By Rajesh Mathur

When I first saw this theme, I thought it is going to be a cake walk writing about the value of testing.  My fellow testers, teams and I provide immeasurable value to the projects we work on as well as to the larger organization. Just when I thought this was easy to prove, another thought came to my mind – I recalled of all the arguments, discussions, ambiguities and complexities we face every day. This thought also brought about the questions and comments we face about so called best practices, matrices, and the value we were providing.

Suddenly I found myself confused about the whole thing. Right then I saw a tweet from @michaelbolton:

Confusion is a normal response to a confusing situation. Don’t be paralyzed by confusion; use it as a trigger to investigate

Yes, this is what! We sometimes get confused when we are thinking hard, but confusion is a catalyst to further investigation. We testers are invaluable to our projects.

Are you confused about the value you provide to the project or the organization? Ponder these statements:

  1.  Each time a tester questions about an ambiguous, incomplete or missing requirement, she is adding value by questioning the process.
  2. Each time a tester questions the testability of a requirement or even a product, she is adding value by questioning the product requirements
  3. When a tester reviews a design and questions the validity of the design, she is adding value by blocking a faulty design being built in to a faulty product.
  4. Each time a tester questions the code, she adds value by stopping defects seeping into the next phase of product development. You might say,”Not every tester reviews the code.” True, but isn’t it common to have entry criteria for testing that requires evidence of code review or unit testing? If you are a developer-tester, you know how to peer-review the code.
  5. When a tester finds even a single defect, she is adding value by exposing the hole in the product. The product owner may delay or defer the fix for it for product delivery timelines, but they cannot ignore the existence of a defect in the product.

Testers add value at each stage of system development life cycle. It does not matter which development methodology it is.  The vigilant tester does not need to seek out these opportunities to add value, each stage of development cycle provides opportunities them.

Testers are invaluable, you just have to stand up and say it. Assertiveness, courage, confidence and creativity are testers’ basic instincts and characteristics, make use of them. If confused, just remember: Don’t be paralyzed by confusion; use it as a trigger to investigate!