Why It Is No Good Asking Developers to Test


2 m read


Testing & QA

don't ask developers to testIt is believed by some people that since programmers write the code, they will not have any problems in testing software. In some beginner companies executives also think that money can be saved instead of being wasted on professional quality assurance. But can software developers really substitute software testers? Practice shows that this is a bad idea in most cases. So let us consider the reasons in detail and prove that any development company needs a pro from a quality assurance company.

  • Subjectivity

    This is simple: developers love their code. Even if they do not admit it. Probably everyone has experienced a feeling of protest when somebody criticized their piece of work in which much effort had been put. People feel affection towards the product of their work and that is why they cannot objectively judge it. Since testing requires critical analysis of the code, it is better tested by people not involved in the development process.

  • Positive thinking

    I do not want to tell that developers are optimists while testers are pessimists. What positive thinking is supposed to mean is constructive, positive orientation of programmer tasks. That is, developers are concerned about “how to make it work” rather than “how to make it fail”. Tester’s function is all about finding faults, bugs, errors and this is not comparable with development. I believe that the right course of thinking becomes a professional habit for any specialist and it is not so easy to overcome.

  • Searching easy ways

    This is again no criticism. This developer characteristic is also connected with the specificity of their tasks. While software testers look for all conceivable ways to confuse the system, make something go wrong in it and create for it different obstacles in order to detect every possible bug, programmers are all far from these. Instead they are set to divide the complex parts into the simplest elements and seek the simplest solutions for their projects. So basically the work of developers and testers is very different.

  • Narrow perspective

    Writing code for single features of the program developers always concentrate on small details of the project. Often they have only a slight idea of what it will be like in the end. In contrast, testers have to clearly imagine how the program should function and look like when it reaches the end user. Only in this case can a tester test the whole range of software functions and aspects.

  • Ineffectiveness

    This point is obvious as no one can do the work that is not in his domain successfully and in short terms. This is something one gains only with experience. So, if asked to test software, developers simply will not know what to begin with, and it is no wonder. While an experienced software tester will immediately start looking for the common bugs which he knows from his practice.

Thus, do not hesitate to hire a tester when you need to test software, because you have just made sure that no developer can do it better.

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