EuroSTAR: I don’t want to be a tester any more!

At the EuroSTAR conference Anne Mette Hass stated that she didn’t wanted to be a tester any more. The subtitle of her presentation “Merging requirements engineering and testing to everybody’s benefit” implied a merge of roles found in more traditional QA-focused shops.

Anne Mette Hass started to explain that she is going to take a step further with going beyond previously defined roles. Hass explained that she loves to have quality products. She told the story of a bug in a Radio/CD-player.

Hass stated that testers are always unhappy. Being last in the project, at the start of the project, or within, testers feel they can’t do anything about it. From a professional point of view, I can’t agree. Testers can always do something about it. Step up, and do something. Hass continued that requirements engineers are quite similar to testers in this regard. More and more requirements analysts are pulled into the software development phase.

Hass explained that she had enough of this. She referred to Boris Beizer’s Mental Level 4. She repeated Beizer’s levels, starting from level 0 which is debugging. On level 2 testers want to prove that the product is wrong. She said that this is what Exploratory Testing is about. I can’t agree on this. Level 3 is about risk-based testing. On Level 4 testers view themselves as disciplined professionals whose task is to support the development of highly testable, low risk software.

Hass proposed to merge requirements engineering and testing to overcome the underlying problems. She explained that she wanted to get combine the starters with the finishers. Expectation Engineering is the term she coined for this. The two sub-processes included in this are Expectation Expression like traditional requirements engineering. Instead of testing he proposed to use Expectation Examination as term. For the requirements part there are requirements elicitation, analysis, and documentation. For the Examination part there are preparation and execution.

Hass showed her process which was boring me since I can’t quite agree to the underlying she was proposing. Taking a closer look on how Agile teams deal with cross-functional teams, and on-site customers writing actually tests, the point of un-separating traditional roles should go as far as to call everyone among the team a developer, since we as a person are developing, as well as the products we are building. Collaborative workshops for requirements gathering help to understand the business stakeholders and customers without massive process overhead. During the presentation I was amazed about the picture Hass had about testing, Agile and Exploratory Testing.

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4 thoughts on “EuroSTAR: I don’t want to be a tester any more!”

  1. I haven’t been there, but was the talk really about agile? What you write sounds a lot like a traditional function-seperated approach. From that point of view Level model makes sense to me. Finally in Level 4 you probably will just be in an agile environment. I cannot think of other environments where Level 4 testing could happen.

    1. I asked her later whether she was aware that these ideas had been around in Agile since more than two years. She said, she was aware of it. Then I asked whether she was basically selling Agile ideas to waterfallistas. She said, yes, but in a less religious way. Got a blog post on that topic pending…. :)

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