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Irrelevant testers

This is a tribute to the BBM (Black Box Manual) Testers as they are called or rather a heads up to these soon to be extinct species ... get out of your (black) box, quick! Its no longer a world where exclusive specialization of the non-technical kind which the BBM Tester represents is relevant. I have come across several of this kind who are happy to be executing their BBM tests. Well, some organizations do encourage them to continue their work ... well, all I can say is that none warned the dinosaurs or the many other species prior to their extinction.

If you do not know the tools and Technologies used and are not comfortable with your product's operating (and preferably the development) environment, you are on the road to irrelevance. If you are happy in your cocoon creating and running BBM tests all day, congratulations! You have the dinosaurs and dodos for company. It does not take much to replace you. 

Exclusive full time BBM testers are generally worthless unless accompanied by adequate Technical Skills and a clear understanding of the technologies and tools plus a high degree of comfort with the development and operating environments. If they aren't already extinct, it is just a matter of time before this breed is declared useless. For example if you had to test a web application, how many organizations would prefer a pure BBM with little technical skills vs a tester who understands web technologies and can even do some basic debugging of issues. The more Skill Sets the better. The days of the exclusive black box tester are gone. The future needs folks who can comfortably cross the line between Development and Testing. We already see a good amount of convergence in skill sets and requirements across functions. Developers are required to do more and more tests. Many groups measure # of Dev found bugs vs QA found bugs and try to minimize the latter. Testing is moving upstream requiring very few "exclusive" testers. The specialist testers are expected to move beyond the obvious tests to more end-to-end tests, non-functional tests and areas that require a pretty good understanding of a wide range of technologies and tools.  

So, if you are a BBM and do not have sound technical skill sets, do yourself a favour and go acquire some. Else, wait to become irrelevant before you even realize it. The purists may argue that the BBMs come with a tester mind set that a Dev cannot have. Frankly, that is a load of BS. The reality is that the Tester Mindset isn't something that all testers are born with. When we hire from campuses we hire both Dev and QA from the same place and then put them into different roles. One group acquires a builder mindset and the other the tester mindset. In the convergence future, the builders are increasingly being asked to don the hat of the tester which is actually not an impossible task at all. Newer development models (think Agile/Scrum) require common teams where functional distinctions are blurred. Testers and Developers work together on building and testing work products and delivering them rapidly. The value of a non-technical BBM is usually less than what most folks think they have.

This post first appeared on John Morrison's, please read the originial post: here

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Irrelevant testers


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