"I broke login!"
"What'd you do, break it again?"
"I thought I fixed that! How'd you break it?"
But testers don't really break things. They merely expose breakages that are already there.
That sounds like a pretty good notion (I should note that I was inspired by a recent DevelopSense post, from which I lifted the theory.). It really is shorthand for "don't blame the tester". It's an elegant way to say that this situation is not my fault.
I have a problem with that argument. The abdication of tester responsibility bothers me. Saying that the breakage is never the tester's fault seems too broad.
We've officially entered a grey area. And this is where context is everything. Sometimes it's truly a bug and in that case, the tester didn't cause the bug; he merely identified the bug. But sometimes the tester is dong things in a truly unsupported way, and in that case, she may have broken it.
When the tester didn't break it:
- When it's really a bug.
- When the tester performed an action that users could be expected to do
- When he used an internal function unavailable to customers incorrectly
- When he checked in test code that broke the test (and the underlying product is fine)
- When the tester performed an action that users are specifically warned not to do
* Disclaimer: I'm not really sure if "absolutist" is a word, but it gets the point across and, hey, English is a living language!