Pair testing with a developer 2
I have written before about what I think of pair testing with developers. This post is going to give you some more examples of the benefits.
Pair testing is like pair programming, in the way that you get each other to concentrate on the task at hand. Otherwise it is easy to step into sidetracks and staying there for too long. Sidetracks are possible also in a pair, but the time it takes to get back on track is shorter.
This time, I am actually performing the tests together with both of the developers of the system. It is another system from last time, but one of the developers is the same.
Just like the other system, I have learned alot about how the developers think and master the tools useful for this testing, giving me all sorts of perspectives on the product. They are both different in how they think of things, but their knowledge of the system is the same, but anyway they have different ways of expressing how the system works. This is a very exciting setting for me as tester, to gather and filter relevant information to the risks that we are facing.
Another aspect of this product, is that we have a very narrow deadline for production. This has lead to an enormous interest with the product owner, which is spending sometimes hours in a day following our progress of tuning the product for release. This gives also exciting discussions, since he has an even broader view of the users and functionality. He is technical, but sometimes I still have to translate the meaning of words between developers and him, in any direction. This is why I think of communication as a very important aspect in testing. More about that later.
Getting to the point, sitting next to developers when solving a bug, gave me the chance of getting a glance at the workflow in the product code. Usually I try to avoid this deep digging, but since he was holding the weel, I could just watch the exploration of the code. If I dont follow, I can just ask about explanation to see if there are risks to be considered. Yesterday, this actually revealed a bug. When trying to find another bug, I was observant enough about a discrepancy in another part of the code. Highlighting this just made my partner express the words I really like to hear from any developer: “Thats a bug!”
This was followed by an explanation about it, and the most important thing, it was a bug that would have been really hard to find if it had been ruining things later on.
The thing in this case, would be that if this bug had been seen by myself reviewing the code, I would not have been sure about it, and the feedback loop to any developer would have been a very long one, for this type of issue. Typo in a string, would that ruin your day? Well, in this case, the string value was very important, but as a tester do you think about that at all times?
We saved alot of money on the hours we would have been throwing away of finding this bug later on, and I think that is worth the money spent on two persons testing together, may it have been a developer and a tester.