What are Testers Thankful For?

When I think about all the issues my QA team has to deal with to ship projects, I wonder as we get closer to Thanksgiving what they are thankful for.  What makes their jobs easier or fun?  Two things come to mind.

Testers are thankful when their developers produce quality builds.  Getting a build that is untested (no unit tests, BVTs fail, hard to install) makes life extra difficult for testers.  We expect that we can start executing our test cases, but instead we are stuck troubleshooting issues that should have been caught by the devs.  It eats away at the time on the schedule allocated for testing so in the end either the tester works harder and faster, or the customer experience suffers.

The second thing testers are thankful for is when there is ample time in the schedule to write automation.  Automation helps in a few different ways.  It makes the test passes run faster, allows you to repro bugs easier, and gives the tester the necessary exposure to writing code that they need to grow their careers.  Spending each project cycle doing manual, repetitive testing can be burdensome and monotonous. 

Now let's flip this.  Who is thankful for testers and for what reason?  I think developers are thankful for highly-technical testers.  These would be testers who can add value to your designs, honestly evaluate your code, and teach you how to do better unit testing.  Back when you were in school, wouldn't it have been awesome to have this helper that could check all your answers on your exams before you turned them in to help you get a better grade?  That's what a tester is.

I also think the customers are thankful for testers although many times they don't even know they are.  Testers need to run through real-world scenarios.  Testers are the first customers and can evaluate if a feature is good or is useful.  A tester looks for issues that affect the whole customer base, not just one customer, like accessibility, localization, and performance.

I've only hit on some items to be thankful for.  What do you think?  Are there more?  As we approach Thanksgiving, look around at your work.  What are you thankful for?  Who are you thankful for?

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