Monday, December 8, 2008

Life Cycle of a Tester

Somehow we seem to think that for every project a tester should be available. Somehow we expect that that tester has all the experience and skills. Somehow we expect that tester to be the sheep with the five legs (I'm wondering if this is also an English expression)

I think you need to select the tester you needed for that particular moment. With this statement I assume that there is next to a product life cycle, a development life cycle also a tester's life cycle.

The basic idea for this thought is:
There are not always those testers available who can help you for a whole project. You have to make concessions about the skills of hired testers. This involves a certain risk which can be avoided by education or hiring more testers.

You can also accept the life cycle of a tester and admit that a tester should be available just for a period of time. Some simple steps could be:
1. Divide your test process in several phases;
2. Define for every phase the skills and expertise you need;
3. Prepare a time frame when you need those skills;
4. Start searching for those skills;
5. Find the testers who are able and willing to help you;
6. Adapt a process of monitoring the needed skills and needed testers.
7. Prepare some overlap and knowledge sharing

As you are able to find those different testers you are able to ask/ pay different tariffs. Another benefit is that you have the tester you need for that certain moment. You save time in education and you don't make concessions in quality.

I can imagine that you have several processes like:
1. Test management
2. Test preparation
3. Test specification
4. Test Execution

For these processes you might have different persons with different skills.

Of course there are other "somehow’s". There are other processes and there are some times not the testers available. It is just a thought. Feel free to leave a comment, perhaps we can share thoughts.

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