97 Things Every Programmer Should Know

(Chris Devlin) #1

Collective Wisdom from the Experts 121

So that’s why I say testers are your friends. You may think the testers make you
look bad by reporting trivial issues. But when customers are thrilled because
they weren’t bothered by all those “little things” that QC made you fix, then
you look great. See what I mean?

Imagine this: you’re test-driving a utility that uses “groundbreaking artificial
intelligence algorithms” to find and fix concurrency problems. You fire it up
and immediately notice they misspelled “intelligence” on the splash screen. A
little inauspicious, but it’s just a typo, right? Then you notice the configuration
screen uses checkboxes where there should be radio buttons, and some of the
keyboard shortcuts don’t work. Now, none of these is a big deal, but as the
errors add up, you begin to wonder about the programmers. If they can’t get
the simple things right, what are the odds that their AI can really find and fix
something tricky like concurrency issues?

They could be geniuses who were so focused on making the AI insanely great
that they didn’t notice those trivial things, and without “picky testers” pointing
out the problems, you wound up finding them. And now you’re questioning
the competency of the programmers.

So, as strange as it may sound, those testers who seem determined to expose
every little bug in your code really are your friends.

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