Monday, October 15, 2007

Manual Testers Don't Write Code?

I interviewed someone last week and got to the portion of the interview where it was his turn to ask questions. The first thing he asked was:

"This is a position for a manual tester. I spent a loooong time learning to write code. Do you really expect me to throw that away?"

Can you see the assumption in that question? It's a doozy.

This candidate assumed that "manual tester" meant no code. He couldn't have been more wrong. Manual testers may certainly write code. Even if the test itself is manual, code can:
1. load data
2. gather state information
3. provide background "noise" in the system
4. be a tool to see something invisible to the human tester

A manual test is simply a test that a human performs to ensure that the system conforms to expectations.

P.S. Yes, the attitude struck me as obnoxious - "throw that away" is a combative choice of words - so I included a 10 second lecture on choosing one's words.

1 comment: