester’s perspective.

Most people are familiar with pair programming and its benefit in a wide spectrum of scenarios. However, I don’t see very many people practicing pair testing. I find that pair testing with both a developer and tester to be extremely beneficial to both people. The savings in communication overhead is worth it by itself.

  • Collaboration – Not only do I rely on my testers to verify functionality, but to identify scenarios where a system or function would fail. In other words, testers are also users of a system. When soliciting feedback about a feature or update, I always involve the business, developers, and testers. Unfortunately, I rarely see this happening.
  • Knowledge sharing – Occasionally when I’m working with someone who isn’t as familiar with a system, they aren’t really sure what type of questions to ask. I find that people really open up once I start explaining the system from start to finish. Not all questions are going to be answered in a single pair testing session, especially for a complex system. Being able to ask questions face-to-face allows a person to understand the system faster and more thoroughly.
  • Mutual Learning – The best way to learn something is to teach it. Over many sessions, I’ve found many ways to test my own code more effectively and have gained new perspectives on how something may be used. Testers gain a more thorough understanding of the system they are testing and learns how a developer steps through and debugs issues.
  • Safety net – I find that one of the most valuable traits of a good tester is the ability to ask good questions. I very much dislike working with people who do not ask questions if they don’t understand a topic. There have been many times where asking questions have led me to question the way I’ve implemented something. Perhaps it was a small issue that I overlooked or a hidden issue that we managed to uncover as part of our collaboration. Whichever the case, it helps me from having tunnel vision.

In my opinion, breaking down the communication barrier between developers and testers is one the most important goals that a team can achieve.

  1. shobhit
    December 7, 2013 at 2:22 am

    That’s some thing I agree too. Nice to read your blog!
    It always boils down to what a team can achieve rather than a individual contributions.

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