Posted by tac_admin, July 22, 2011

Software Testers Communicating With the Development Team

Communicating with the Development Team

This is where communication skills are very important. Let’s assume while Brenda was testing she discovered some defects. Some of the defects are urgent or high priority defects; which means they are keeping her from completing other testing. She needs to let the development team know there are defects that need to be resolved ASAP. How should she handle that?

Option 1: Send an email to the developer that wrote the code being testing. The email says “ I’ve been testing and your code has some urgent defects that need to get resolved before I can continue testing”.

Developers can be very protective of the code they wrote. And who can blame them? It’s something they created and they can feel a great amount of pride in that creation. In the above example, Brenda said “the code you gave me has some urgent defects”. This statement can seem like she is blaming the developer and can make it seem personal.

There’s also an element missing from the above statement – details. The developer was told there are urgent defects, but didn’t get any anfo about what they were related to.

Communicating via email, in person, instant messaging, or any other form acceptable by the company needs to include details about the issue and be factual. Take the “personal” out of the equation. It’s helpful if the tester has the attitude that the developer probably is unaware (development is not giving Brenda “bad” code on purpose) and maybe she even missed something in her testing that’s causing her to get incorrect results.

Option 2: Let’s reword the above email message: “I’ve been testing the login screen and I’m getting some unexpected results related to the password field. Can we schedule some time to go over the test results? I’d like to get your input regarding the test scripts in case I’ve missed something. Do you have time available today or would tomorrow be better for you?”

Brenda stated in the email what screen she’s testing and what area of the screen she’s having problems with. She asked the developer for their help with reviewing the scripts to see if she has them right. She’s not pointing the finger at their code as the issue. She asked for a meeting today or tomorrow, which implies urgency without saying “you have to fix this now”.

Remember to be factual in your communications. The development team has the same goal you have; deploy an application to the user community that is user friendly, meets the business needs, and has minimal bugs.

If you found this information helpful, you may like my book title What Makes a Good Software Tester a Great Software Tester. The book is available on my site and on Amazon for your Kindle app.


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