Are Some of Us Doing it Wrong?

I love the Testing Community, there are so many opportunities to share knowledge, talk to others, attend events and learn. Of course, there are always different perspectives, different opinions and different ideas and this is part of what makes the community so great!

I had heard the term “Imposter Syndrome” banded about for the last few years and never really felt it myself, but recently, I have not only experienced it myself, it actually brought a sense of “Am I doing it wrong?” and having had some conversations on social media and recently at UKStar, I started to realise I wasn’t alone. To the point that people were deciding to not attend events because they didn’t feel good enough.

This was also inspired by a thread on twitter by @AllCapsTester:

Let me give a bit more context, recently there have been some phrases thrown around:

  • “Test cases are dead!”
  • “There is no need for dedicated Testers anymore”
  • “Everyone is doing Agile/DevOps”
  • “Testers need to code”

Now I’m not saying any of these phrases are wrong, but they are communicated like they are the norm. Of course, there are a huge amount of innovative people in the community that have inspiring ideas and have brought them to fruition, but for as many that are following innovative methods, there are probably just as many who still following waterfall with a team of dedicated QA who write hundreds of manual test cases. Does that make them bad Testers? No. Are they doing something wrong? Of course not. Does that mean we should avoid working for those companies? Probably not.

Don’t get me wrong, there is always room for improvement and I’m sure the above mentioned are improving what they do to ensure there Testing is as effective as it can be. All should be able to appreciate what they do and not feel like they aren’t good enough.

I have also found Social Media is not always the place to have discussions about the above points as it can be quite intimidating. Semantics can be argued over and increasingly can make people feel like they aren’t good enough.

So it’s really a simple plea, when talking about an innovative solution to move the industry forward, please don’t talk about it like everyone is already doing it. Let’s embrace the abilities of everyone in our industry. We are only moving forward as fast as our slowest member, let’s help get everyone to to be the best they can be and feel like they are doing a good job, even if they aren’t up with the latest ideas.

9 thoughts on “Are Some of Us Doing it Wrong?

  1. I agree with some of your points:
    We love throwing phrases.
    We love discussing nomenclature I did my own pice on this subject:

    And almost always social media is wrong place for this discussion (although argument could be made there is no better place)

    But I don’t agree with your interpretation
    These phases have to be strong have to be said like they are the norm. Cause they are made to be provocative and simple. It easier to say
    “Everyone is doing Agile/DevOps” than “Most of the change leading companies are doing Agile/DevOps and it is spreading to other companies making Waterfall in retreat but that doesn’t mean it will die”

    Sorry but if for each argument I would have made I would have to write such point Discussion won’t ever happen. And nobody would be able to share the Ideas.
    We are humans we love catchy phases. In my opinion that is one of the reasons why Agile caught on
    Agile manifesto is simple and easy to undersend (but you could discuss nuances of it for days)

    What I think we should advocate are Better Quality articles. This is the space where we should explain our ideas and thought process behind our catchphrases. And here we need to be true. We should be saying :
    “When I say”Everyone is doing Agile/DevOps” i mean: Most of the change leading companies are doing Agile/DevOps and it is spreading to other companies making Waterfall in retreat but that doesn’t mean it will die” because companies X,Y,Z (….) are doing agile. And on list of top change leaders onyl A is waterfall. ”

    To sum it up your Idea is wonderful and I wish It could work. But the sad thing is it can’t work without killing the pace of discussion or Ideas ability to spread.

    1. You’re right, maybe I paraphrased the bullets, but I have genuinely heard and seen people state them that bluntly. I’m not after stopping discussion and moving the industry forward. I’m just concerned that there are more than we think that haven’t made that journey to new found glory yet and should consider that when talking as if everyone is doing it their way.

      1. I can second that people are forgetting about adoption curve I prefer the market penetration version:

        and most Ideas are born and concerned about “Early Majority” and that alright.
        Sorry but the world is not waiting.
        There are places that are and will be a waterfall. Cause there are places where waterfall actualy works (or due to legal reasons Agile can’t work)

        I think a voice like yours is important. There are people that are not keeping up with discussion and treat ideas as Truths Set in stone. And we need to remind them that is not as simple.

        But at the same time, we can’t stall discussion. We need to find balance.

  2. I have to say I have been working on a similar blog and if I may I will refer to yours as well. I think you are completely correct about what you say. As critical thinkers I think its important to know how other people are doing things be able to assess if it is the right technique or method for you and your teams context and be able to apply it effectively. This can be hard to do if people are saying this is the normal way of doing it as you start to doubt your own critical thinking.

  3. But when you try to unpick some of these statements (in the real world), you find that different organisations have different interpretations of nearly all these ideas. A concept like ‘Agile’ or ‘DevOps’ will mean different things to different people; organisations or even individual teams will take something like the Agile Manifesto and use the bits of it that seem most useful or appropriate to them. Even if they start with a blank sheet of paper and sign up to Agile in its entirety, after six months you will see variations in what they understand by ‘Agile’ and what parts of it they find useful when compared to other organisations.

    And that’s before you even consider variations in product; a team producing a bespoke API to bolt into a specific suite of legacy apps will have different objectives and requirements to a team working on, say, a mobile phone app that’s going to be exposed to real world users on a daily basis. These things will influence the way they adopt a whole range of working practices, organisational ideas and associated artefacts that support the app (such as documentation, something that Agile will never completely eliminate, much as some people think it will, because of specific market requirements).

    There is no ‘one size fits all’ model for software development; but this is a Good Thing, because the more different situations there are out there, the more we can learn from each other about different situations that one day we may need to apply ourselves when faced with a new challenge. So on that basis, no-one is “doing it wrong”; rather, we are all doing it as well as we can under the circumstances we find ourselves in. The trick is to be aware of different ways of doing things and to be ready to try out approaches that may be new to us when we begin to think our current approach is no longer delivering.

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