I was chatting with a fellow tester on Skype the other day and he said that it’s pointless doing any testing at his place of work. His reasoning for this pointlessness was because no matter what issues he finds late in the day or during defect retesting they usually ship the product.
But I cautioned him that this is not as black and white as it may seem.
It is not pointless at all. If the information he finds when testing informs his next set of testing then this has been very valuable. If the information he finds feeds in to the next set of releases and the business take account of his feedback then it has been valuable. The business will always have more drivers and information to make ship/no ship decisions than any tester. It is not our job to say yes/no anyway. Michael Bolton points this out nicely in his blog post “get out of the QA business”
This “pointless” testing may have provided confirmation of his views on how “not” to do testing, or given insight in to how to improve the testing for the future, or provided a classic example to take to management to make some changes or highlighted some high risk areas to explore further. There are countless others.
I believe no testing is ever pointless. There is a lesson to be learned from everything we do. Some lessons may be obvious, others may be just that little bit more subtle. If you ever find yourself thinking your testing is pointless time and time again…then maybe the harsh reality is that you’re just not valued where you work.
(Note: My fellow tester didn’t mind me sharing this story)