I have been in the testing discipline for almost 8 years. Over the years there have been different forces to push me into development. Somehow I stayed, despite the fact many people outside and even inside Microsoft don’t give much regard to testers. As I think of relationship between development discipline and testing discipline, I think about the relationship of parents and teachers. As a parent, I’d make decisions for my daughters on which programs they enroll in, what books they read, which clothes and shoes they wear, how they should behave in difference situations, etc, not unlike developers making decisions on what features to implement and how these features work. When the girls go to school, it’s the teachers who spend the time playing with them, observing them, evaluating how they behave as human beings and helping them become better. Like any other caring parent, I am confident that I know everything about my daughters (not unlike the developers being confident about their features), but I am often surprised by the feedback the teachers give me. This is what testers do all the time – surprise the developers by identifying issues, future improvement and opportunities.
As much as I appreciate my daughters’ teachers, I appreciate being a tester, knowing full well that not all testers/teachers are made equal.