Q

Educating developers about testing

Developers should be familiar with testing, but to what extent should they be trained? Software testing expert Karen N. Johnson explains the relationship between developers and testing.

Is software testing a subject of discussion only for testers? Or should the developers be educated on the role play and importance of testing equally?

Software testing should be a discussion for everyone on the project team. Each person on a project team should have at least a brief understanding of all the roles on the project.

Developers should be educated on testing. The question is, then, to what extent should they be educated?

An awareness and respect for software testing is the starting point. If a developer understands testing, their code will likely improve. The more a developer understands testing, the easier it might be for a tester and developer to work through defects and project issues together.

But expecting developers to acquire an equal understanding of software testing might be unrealistic. Developers have other training and skills to acquire and their time and focus is not the same as the testers.

Focus is an important aspect. It's a good idea to recognize that a developer's point of view and any testing they conduct will likely remain focused on proving what they have built works. It's a natural tendency to protect what we build.

Awareness, knowledge, and respect for software testing is a reasonable goal, equal training is an unlikely goal.

More information:
This was first published in February 2007

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