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Testers Must Learn Programming: The Secret that Wasn't
Testers Must Learn Programming: The Secret that Wasn't
Testers Must Learn Programming: The Secret that Wasn't
Testers Must Learn Programming: The Secret that Wasn't
Testers Must Learn Programming: The Secret that Wasn't
Testers Must Learn Programming: The Secret that Wasn't
Testers Must Learn Programming: The Secret that Wasn't
Testers Must Learn Programming: The Secret that Wasn't
Testers Must Learn Programming: The Secret that Wasn't
Testers Must Learn Programming: The Secret that Wasn't
Testers Must Learn Programming: The Secret that Wasn't
Testers Must Learn Programming: The Secret that Wasn't
Testers Must Learn Programming: The Secret that Wasn't
Testers Must Learn Programming: The Secret that Wasn't
Testers Must Learn Programming: The Secret that Wasn't
Testers Must Learn Programming: The Secret that Wasn't
Testers Must Learn Programming: The Secret that Wasn't
Testers Must Learn Programming: The Secret that Wasn't
Testers Must Learn Programming: The Secret that Wasn't
Testers Must Learn Programming: The Secret that Wasn't
Testers Must Learn Programming: The Secret that Wasn't
Testers Must Learn Programming: The Secret that Wasn't
Testers Must Learn Programming: The Secret that Wasn't
Testers Must Learn Programming: The Secret that Wasn't
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Testers Must Learn Programming: The Secret that Wasn't

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With all the focus in the recent years on learning testing from fields like philosophy, general systems thinking and others, in my opinion the obvious has been missed. A software tester working in …

With all the focus in the recent years on learning testing from fields like philosophy, general systems thinking and others, in my opinion the obvious has been missed. A software tester working in software field should first understand the core of the software i.e. programming. When I wrote about it years back, many eyebrows were raised, in the same world which ironically advocates Agile as the next best thing. I have met and talked to hundreds of testers, developers, managers and decision makers and the message is clear, they want testers with atleast some exposure to programming. Through this presentation, I am going to talk about how knowledge of programming as being essential for a software tester is industry's best kept secret. I am going to give concrete examples from my experience about the claim. The last time I talked about it, some highly reputed professionals said that I am not talking something new. Let's find out how something not supposed to be new is still the core struggle of the thriving (or surviving?!) Indian testing industry.

