February 7, 2024

Stop the cold war between developers and QA engineers

Let’s be honest, as developers we are annoyed by people who test our code and find dozens of errors. I get it but good QA engineers really save our asses, be kind to them.

I know what you’re thinking now, I’m a developer too. Bugs opened half an hour before deployment, reports not related to the tested feature, misunderstood requirements and so on and so forth. Okay, I know how frustrating this can be, but it’s important to understand that the tester’s job is to challenge our code, the more bugs he/she can find, the better.

“North by Northwest, Alfred Hitchcock 1959”

So let’s have a look at some common complaints among developers and how to improve collaboration for the sake of everyone.

The classical bug the day of the release

I have complained about this myself several times. I know it’s stressful, but as I mentioned, the tester’s job is just to find bugs, handling them is a matter of flow and organization. If these aren’t efficient enough and lead to extreme last minute bugfixes, it’s not the fault of the tester finding the bugs. The processes just need to be improved.

The solution is to have a workflow where the QA person receive the complete feature to test long enough before release. If there is no time for that, it’s time to have a chat with management.

What if a last minute bug still pops up? I expect the blocking stuff are already tested and solved if the process mentioned before have worked, the new bug should be something lower priority. It can be scheduled for the next release.

Lack of technical skills

Qa engineers have technical skills, but they are not developers. Their skills are related to the testing process, they shouldn’t have coding experience.

So don’t expect them to know the difference between a backend and frontend problem or to understand the response to an API call. Their strength is precisely not having a clue of those stuff and knowing how to think like a user. So they can see things that we don’t see.

Something is broken elsewhere

Usually QA engineers make some kind of negative tests on the features. If you are coding the minicart, It’s possible that you change something that creates a bug in checkout. It’s normal, it’s daily work. QA engineers usually find this kind of bugs by doing accurate testing, but they have no idea what your code actually impacts.

Help them by writing accurate testing notes. Not just “the mini cart should work”, but also “my code might impact here and there”.

Why are you raising this bug to me?

Sometimes we wonder why the QA review of a ticket about PayPal integration failed due to a small misaligned text on the success page that has nothing to do with our code.

Ok, before getting angry ask yourself if the requirements and scope of the ticket were well-defined and clear.

Remember that every bug found is a blessing. Even if it’s not related to your feature it’s something you’ll need to take care of. You will just open a new ticket for it to avoid chaos.

intrigo-internazionale-2.jpg “North by Northwest”, Alfred Hitchcock 1959

Long story short, testers are our friends, they can really help us release in a safer way and with less stress.

Irene Iaccio

Freelance web developer