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Optimistic Developers, Pessimistic Testers October 1, 2008

Posted by Pat's Fan in QA.


In my experience, developers tend to be optimistic folks, while testers tend to be more pessimistic.

  • Developers are creators, with a natural optimism about making new things and solving difficult problems.
  • Testers are fault finders, with a necessary skepticism and doubt.
  • If developers are the yin, testers are the yang.

I believe this is a good thing, a sort of checks-and-balances tension that makes for better software.

But it does lead to some interesting contrasts…

Optimistic Developer: The glass is half full
Pessimistic Tester: The glass is twice as big as required

Optimistic Developer: This code hasn’t yet been tested. It’s not known if it has any bugs
Pessimistic Tester: This code hasn’t yet been tested. It’s not known if it actually works

Optimistic Developer: We are 90% done
Pessimistic Tester: We don’t know when we’ll be done, if ever

Optimistic Developer: We will refactor the code to make it better
Pessimistic Tester: They are throwing out the working code and replacing it with an unknown quantity

Optimistic Developer: I only changed one line of code
Pessimistic Tester: The entire system must be retested

Optimistic Developer: The code is the design
Pessimistic Tester: There is no design

Optimistic Developer: We’ll fix those bugs later, when we have time
Pessimistic Tester: We never have enough time to fix the bugs

Optimistic Developer: This build is feature complete
Pessimistic Tester: The features exist; some are completely broken

Optimistic Developer: Anything is possible, given enough time
Pessimistic Tester: Everything has flaws, and given enough time I can prove it

Optimistic Developer: Of course it will work
Pessimistic Tester: It might work, but probably won’t

Optimistic Developer: One last bug fix, and we can ship tomorrow
Pessimistic Tester: Fixing this one bug will likely lead to two more

Optimistic Developer: Stop finding bugs, or we’ll never be done
Pessimistic Tester: Stop creating bugs, so I can find them all

Optimistic Developer: There’s no need for more tests
Pessimistic Tester: Let’s just run a few more tests to be sure

Optimistic Developer: There is no I in TEAM
Pessimistic Tester: We can’t spell BUGS without U

Optimistic Developer: That’s an “undocumented feature”
Pessimistic Tester: That’s a bug

Optimistic Developer: I like to build things
Pessimistic Tester: I like to break things

Optimistic Developer: Sure, we can use the Beta version of this component in Production
Pessimistic Tester: We should wait until version 2.1

Optimistic Developer: Willing to bet that there are no more bugs
Pessimistic Tester: Willing to take that bet

Optimistic Developer: Let’s slip these changes in now, because I’m starting my vacation tomorrow
Pessimistic Tester: Let’s not

Optimistic Developer: That will never happen in Production
Pessimistic Tester: Never is a long time

Optimistic Developer: It works on my machine
Pessimistic Tester: Perhaps your machine is the only one where it works?

Optimistic Developer: The sun’ll come out, tomorrow…
Pessimistic Tester: Raindrops keep fallin’ on my head…

Optimistic Developer: I’m a Realist
Pessimistic Tester: I’m a Realist

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