The Problems With Software Testing – Book

Are there problems with software testing?

The world of software testing is in chaos. Sure, there are no riots but it’s in chaos. Ok, so there’s no looting either but chaos is ensuing. Alright, maybe chaos is the wrong word. Maybe uncontrolled state of flux is better? Yep, that’s better but it’s not as emotionally charged as the word chaos, so chaos it is. Software testing is in chaos. No doubt.

No one really knows which way to turn. No one really knows who is in charge and no one fully understands why testers seem to enjoy goading each other and starting fights.

The software development industry is still fairly young in the grand scheme of things and so we, as testers, are still finding our way, just like other disciplines like Development and Project Management.

Unlike other disciplines though, testers don’t seem to have settled down in to the flow, hence we are still experimenting, theorizing and plotting. And in finding our way we are experiencing a whole wealth of differing opinions as to what is the right way to go about things.

The light at the end of the tunnel for the problems facing the testing community, and I do believe it is a community, is that there is no “one” coherent view despite the fact many in the testing community would have you believe otherwise. This I believe will be healthy for our community and could stop us tearing the community apart from within.

In some sense, the testing community is still recovering from its attempt to certify its way out of trouble. At one level certification has proven successful for those trying to become more employable, for those who adopt a simplified checklist approach to recruitment and those solely in the game of making lots of money, on the other hand though, it’s become a pointless piece of paper, it’s triggered a “genie out of the bottle” dilemma, it’s been devalued by the fact almost everyone has one and it’s still not made us all better testers.

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