Slaves of the 21st century

Lately, there are lots of factors motivating this rant. Since I just finished Shrini Kulkarni’s latest blog post I got reminded to finish this write-up the sooner the better.


Testers are the slaves of the 21st century!

Hold on, did I just say this? Yeah, I did. Testers are treated like slaves in the jungle of modern software development. Why do I think this is so? Because I have been out there. I have survived the tar-pit jungle of software testing slavery. There are walls out there around our cages, where code gets thrown over. Sometimes we throw bugs back over that wall, sometimes we pass the code over to the next wall of software development slavery.

Sometimes, when we throw too many bugs back over the wall where the code comes over, we get punished by rocks or spiked balls. Sometimes we’re even locked down in the darkness of our testing cave, separated from all social activities. By then, if we find the door to the daylight, when opening it, we immediately get stoned done by the mob waiting in front of that door for us to come out like a prisoner in a jail cell or like Jesus Christ in the movie The Passion of Christ.

Our programmers may speak of ever changing requirements. For us testers there are the ever changing requirements plus the ever wrong increasingly decorated programs that we need to adapt. We are enforced to cost-saving test automation. Test automation comparable to the implementation of the application. With “software developers”, that were put into testing since they were not considered good enough developers in first place. In the end we find out that 80 percent of our testers died during the construction of the pyramid for the great programming pharaoh in our company.

But remember, that we’re just lurking, waiting for our revolution. When our time has come and we brought in the Whole Team to our company, endless your pain will be. For that the developers will suffer in checking and testing their own code, our slave masters will suffer by having to trust us. No longer may we be the daunted and suppressed ones.

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5 thoughts on “Slaves of the 21st century”

  1. Hi Markus,
    I was thinking on similar lines recently. More often, Tester’s slavery is more because Testers allow/facilitate this slavery by being quite or intimidated. Some testers who fight against this slavery are made out to be outlaws in the world of Software Development. Most testers who stick to slavery can get promoted, get good hikes and yet not do anything meaningful for the betterment of the craft (though testers who defy slavery get to see their own set of benefits).

    Enjoyed this post,
    Parimala Shankaraiah

  2. I am going to politely disagree with a few reasons. If anything, testers are servants, not slaves, and it is a bit insulting to slavery and those who willingly serve to compare the two. Developers are not the masters either, they are also servants, more immediately to corporate management, but ultimately to the free market, stockholders, and ultimately the customer.

    The difference between a slave and a servant is willingness and the ability to quit. Testers can quit anytime they want to.

    When testers talk about offering a service they never talk about what that implies. That they are then a servant and agreeing to service for a fee or in exchange for something. So, a slave? No. A servant? Yes, and I’ve agreed to it. So, should the servants renegotiate terms? Maybe in some contexts, but we are not slaves and developers are not masters. They are servants just as we are, but perhaps one tier above us in the hierarchy of respect.

    To serve can be something beautiful. Slavery is not.

    1. Hi Lanette,

      I hope you noticed I was exaggerating here. Of course we’re not slaves, but sometimes I feel punished like one. And of course you always have choices that you may make. But it seems there are companies out there who treat developers as the nobility and testers as their sub-ordinates may make the testers feel like some piece of dirt.

  3. If I wouldn’t know you, I would have thought you are a frustrated tester who hates the world, including software developers :). Nice post, I really enjoyed it :) Just tell me when the revolution starts :)

    1. Ah, I finally see, that people don’t take me serious enough on the rant thing. This blog entry is actually a write-up of some strange things I noticed, scattered with some enlightening exaggerations. So, don’t take it serious, but watch out about it in your days at work.

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