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Wednesday, July 25, 2012

What is the value of a testing group? How much interaction with users should testers have, and why?

The software testing is quite a tedious work and therefore cannot be performed by a single person alone lest he is working on a very small project. A software testing team may consist of any number of software testers. Till the year of 1980 the term “software tester” was a general term and it was after that only that the software testing evolved as an individual profession. 
Software testing requires for various kinds of roles as mentioned below:
  1. Manager
  2. Test lead
  3. Test designer
  4. Tester
  5. Automation developer
  6. Test administrator
All these above mentioned roles constitute a complete software testing team. In this article we shall discuss about the value of the software testing team and also how much interaction with users should testers have and its need. 

Value of a Testing Group/Team

- A testing team should be independently empowered otherwise it won't be effective. 
- Managing a testing process without the use of any separate test plan and test strategy is quite a tedious job. 
- One of the typical features of an independent testing team is that it does not perform white box testing.
Only when the defects are logged, the value of a testing team is realized by the whole development process and people involved in it. 
- A good testing team always makes sure that the software testing life cycle of the software system or application flows through the following stages:
  1. Planning
  2. Specifications
  3. Execution and
  4. Completion
- A typical testing team does not bothers itself with the quality of the code i.e., whether it is poorly written or well written as long as the required functionality is addressed by it.

Interaction of testing team with users

-For a testing team interacting with the users is quite a difficult job.
-Generally, when a detailed documentation of the software system or application is present, a very less interaction is required with the users. 
- On the other hand, when there is a lack of documentation a great user tester interaction is required. 
- However, irrespective of the availability of the documentation, a user interaction is always recommended since the actual usability, need and the functionality of the software system or application can be known only through the users.
- Most of the testing teams enforce user tester interaction and thus it is becoming quite common these days. 
- One more reason for the rise in the user tester interaction is that the more and more testing teams are following the trend of carrying out UAT or user acceptance test which involves a vigorous interaction among the testers and users and therefore increasing the margin of user tester interaction. 
- Also, it is important for the better development of a software system or application that the thoughts of the testers work in sync with the users.
- There are testers working in different situations out of which some cause problems. 
- Good testers usually have a habit of conversing in terms of the user’s thinking like:
         1. What goals they might be having? 
         2. What tasks they might want to perform? 
         3. How they might perform those tasks? And so on.

- When good testers look at a feature, user’s reaction is the first thing that comes to their mind.
- A good tester understands quite well that how the software system or application is exploited by the user, how the program will be affected by whatever the user does and what affect it will have on the user’s habits.

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