Should developers do their own testing or not? In Software Development, developers have a major role as they design, code, and build the software. They are also asked to do ‘white box’ testing, meaning testing the code.
They execute Unit Testing (testing individual units of source code to verify if it meets the specifications and behaves as expected) and Integration Testing (testing related programs or units of codes to ensure that multiple parts of the system interact well with other parts of the system). These tests check the functionality, performance, and reliability of the program.
However, it might still not be enough to ensure that the program has no bugs or errors.
This is why developers have learned how to rely on Quality Assurance (QA) Testers to find defects and bugs. But even QA can go wrong.
There is then a trend to move towards developer-based testing rather than QA-based testing. To know which alternative works best, you should know what both QA and developer testing are and entail.
Depending on the team, developers will be asked to perform unit testing at minimum or to produce automated, integrated, code-based tests. More often than not, however, developers don’t want to waste time on building development tests in favor of creating new features.
One reason for this is that the developers only work in one section of the application code and might not understand all the requirements. If requirements are misunderstood, no matter the depth of the test, they will never find the error.
Another reason for this is that some developers think that creating unit tests is too complex to perform repeatedly, even when automated. Basically, testing slows down the development process and reduces coding productivity.
Some developers might also be over-optimistic on their programs. They will see their code as flawless and might, as a result, overlook other details of the program or will skip bugs.
Moreover, some parts of the program might also not be tested because, once the developer has seen that a certain part is working, he will not re-test it. He will always assume that it’s working correctly and doesn’t affect other operations.
On the other hand, developers will be the most familiar with the program and their own codes. That’s why some developers rigorously test their code to rule out any errors and check the application’s functionality. The developer knows best the program and will have the satisfaction of seeing it pass the required specifications.
In the long run, developers know that if they create tests, it will save time more than waste it as it decreases release issues and the time on production as well as reducing defects.
All in all, many developers don’t do testing because it’s complicated and repetitive and they might not understand the requirements of the application. However, developer testing is an important part of QA programs when managed well and will assure fewer defects.
QA testing ensures that bugs, error, and defects are detected in software. It is quite distinct skillsets from those of a developer.
QA testers have a broader knowledge of the application system and history, giving them the ability to fix problems as they arise. They can be seen as an extension of the development manager or the development process. Testers execute an in-depth analysis of the application and repeat the process until the bug is fixed.
QA testing is primordial and valuable, whether as a support role for development teams or as an independent entity. QA testers usually work within a team of developers as it increases productivity. They provide a human perspective that enhances the success of coded tests.
QA testers also provide test cases and plans that can guarantee an additional documentation source for training and customer use. These tests include all the information needed for developers to understand the application’s functionality. For many software development teams, having a QA tester is absolutely necessary.
Therefore, who should do the testing? A balanced approach is probably the most suitable. Indeed, developers and testers work best together, and will both save time and create more reliable programs.