The skilled testing revolution…

Over the last couple of years, the rumors of software testing’s imminent demise have been widely reported – and I am happy to confirm that it’s true. There are testing zombies walking all over the planet right now that are starting to realize that their approach to their profession is either dead or on life support. Their scripted and mindless approach to their jobs combined with shrinking profit margins for the giant test factories, have forced a massive “re-think” of how the deliver value to their projects and clients.

And regardless of what the “agilistas” would have you believe, there has never been a better time to be a software tester – albeit the right kind of software tester. I travel a lot and talk to hundreds of testers every year, and there is palpable energy connecting people from New Zealand to India, Singapore, Sweden, the Ukraine, Hong Kong – all over the globe. Testers are waking up from their certified torpor and seeing the value of skilled testing. Clients are starting to realize that the old ways of forcing metrics and measures into contrived “maturity” and quality models haven’t really improved anything. And vendors are starting to wake up to the fact that their business models need to evolve to meet the demands for real testing value from their clients.

The community of context driven testers can be a very small world and get caught up in assumptions and “bubble-based” thinking about the state of software testing. Unfortunately, the majority of software testers still work in highly scripted, manual software checking models, and only dream about the opportunity to use their brain and be rewarded for asking “why”. But those days are coming. During my most recent trip to India, I spent a lot of time with James Bach, and by the end of the week we were buzzing with all the energy being generated by the testers there – fearless, hungry to learn, and challenging the status quo.

The first shots in the skilled testing revolution have been fired. Hopefully this blog will play a small part in bringing the battle to the front…

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