You’re a manager, or a developer, a tester, or someone else working on software-based product or service. Where does testing fit? What’s the difference between testing and quality assurance and quality control? What can testing do for you? What kind of questions should you ask the testers? How do you get the best value out of testing?
Managers have the authority and the mandate to make important decisions about the project scope, staffing, budgets, customer relationships, product quality—and when the product is ready to be shipped. Developers have control over the source code and the design. Whoever you are, skilled testers provide you with an extension of your senses. Skilled testers are like scientific instruments, communications equipment, and smoke detectors. But the best kind of testing is not just data collection. The best testers are like social scientists too, understanding the software, the systems that are connected with it, the people who use it, and the relationships between them. In every sense, it’s the mission of testing to reveal information, and you remain in control of what to do with the information that testers reveal.
In this session, Michael Bolton (who has extensive experience as a tester, as a programmer, and as a project manager) explains the role of skilled software testers, and why you might not want to think of testing as “quality assurance”. He’ll present ideas about the relationship between testers and the other members of the project community, and about the service he believes that testers really provide: making quality assurance possible by lighting the way of the project.