Traditionally, testers and QA engineers have had minimal involvement in software design. Design has been the role of the software architect, or team leader, for many years. According to the team, feedback from testers at this point in the software development lifecycle is not always valued.
But in certain circumstances, that changes. In particular, testers have a real contribution to make when one of the goals of the product is to âdesign to testâ. Architects who recognize that contributions can come from a variety of sources seek feedback on testing when creating an overall design.
Testers have even more design contributions to Agile projects, especially when using Test Driven Development (TDD). Testers typically have a more complete picture of user needs, based on their in-depth understanding of user stories and interactions with the product owner.
Because design is something that evolves with the application in Agile, testers can always look at what developers are doing. If the team starts letting the design get complex or difficult to test, it’s time to talk to the developers to make the design simpler. It may take a sprint or two of hardening, but it will reduce debt.
For testers, here are some of the things you might consider when sharing your expertise with architects and developers.
- Provide design feedback for testability. You don’t want to rack up test debt.
- Get deeply involved in TDD projects. This is your area of ââexpertise.
- Provide feedback on design decisions during a Agile project.
- Try to give advice outside of your area of ââexpertise.
- Reject comments on your design ideas. Everyone has something to contribute.
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