Monday, 15 April 2013

Lets compromise....

Compromise. That word doesn't sit well with me, its not a natural state of mind. The further I progress in my testing career I find it around every corner:

'Lets compromise on quality to hit the date.'
'Lets compromise on testing depth so we can increase our coverage.'
'Lets just do a smoke test, it'll be fine.'

I often think that compromising in testing is seen as the grown up thing to do:

'Its your product buddy, I'm just an information giver. Go or no go, no skin off my nose. I'm just a tester.'

Its also a little naive in a way. The customer says:

'Yes lets cut down the testing so I have my stuff when I want it.'

When they actually mean:

'Yes lets cut down the testing so I have my stuff when I want it. Oh and make sure it works perfectly too.'

Thing is, I'm not just a tester. I'm a fierce (some would argue too fierce) believer in testing as craft, who leverages business facing, technical, exploratory, automation and performance focused testing to deliver the best service I know how. Whether that is critically assessing a user story (I'm usually the last person asking why) or writing a set of automated acceptance tests which continually add value the word 'compromise' is not at the forefront of my thinking.

Perhaps it's time for me to grow up, but for now, I'll keep fighting what I believe is the good fight.


  1. So what are you fighting for - rerfect bug free s/w?
    A good tester can always think of more tests to run so at some stage aren't you going to compromise and say "I'm done"?
    Or am I missing the point of this post?

  2. A little.

    In my recent experience, I think as testers, we have become a little meek in our views and immediately compromise on aspects of our testing and play the role of information provider.

    Testing adds value (when done right) and each compromise degrades the value that you add. Sometimes the compromise is false, as customers really want fast delivery with quality, not just fast delivery.

    If we compromised on everything, nothing would really improve would it?