Posted by Albert Gareev on Apr 19, 2013 | Categories: Notes

I often come back to re-read certain articles and books on testing. Typically, in the light of new experience, or with regards to specific problem.

This month’s top – Perfect Software and Other Illusions About Testing. Chapters 5 and 8.


Even though testers pretty much can/should be “jack of all trades” kinds of specialists, certain jobs they shouldn’t do as main and regular responsibilities.

  • Secretary and administration – moving around papers and files, cleaning messes in repositories, shipping-receiving, taking-passing messages and faxes-mails, cleaning work areas.
    These are the kinds of things that everybody in the development team should be able to do properly, without leaving a mess. Or it must be a dedicated role, like office assistant, or person on duty according to the schedule involving all team members.
  • Build and release management. Simply because it’s a critically important thing, and must not be done in casual ways. If QA department owns build and release management, it doesn’t mean that every tester can or should do it on his or her own way. This must be a regulated and controlled process.
  • Support jobs. If any tester can be distracted any time for unknown amount of time, don’t expect them to be able to focus and accomplish testing missions.
    On the other hand, testers bring invaluable investigation and problem-solving skills to support team, and, in turn, learn more about real problems that customers are struggling with. Best working approach, as I’ve seen, is having a dedicated tester(s), assigned to help support team according to the schedule.


As the bottom line, all automation tool vendors, both commercial and open-source, promise the same or very similar benefits. What matters is will they be delivered, and to what extent. It most of all depends not on the tool, but the actual implementation. Once Michael Larsen and I put together an article on evaluation criteria.

After doing a number of reviews this year, I’d suggest “M” (which stands for Maintainability) to be made the biggest letter with 3 exclamation marks. Every time I hear of fascination with creation of scripts without a concern of how they will be used, I feel very sad about test automation.


Consistency with the purpose: Fail.


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This work by Albert Gareev is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported.