As a software development project progresses, it’s common for tensions to arise between the developers and testers. Although both groups are essential to the success of a project, there can be misunderstandings and disagreements that create friction. In this blog post, we’ll explore some of the most common issues between testers and developers and discuss ways to address them.
Common issues between Testers and Developers:
The focus of a developer while programming an application is to cover the business requirements and put all the pieces of the application together so that the end-to-end flow is smooth with an excellent user experience. On completion of application development and the developers pass all the validation checks, the application is deployed on the test environment for the tester to verify it.
After the build is deployed for the QA team to verify the functionalities, it’s their job to test the application with their critical mindset so that there are no bugs left before deployment for the end user. If a tester finds a bug, it should be accepted by the developers since they only give out the build for the tester to verify once they are satisfied with the product they have developed.
But even after the deployment, when there’s a bug, a tester commonly hears back from the developers that it is not a bug. That is how the business wanted it! Or that works as designed but is a good suggestion, and we will try to implement it in the future. Or the functionality works fine on my machine!
- Communication Gap: The communication gap is one of the most common issues between testers and developers. Testers often find it challenging to explain the issues they face to the developers in technical terms, while developers may not understand the importance of specific testing procedures. It can result in delays and misunderstandings, causing frustration on both sides.
- Different Perspectives: Testers and developers have different perspectives when it comes to software development. Testers ensure the product meets the end-users needs, while developers prioritize meeting technical requirements and deadlines. This difference in views can lead to conflict and misunderstandings.
- Lack of Trust: A lack of trust can also be a common issue between testers and developers. Testers may not trust that developers will fix issues promptly, while developers may not trust that testers have thoroughly tested the product.
The roles of Testers and Developers:
The primary objective of a tester is to thoroughly test the application to ensure that it is free from any defects or errors before deployment in the production environment. It involves examining the application from every possible angle to identify and resolve any issues that may arise. Testers must carefully consider all of the requirements and acceptance criteria the development team provides.
In contrast, a developer’s primary focus is ensuring the application works as intended. It requires significant effort from the initial stages of analyzing the requirements and designing the system to the final stages of developing the code.
The common thread between a developer and a tester is the application itself. Although they may approach their work with different strategies and perspectives, their ultimate objective is to achieve a shared goal: to ensure that the application functions flawlessly in the production environment and provides customers with a superior user experience.
Given their shared end goal, developers and testers must collaborate to achieve success.
We must follow a solutions approach to resolve these people issues, which often negatively affect the team’s output if not appropriately handled.
Below are a few suggestions to create a positive collaborative environment in the team.
- Understanding the perspective of others: Testers and developers must adopt some habits to maintain a healthy relationship. First, testers must understand that their job is to find mistakes in someone’s work. They also need to realize that it might be uncomfortable and unpleasant for developers to hear criticism of their work. So, when a tester communicates about issues to the developers, you need to be polite and tactful. On the other hand, developers must understand that it is nothing personal and that whatever a tester does is part of their job. And they are trying to attach the issue and not the person. Tester should also think from a problem-solving approach, enabling the developer with required logs, snapshots, workflow, etc., for quickly resolving/fixing the issue. Further, both teams should listen to each other’s opinions and try the idea shared by the other team. This way, both teams will not only resolve the conflicts but might also learn from each other.
- Role of the manager: Managers must create a cooperative environment to foster an appreciative culture in the team, as everyone works for good quality, bug-free timely deliveries to the production environment.
- Process and methodology approach: The legacy methodologies used in the software development lifecycle for a few decades have cemented particular working methods. e.g., not involving the testing team during requirement analysis, solutions designing and development phases, silos of development and testing teams, no team accountable for end customers, etc. These ways of working have caused the paradigms of “us” versus “them” culture in the team.
With agile coming into the picture, the boundaries of development and test teams are blurring, and the entire team is responsible for delivering good quality software to end users. It fosters an improved collaborative atmosphere in the team without emphasizing any particular role in the team.
Organizational Culture – Key driver for change:
Organizational culture can play a more significant role in encouraging the desired behavior of the team members and taking appropriate training/coaching sessions for undesired behavior by team members. Many organizations arrange seminars and training programs where trained employees maintain friendly relations and human behavior towards other colleagues, which can benefit everyone. Additionally, inculcate a culture to foster open communication with all the team members to provide each other constructive feedback and share their thoughts about what went well and what went wrong in the release.
All these small efforts will help the teams work effectively and efficiently and provide a healthy work environment for all the team members.
Darshita Goel is an Associate Software Engineer at IGT Solutions. She has experience in functional, integration, and automation testing. She always looks for ways to improve the product by utilizing her keen observation and critical thinking. Besides work, she enjoys traveling and spending time with her family.