Chapter 7. Interacting with Programmers

Much of your interaction with programmers will come from the bugs you report. Chapter 4 is devoted to this important area. This chapter focuses on other aspects of your interaction with programmers.

Because programmers are experts at how machines think, they're often treated as machines themselves. Don't fall into this pattern of mistreatment. Programmers are not coding machines. They have feelings, and most care a lot about the work they do.

Many programmers mistreat testers. We think the best way to prevent or counteract bad relations is to build personal relationships based on mutual respect. Assume that the individuals you work with are worthy of respect and act on that assumption. Do your work in a way that should earn their respect. Refuse to accept mistreatment or abuse.

As an official critic of the programmer's work, you must demonstrate sensitivity, appreciation, and diplomacy. Don't go overboard as a cheerleader, but let people know when you see value in their work. If their work is poor, don't be nasty about it.

Be open and honest in your dealings with programmers. Start a conversation. You may want to discuss this chapter with them. Listen to what they say.

Lesson 150: Understand how programmers think.

All three of us started out as working programmers before specializing in software testing. We still write code. Our experiences affect how we understand programmers and how, when we work as testers, we work with programmers.

Programmers ...

Get Lessons Learned in Software Testing: A Context-Driven Approach now with O’Reilly online learning.

O’Reilly members experience live online training, plus books, videos, and digital content from 200+ publishers.