Friday, 18 February 2011

Taking the Testosterone out of Testing

Nah... I don't really mean that. Sincere apologies to anyone who might be offended by my sexist title. I thought it sounded snappy :)

I don't think men & women test in different ways, but I definitely think that there's a big difference in the way that different people test. Where I work, we have quite a large group of testers, and the approaches my colleagues take are noticably different. If we all tested the same piece of software independantly, I'm sure we'd all find things the others did not find. It would be interesting to put that to the test, on one of those Testing Challenges you see around.

I think there are 3 main breeds of tester, although most people belong to more than one of the testing ethnic groups:

Very Technically Minded: particularly good at spotting potential issues at the planning stage and with integration, due to excellent understanding of the software. Sometimes mistaken for a computer.

List Maker: very thorough, as long as the spec they are working from is complete and correct. Sometimes inadvertantly adds details of shopping to list. Uses different coloured pens.

Wild Tester: has a basic plan to work from, but veers off wherever their instinct takes them to chase down a bug. Occasionally found roaming the fields outside the office block, carrying a large butterfly net.


  1. Hi,

    Welcome to blogging!

    I wasn't offended by the title :) - and can recognise some of the categorisations. You might be interested in the list of tester types that Rob Lambert created (with the STC) here.

    Good luck, looking forward to reading more.

  2. Hi Esther,

    It's true, everyone is an individual and should be allowed to express themselves in their own unique way.

    The trick here is to be more aware of your weaknesses and work on them. From analysing the approaches others take to testing, we can quickly find new ideas and techniques that may or may not fit into our style of working.

    Nice post, I'm looking forward to seeing more.



  3. Its true that character shapes also approach in testing. This is the testing that I like: no rules in approach or methodologies

  4. Thanks so much for your comments, guys! Thanks for the link, Simon. I'll check it out. I'm glad I didn't offend you :) Darren, you are so right. Love to hear any ideas of good ways to achieve that! It's very hard to be willing to admit your own weaknesses, and to try to take on approaches that do not feel natural. It's definitely something I need to work on. Eusebia, no rules at all? You are a wild tester, then? :)


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