Assured Responsibility & Other Illusions about Testing

I have seen testers being worried about how other stakeholders might blame them if any bug is found in the production. Here is my take on this:

Testing is sampling.

Samples are taken based on the judgment, understanding, and experience (with the product) of the tester.

Any sample cannot be fully exhaustive (covering all the possible cases possible in the space).

I know some of you would be thinking that we can cover all the possible data values that be entered in any system under test.

But, what about coverages apart from data? Ex: Timing, Platforms, Target Frameworks, Drivers, etc. (most of these fields are critical to the testing I do so giving these as examples).

Defect leakage is a lesson/learning/feed-forward for professional testers. They will learn from them and do their best to ensure that such defect is prevented in the future.

black and white polka dot pattern

My counter question is:

Does a developer take responsibility for the bug they have coded unintentionally in their code?

To understand this concept better, let’s switch to professional cooking which has existed and matured for years now. However, if you closely observe any large organized dinner then you will see some people having certain complaints about any specific dish while others do not have any issues with it at all. Now, is it always the cook’s responsibility if someone didn’t like any specific dish?

For deliberate or basic issues, the cook can accept responsibility.

But, What if the ingredients that the cook used had some things that were allergic to some of the “special” guests who later reported the problem?

What if the time given to cook was not enough? and it’s never enough in most cases?

What if the cook was asked to cook kadhi and was told that the customer would love kadhi but was not told that the customer loves only Gujarati kadhi and hates everything else? (Requirements not clear)

What if the vegetables that were given to the cook were looking healthy from the outside but it was only due to the injections that were injected into them on the farms where they were raised?

The point that I am trying to make is that not everything is or will be within the cook’s responsible space.

Similarly, testers can also not be directly held accountable for any production issue or glitch. This requires systems thinking where teams should holistically look beyond these symptoms for the patterns, behaviors, other dependent factors, etc.

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