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  • 1. www.unicomlearning.com World Conference on Next Generation Testing Bangalore, 17th and 18th July 2014 Testers Must Learn Programming The Secret that Wasn’t Rahul Verma Director and CTO Test Mile Software Testing Pvt Ltd www.nextgentesting.org www.testmile.com
  • 2. www.unicomlearning.com Disclaimer ? UNICOM Presents World Conference on Next Generation Testing www.nextgentesting.org Any similarity to persons, events, bugs, views is DELIBERATE. Otherwise Shouldn’t I write Testing fiction?
  • 3. www.unicomlearning.com What’s going to unfold UNICOM Presents World Conference on Next Generation Testing www.nextgentesting.org • The Counter Arguments • My Opinions • The Hypocrisy • The Final Question
  • 4. www.unicomlearning.com A Note on Experience OR Why I am Saying What I am Saying UNICOM Presents World Conference on Next Generation Testing www.nextgentesting.org “How many things have to happen to you before something occurs to you?” ― Robert Frost The Possibility that I am Biased. My story can be different than yours. But how do I undo my experience? • Functional Testing • DB Testing • GUI & non-GUI Automation • Web Performance Testing • Native App Perf Testing • Web Security Testing • Native App Sec Testing • API Testing • White box Testing • Framework development (20+ so far) • Research and data mining • Statistics and Analysis • Web development • Emulators/Simulators • Mobile Testing & automation • C/C++, Java, Python, Perl, JavaScript, VBScript • Fuzzing • Protocols: Text/Binary, File Formats and so on… My Hands-On Experience
  • 5. UNICOM Presents World Conference on Next Generation Testing The Counter-Arguments
  • 6. www.unicomlearning.com This is why Testers do not want to learn Programming (and/or advocate it as optional) UNICOM Presents World Conference on Next Generation Testing www.nextgentesting.org The following statements are actual statements made by testers on LinkedIn, Quora, blogs and so on. Names have been removed as it’s not about certain people. If somebody identifies these as his/her own and wants me to include the name, I would be happy to do so. It’s not to avoid acknowledgement for these statements to them, rather to avoid the viewers from thinking that I am singling out some testers by name. All of these are very powerful statements in their own right. “Each of us are not sent to Mars all alone and asked to test software without anyone’s access or help.” “We test code. We write code to test code. We want to uncover bugs in the code we test and we write code that also have bugs. A lot of testers are under an assumption that test code doesn’t have bugs at all.”
  • 7. www.unicomlearning.com UNICOM Presents World Conference on Next Generation Testing www.nextgentesting.org “Well I don't think that it really matters to have a strong coding knowledge to be a tester especially in case of test automation tool is in the scene. New generation testing tools support very intuitive interface making it easier to be operated by the newbie tester (irrespective of coding knowledge). Currently we can't say that it's completely codeless, but sooner or later this would be the scene, a complete code less interface.” This is why Testers do not want to learn Programming (and/or advocate it as optional)
  • 8. www.unicomlearning.com UNICOM Presents World Conference on Next Generation Testing www.nextgentesting.org “The best QA tester there is a QA tester who puts themselves in the shoes of the actual end user, knows all involved business rules & all of the system's requirements. So, knowledge of the system from a business point of view, is preferable to any level of software development the QA tester might have.” “There are indeed two kinds of testing. The ones that require human judgement and the use of the human brain and the others who don't bother thinking.” “Knowledge of code makes me biased.” This is why Testers do not want to learn Programming (and/or advocate it as optional)
  • 9. www.unicomlearning.com UNICOM Presents World Conference on Next Generation Testing www.nextgentesting.org “Testers who specialize in exploratory testing bring a different and extremely valuable set of skills to the party. Good testers have critical thinking, analytical, and investigative skills. They understand risk and have a deep understanding where bugs tend to hide. They have excellent communication skills. Most good testers have some measure of technical skill such as system administration, databases, networks, etc. that lends itself to gray box testing. But some of the very best testers I’ve worked with could not have coded their way out of a For Loop. “ (From ‘Do Testers Have To Write Code’ by Elizabeth Hendrickson, who interestingly in the post also says: “So unless they’re automating tests, I don’t think that testers should be required to have programming skills.”) This is why Testers do not want to learn Programming (and/or advocate it as optional)
  • 10. UNICOM Presents World Conference on Next Generation Testing My Arguments
  • 11. www.unicomlearning.com Which part of testing do you plan to solve without Programming? UNICOM Presents World Conference on Next Generation Testing www.nextgentesting.org • Functional Testing (What about automation?) • UX • Compatibility • Performance Testing • Security Testing • API Testing • White Box Testing • …
  • 12. www.unicomlearning.com Which part of testing do you plan to solve without Programming? UNICOM Presents World Conference on Next Generation Testing www.nextgentesting.org Source: http://lisacrispin.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/11/Agile-Testing-Quadrants.png
  • 13. www.unicomlearning.com Metrics? Job Stats? … UNICOM Presents World Conference on Next Generation Testing www.nextgentesting.org I know somebody in this room would show me a survey from the industry that shows how testing work that needs programming is in xyz ratio and so on. Question: Is the ratio of work requiring programming skills in India a reflection on the need for such work or on the sad state of skills? You don’t need to answer this question now. You know the answer anyways.
  • 14. www.unicomlearning.com Arguments on Thinking UNICOM Presents World Conference on Next Generation Testing www.nextgentesting.org • Coding makes me biased: Correct. Testing knowledge does that too, should we stop learning testing as testers or should we learn how to deal with our biases? Aren’t you biased in the absence of coding knowledge as well? • Exploratory testing adds value: It does and I don’t think that it is either exploration or coding. Both are skills that beautifully complement each other. • We can take help from the ones that know coding: How many times? For every small thing? Wouldn’t you prefer to take help that matters?
  • 15. www.unicomlearning.com Arguments on Thinking UNICOM Presents World Conference on Next Generation Testing www.nextgentesting.org • Test Code is Also Buggy: So are humans. They make mistakes all the times. So, for being error prone, should we take them out from the equation as well? • Testers should think from user’s perspective rather than learn coding: Not mutually exclusive. A good tester would be able to weigh the options/fixes/bugs. What if Usability needs to be compromised for the sake of security? What if a certain feature gives better user experience in a certain way but the corresponding logic would be heavy on performance?
  • 16. www.unicomlearning.com Arguments on Thinking UNICOM Presents World Conference on Next Generation Testing www.nextgentesting.org • There are two types of testers: programmers and thinkers: Programming is a skill and not a type of a tester. These lines have been detrimental, it is a disservice. And saying that one takes human judgement, the other doesn’t is like s***ting on development profession. Test Automation is dumb because we made it so. Also, probably you have met better humans with human judgement than I have. • Codeless Test Automation: How many times should it happen to you before it occurs to you?
  • 17. UNICOM Presents World Conference on Next Generation Testing The Hypocrisy
  • 18. www.unicomlearning.com Who Victimized Us? UNICOM Presents World Conference on Next Generation Testing www.nextgentesting.org Testing should start as early as possible. BUT Let’s not care about whether testers can get involved as early as possible. Let’s not worry about whether they have the skills.
  • 19. www.unicomlearning.com Who Victimized Us? UNICOM Presents World Conference on Next Generation Testing www.nextgentesting.org We would love to be called as Agile. BUT Let’s pick Scrum from the Agile. Even if we are interested in TDD, BDD, ATDD, let the developers worry about that.
  • 20. www.unicomlearning.com Who Victimized Us? UNICOM Presents World Conference on Next Generation Testing www.nextgentesting.org Testing and Development are equivalent jobs, they serve different purposes. BUT Oh! Why should we reject this candidate. What if s/he didn’t perform well in interview for development job well. S/he talks well. Make him/her a tester.
  • 21. www.unicomlearning.com Who Victimized Us? UNICOM Presents World Conference on Next Generation Testing www.nextgentesting.org Test Automation should be treated as a development activity. BUT Let’s not bother about reading books from development world. Let’s not even think about Design Patterns. Let’s keep presenting the same Data-Driven/Keyword Driven bull**** for a lifetime.
  • 22. UNICOM Presents World Conference on Next Generation Testing Not an Argument
  • 23. www.unicomlearning.com UNICOM Presents World Conference on Next Generation Testing www.nextgentesting.org Next time you look at your job requirement for a tester (which almost always asks for coding skills) and are not finding the corresponding candidate(s), face the following question: Am I ordering a Burger at a Pizza Store? How would you find what you never created!
  • 24. www.unicomlearning.com World Conference on Next Generation Testing Organized by UNICOM Trainings & Seminars Pvt. Ltd. contact@unicomlearning.com Speaker name: Rahul Verma Email ID: rv@testmile.com

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