Thursday, September 18, 2008

You Don't Want to Hire a Tester

Testers can be a real pain. As a developer, you are hiring someone to complain. And not about life in general, or The Establishment, but about the application you have spent long hours lovingly crafting out of bits. You spelled a word wrong, that text box isn't quite aligned with its label, and the whole thing takes just a little too long to load. The documentation's rather terse, and shouldn't the icon be just a little less shiny? 

Testers ask questions. Annoying questions. Where are the release notes? Does that change affect this other thing? If the app can do this, why can't it do that? Which third-party apps do we need to be compatible with? Where did this half-baked, unplanned, crazy new feature come from? 

Testers check the quality of things besides the software you told them to work on. They clog the network stress-testing an app. They accidentally delete your source control repository if the permissions aren't set right. They critique the bug-tracking database. They suggest changes to the lunch-ordering process. 

Testers delay releases. They always seem to find a serious bug when you're just about to push a new version. And now you're elbow-deep in backtraces, rather than basking in the warm fuzzy feeling of a release. 

Testers cost money. Besides their paycheck, they want a Mac to test the app. And maybe a second one, to use while they're re-installing the OS on the first one. And then a Wacom tablet, because it sends different events than a mouse. 

Testers are trouble. You don't want to hire a tester. 

1 comment:

Jon Bell said...

:) Brilliant.

No more stage fright. Keep it up.