How to help developers grok testing

I presented a session called “Developers who grok testing: Why I love them and how they mitigate risk” at CodeMash. We did a mini workshop, dividing into groups to brainstorm what devs need to learn about testing in order to grow towards grokking it. How can testers and developers communicate and collaborate better?

Take a look at the pictures to see the ideas. Participants also shared wonderful stories about how they got testers and developers collaborating for testing. For example, one team has testers and developers pair on a story. They do test automation and coding together. The story doesn’t have to move to a separate “testing” column or state, the pair does all testing activities together and then the story’s done!

Do you have any success stories for getting developers more involved in testing? Please share in the comments directly or via links to your own blog/articles. (Sorry the pictures are displaying in a dorky way but I don’t have time to fix!)

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7 comments on “How to help developers grok testing

  1. I find it helpful to have developers run functional test suites on their own code prior to committing it. Tools like Vagrant make it easy for developers to replicate testing tools and environments on their own machines (thus removing at least one excuse for not running tests locally :-).

  2. “Funny” – but it seems the veteran devs are less aware of testing, than new ones who started getting Test & QA training in the Uni.,
    and are more keen to work in ATDD etc.
    The main issue is changing managers & veterans way of thinking.

    @halperinko – Kobi Halperin

  3. Oh, sorry, I did explain that in the session but it’s not on the slide, only in the notes. “Grok” is from Robert Heinlein’s _Stranger in a Strange Land_. It’s a Martian word. From Wikipedia:

    The Oxford English Dictionary defines to grok as “to understand intuitively or by empathy; to establish rapport with” and “to empathise or communicate sympathetically (with); also, to experience enjoyment”.

  4. I agree, my teammates who are just out of school do seem automatically test-obsessed. I’ve been in the “agile” world a long time so most devs I’ve worked with, senior or not, in the past 14 years were willing to take responsibility for testing activities, and practiced TDD and ATDD/SBE/BDD. But I’m sure in the “world at large” it is not as common.

  5. Thanks Lisa for this post, I actually agree that communication between testers and developers is usually a pain..
    I’m currently working on a small project to go toward better collaboration between stakeholders in agile teams.
    To introduce it, I’ve written a post in my blog: http://evidence-agile.blogspot.com
    I would love to have your feedback 🙂

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