Oh, Give me a Home…

I remember visiting a company once where the testers were lined up at desks along the wall...in a long hallway. There must have been a row of 20 testers lining the hallway while people walked back and forth on their way to lunch, the bathroom, or even worse - on the way to their nice private office.

If testing is as valuable as other disciplines, it makes sense that they should have the same working conditions and resources. If that's not the case for you, how could you go about fixing this problem?

I suppose this goes hand in hand with the value issue I talked about in my last post, but there are some simple things that have worked for me in the past. First of all, ask why you don't get an office when developers do? If the answer has anything to do with value, go back to my last post and start from there. If it's a space thing, suggest doubling up with the developers. I know, yuk, doubling up, but it's better than the hallway you're in now. Sell it as "pair development and testing", but what you get is an office (or half of one), and an opportunity to show a developer how valuable you are. Of course, if you're just annoying and whiney, you won't be in he office for long.

I remember starting a testing job once and getting a POS hand-me-down machine to work on. I knew it would run the software, but barely. Without batting an eye, I said "thanks - this will be great for running the low-end customer scenarios - let me know when my main workstation comes in". This, of course prompted a discussion about what, exactly, I'd be doing, which was followed by a discussion with the admin about which machine to order for me. I took care of value and working conditions in about 15 minutes - pretty cool.

Remember, the moral of all of these tests is stop whining and do something about it. You can either improve bad situations or whine about them.

Brought to you by test #6 of the Test Test.

Comments (2)
  1. Inder P Singh says:

    You make a good point about making people perceive that testing is a valuable discipline. I consider testing as a challenging task and one that requires the use of many resources, just as other disciplines do. I agree that if one is not provided a comfortable and productive workplace and a sufficiently fast and loaded workstation, one should always start by making suggestions regarding the same. In many cases, the decision to provide sub-optimal resources are based on assumptions and once a tester starts communicating about her requirements, the bad situations usually do improve.

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