Q and A with Karen N. Johnson

We asked Karen N. Johnson questions about tester’s beliefs that need to be shattered, what we need to be aware of about futuristic roles for testers and where can we testers invest our time effectively, and here are her answers.

Q: What beliefs do the new age software testers, in general, need to shatter?

KNJ: Testers could shatter:

1. Not believing testers are needed in team meetings. There are still many who have not heard of the three amigos. There are still testers who get invited to planning meetings who don’t ask questions or highlight testing needs early in the process.

2. Thinking too much about the Scrum team you’re working on and not enough about the whole product and other teams who might be working on the same product – from a holistic product quality point of view.

Q: What awareness do the testers need to have in general and in specific about the testing career?

KNJ: Our technology field is continually changing and the role of the tester is changing too. There are more requirements around testers needing to code, write automation and even to function as a developer on some teams. Career opportunities are changing. It is much less likely to become a test manager now and more likely to become a Product Owner or Scrum Master at some point in the career. I find our field is continually busy, continually many people feel rushed and we may fail to look ahead or plan ahead for our careers.

Q: For what activities can we testers divide our time to help us work and learn?

KNJ: From my view – learn about DevOps, technology and the tools that create and support a Continuous Integration/Continuous Delivery environment – not just testing tools. Think holistically and less specifically – at least some of the time. Another worthwhile pursuit is helping developers and others learn about testing.

About Karen N. Johnson

Karen N. Johnson is a software test consultant. She is a frequent speaker at conferences. Karen is a contributing author to the book, Beautiful Testing by O’Reilly publishers. She has published numerous articles and blogs about her experiences with software testing. She is the co-founder of the WREST workshop, more information on WREST can be found at http://www.wrestworkshop.com/Home.html. Visit her website at http://www.karennjohnson.com

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