Testing is dead, long live the Tester

For many years Testing has struggled to become recognized as an IT competence in its own right. And we were successful, as indicated by for instance the number of dedicated testing vacancies or well attended test conferences. And for a long time the main focus was on the methodological side of Testing: TMap, TPI, ISTQB and many other methods or approaches were developed and refined. But with the advent of Agile development it became clear that the testing community needed to broaden its focus, methodology alone isn’t enough anymore. One of the aspects that is still in its infancy is ‘the human factor’ (in TMap terms, this means that we need to pay more attention to one of the essentials, namely ‘adaptivity’ … but now I’m taking a methodological approach once more!).

Ben VisserSo where and how does it become apparent that the testing community is learning and developing into a discipline that truly recognizes the value of the individual more and more? One of these fields is Model Based Testing. The ‘extra’ skill or competence the Model Based Tester brings to the table, when compared to the ‘traditional’ tester, is his or hers ability to look and work beyond the boundaries of testing, creating models ourselves when they’re not available through development. As such the tester transcends the all too familiar role of quality person that roams the sidelines of the playing field, telling what to do – and what not! – without active participation in the software delivery process. This is changing: the tester is entering the playing field to actively contribute to a project’s success. And the nice thing about it is that we do not only do this in Agile development, but in end-to-end testing or acceptance testing as well.

The tester is finally becoming an all round IT professional!

More information:

Ben Visser is a highly experienced test manager and test consultant. In a career of over 15 years as a tester, he has fulfilled a wide range of test functions, from programmer of automated scripts, to test manager of a large international program. He has worked in traditional waterfall developments as a change manager responsible for test and acceptance environments, as well as model-based testing.

Based on this extensive experience, he co-authored Sogeti’s TMap NEXT® Business Driven Test Management (Nov 08) and more recently TPI® NEXT.

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