Bridging the Gap Between Testers and Developers by Collaboration
There are a number of ways to get your testers and developers on the same page.
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Any software has the possibility of problems. Collaboration and communication between departments are critical for the success of a software project, especially Agile software projects. When collaboration and communication occur between testers and developers, projects are finished quicker and promote a superior quality of Agile software designs.
In this article, we will focus on ways of building foundations for collaboration, breaking the barriers between testers and developers, tips to building joint relationships, and the importance of collaboration for project success.
Building A Foundation for Collaboration
When including testers in the developmental stages of a project, having them included in each step will show the equality and importance of each role. Ways to build a solid foundation for further collaboration include:
Learning about clients as a unit: Having both teams learning about the clients together creates a “team” atmosphere from the beginning of the project.
Create stories and agreement by testing data together: When developers sit in during the testing trial, open discussions about storylines and creativity should take place and a mutual agreement of what the finished product looks like.
Create and have a joint understanding of “finished”: Having a mutual understanding of what “finished” is will ensure a finalized and superior product.
Design tests as a joint group: When testing software or testing a product, having a mutual agreement about the tests will have both testers and developers working together at every stage of the product development.
Highlight discussions about quality and “finished”: As a product manager, initiate discussions about the quality of the software, and the steps needed to finish the product.
Removing the concept of us vs. them between developers and testers, and focusing on working as a whole or a unit collaboratively improves the chance of delivering a product with success.
How to Break Down the Barriers Between Testers and Developers
Getting your team to work collaboratively might seem like a Herculean task; however, some simple techniques strategically implemented can break the barriers between testers and developers. Some techniques project managers should attempt are:
Incorporate pair test-programming: Pair test programming allows testers and developers to collaborate on project requirements, develop software code, run identified tests and determine the glitches of the software project. Moreover, if testers analyze the software on a developer’s computer, the testers can give feedback needed for the improvement of the software promptly.
Each installs and learns the other group's tools: If both testers and developers are cross-trained on each other’s equipment, accurate analysis and understanding of each step will occur. For example, the cross-browser testing tool that the tester uses or the language used by the developer. Having more knowledge and being able to see the bigger picture from both group’s perspective increases productivity, positive collaboration, and superior final product.
Finding and fixing glitches: With both teams aware of each other’s roles and equipment, finding and fixing glitches or problems when they arise will improve. Having both teams be able to identify and prioritize problems will ultimately have the two groups working collaboratively and more effectively.
Attend software and hacker’s conventions: Going to trade and technology conventions are a way to build team relationships, gather new data that can be used, and discover new hacker threats, glitches, and viruses.
Treat both testers and developers as equal parts of an integrated and collaborative group. Design a team atmosphere and culture where both teams are equally valued and collaborative work develops quality results, which is the team’s goal and responsibility. Encourage casual communication, sharing and developing in person rather than via formal arrangements such as e-mails. Formal communication is a time waster and delays team-work, efficiency, and a “finished” product.
Tips for Building Collaborative Teams
Sharing: Teambuilders and project managers should encourage sharing. Testers and developers need to share strategies and thoughts every step of the project from beginning to “finished” project.
Positive Communication: Testers and developers should be open-minded and positive in active communication. Egos get easily bruised if teams can’t communicate effectively.
Joint Environment: Testers should be willing to equally listen to developer ideas in the test building development. Developers should also listen to ideas on improving the software.
Bridging the Gap Between Testers and Developers: The Importance of Collaboration
Departments that use to work independently need to find ways for testers and developers to collaborate on software products to meet the higher demands on proficiency, speed, and creation of Agile development processes.
Detailed Feedback Sooner
When testers and developers work collaboratively in sync, feedback, and results can occur in real time and not wait for interdepartmental relays via the internet and email communication.
Finding Glitches Quicker and Uniformity
With both teams working together, the identification, analyzation, and correction of glitches or bugs will happen quicker and collaboratively.
Development, Implementation, and Maintenance of Regression Tests
A primary role for testers in the past has been the development of relevant regression tests. The more thorough the tests, the extent of the creation of automated tests and the analyzation of such tests increases the productivity of the software application.
Sharing of ideas during each step allows for developers to share information about custom controls.
When developers have regression test knowledge, they can create tests with automation in place.
Test-Related Data and Documentation
Teams can collect and document past test scores for the reuse of tests which can be automated to run when necessary to perform the software at optimum levels.
Both testers and developers are intrinsic parts of a larger scheme. What used to be two departments working across from one another, has altered because of the demands of modern technology. Keys to an ideal Agile development process include these two departments to work as a collective. When these two units are working collaboratively as a joint team, product demands of improved turnaround and higher quality software is increased.
In an industry where teamwork has become a necessity, project managers need to focus on building relationships and harmonious and effective communication happening. Studies have shown when groups have a strong team foundation, all areas of product development, testing, and customer satisfaction is realized.
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