Are you Treating your Testers as if they are Robots?

WHY DO people try to make humans do a task that is better suited to computers… WHY DO people try to make computers do a job better suited to humans!

Imagine you have a website that you have to test with 5 different web browsers, various logins and passwords. Now you have to do the same thing hundreds of times, every time you release a new version, every 2 weeks. Some people write test scripts and give them to their testers and make them carry them out step by step, click by click. It sounds like a modern-day assembly line, perhaps something out of Fritz-Lang’s Metropolis. This is the job for a computer.

Conversely, if you have to test a complex web site that is changing every 2 weeks, with lots of new screens, many areas to explore and requirements and specs that are still evolving, some people try and automate the testing of this application. They spend a week writing a test that would only take a human a few hours to test. They miss all of the important edge cases, dead-ends, usability issues and items that a computer cannot spot. This is the job for a skilled human tester.

The moral of the story – automate the repetitive tasks so that your human testers are more efficient, don’t try and turn your humans into machines or your machines into humans.