Developer Working is not Tester Working

26 06 2011

There is a single tester on our team. The depth of her knowledge and her attention to detail astounds us most days. She knows the edge cases, the strange behaviours and the places where our code and the real world don’t quite agree with each other. There is definite truth to the saying that if you want to know how a system works, ask the testers! Something that she has taught me is that there is a vast difference between what I consider to be working code and what she considers to be working code.

Developer working is a rosy view of the world. Usually it means that the code works under some nice conditions. We assume the user has behaved sanely, the OS is in good shape, the machine is up and responsive etc. Tester working is a much tougher place to be. In tester working the end is nigh and all hell has broken loose. The user has decided to put all spaces in every field and delete our config files. The OS is a custom version that we’ve never seen before and the machine only responds twice a day.

Devs are optimists and testers are realists. I’m glad to have a tester who is so thorough in her understanding of the real world. It means I don’t have to be!

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