A valentine’s day letter from testers to programmers

Dear Programmers,


Hope you folks are doing great. We testers wish you for the season and for a great valentine’s day.  Somehow, we are made to look like enemies of each other although we are working towards the same goal. At times we bring our personal ego into a project and make you think we are a bunch of stupids delaying the progress. While some of us are real stupids, not all of us are. I guess, if you are a passionate programmer, you would be irked to come across a bad programmer and that is the same way we feel about testers who bring their personal ego to the table when having to work closely with you. Based on our experience, we seem to have equally good and bad people on each side.

On this day, called valentine’s day, marked to show the love, we want to write this letter to you. We want to tell you that we don’t hate you, there are some of us who love what you do. We have a high appreciation of what you do. There is plenty of software we use and it works a great deal and solves plenty of our problems, of course without creating new ones. So, we are thankful to the community of programmers. Although some of us don’t publicly acknowledge this, which is sad, we actually do appreciate what you have done for the world and what you will be doing.

The part that I personally feel great about you programmers is – you are patient about the poor bug reports we write. Some of us, write bug reports so bad that the good bunch among us can’t tolerate one bit. Wondering how do you not punch us when you see we reporting a spelling mistake with tons of spelling mistakes in our report. The way you hit us though is uber cool. You actually don’t associate credibility to such testers and that is definitely a way we encourage you to do. Only the skilled should gain respect. Only those who want to grow skilled should be encouraged.

It also amazes us when we see some among you getting excited about the bugs we report and enjoy fixing them. We have personally worked with a few programmers who said, “it was awesome learning trying to fix this bug. Thank you”. I guess “Thank You!” is something we should use often with each other. Our work revolves around you and your work revolves around us. That reminds us that both of our work revolves around some other stakeholders.

Isn’t it amazing that some people who claim to manage us, set metrics that make us compete against each other than working with each other? I think we should partner with you and fight against people who are dividing us. At one end they put a metric to us on “How many bugs we found?” and at your side, “How many bugs did your code not have?”. Sad. So sad that we need to get out of this soon. I guess if we partner better, we can weed off many of the stupid metrics in our industry.

We testers sometime seek inspiration and encouragement from you, dear programmers. I am sure the vice versa is true. Most often we don’t come to your desk and tell you, “I think you did this part great”. How sad, again. I think we should do it more often. I think it is so important for us to tell you what things went great. At times we feel intimidated by what you speak. You actually let us know what we should be knowing. Those among us who catch it, pick it up and learn and those who hated being intimidated try to stay away from you or get used to intimidation. Sad, isn’t it.

Speaking of that, some groups of testers think that testing is about finding problems in your work. We request you to not bother about them because we ourselves ignore such people. They would never do good testing. They are the ones who balance out the bad of your group.

It is so weird that sometimes we have fought about a bug we reported not being fixed and wasted several hours on it while the fix actually takes a few minutes. We hope to not waste your time and ours in future with those silly fights. We better move on and meet our goal of finding other quality-related information.

Unfortunately, our good test education isn’t being able to outnumber the bad test education that is already widespread. Mostly because businessmen is always wanting to scale quickly and make some quick buck. They act as though they know when they are going to die and want to make money today itself.

Someday, we are hoping we will have a generation of businessmen who are futuristic thinkers and who will actually live beyond their actual lifetimes. That day, hopefully so many of these problems will be solved.

Oh my! We haven’t been calling you as “developers” in this letter. Not that we hate the word but we feel that every one of us develops. We develop test ideas while you develop the product. Your program, we test. We love your great work and we are sure you love our great work.

Today, we take oath on the following things:

  • We will let you know what we like about your work, more often than what we might be doing now.
  • We will help you see our rationale than bringing our ego to the discussion table.
  • We will work hard towards changing the perspective that testing is about finding problems with programmers work and help people see that we provide quality related information to different stakeholders.

We are cognizant that you reciprocate action than words. We are hoping that our love for each other becomes an example to other industries on how two different groups with same common objective should work. Yes, we can.

With Love,


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