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How to Adjust to the Changing Face of Software Testing

Matthew Heusser | March 15, 2013
Beyond testing scripts and automating everything, a new approach to software testing is gaining traction in larger organizations. Proponents including Barclays, the world's fourth largest bank. Should your team listen?

I asked Bach what he would tell an organization considering context-driven methods. "This is an anti-authoritarian approach to testing. Testers are no longer treated as if they were shift workers in a fast food restaurant," he says. "But that creates an interesting problem when people 'resist' this change. Imagine that you open the door to a prison cell, and all the prisoner wants to do is complain about the cold air you're letting in? We are freeing people to use their judgment and skill, but that freedom can be disorienting at first.

"The freedom we talk about comes along with responsibility," Bach continues. "Testers must have the training to do good work-and then we get out of their way. It can be compared to journalism or detective work in that sense. It's largely self-managed, so they need to build credibility with their teams."

Giving testers the opportunity to build credibility also means giving them the chance to fail. For Bach, Klain and McCowatt, that chance is one worth taking.

Does it make sense for your organization? That's up to you-and your context.

 

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