Why software testing is often viewed as low-grade when comparing with software development?

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I recently had an interesting discussion in Quora on the same topic.

Why software testing is often viewed as low-grade when comparing with software development?

There are a few answers for the questions but the most interesting one to me is:

"Because it is easier to find problems than to solve problems. I worked as a software tester for close to 7 years and now work as developer.

There are two types of testing: manual and automation. Manual testers are least paid as they don't solve any technical challenges and simply use the application for various business scenarios and report if there are bugs."

The discussion thread is a little bit long, so I could share the whole discussion here.

As a tester for several years, I don't see software testing as low-grade in comparison to software development. However, in general view, I agree that software testing is often viewed as low-grade.

Why so?

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  1. Thong Khuat
    1
    August 2, 2015 at 4:44 pm

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    I think this view is only true somehow in Vietnam where most of the developers lack the point of view from the whole SDLC but only from their role. This is a result of Vietnam education on software development field where student is trained for coding only.

    Another reason is from many managers of software development company who was original coder. They often manage with only what they know well. We know that management affects the company operation and how the staff roles are treated. When they say: "no need much testing"... the the qc job is ruined.

    This will be changed soon when the SD industry envolves, just a matter of time :)
  2. Sang Bui
    1
    August 2, 2015 at 10:04 pm

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    1. Yes. If we compare with Development (make a product), Testing is "lower" for sure.
    Because they can make a product (and can use it) without test, but we can not test (or use) the product without a development. It's a true story and we can not change or put Testing "higher" than Development.
    But in school for example, the score: 8/10 is lower than 9/10, but 8.0 is not low. just lower!

    2. Many people think Testing is "low" level because they are lacking of big view and they just think Testing - Tester is single activity: just run the test (by eyes)!
    But in real, "Testing is a process rather than a single activity", and we have many high level of working and learning: planning, designing test, preparing data, execution and evaluating result, product, even coding. And execution test just a small part of this process. If they see the big picture I think they can not say it's low level.

    3. If tester just do their work by "looking for some issues and report" with no big view, lacking of testing mindsets, it's can not high level for sure. Because anyone can do it, even developer; so why they have to see you with the high level when the can do it and replace you?

    So, I think if we want to change their view, the first thing we can do is learn more about other activity in testing process and do more (not just execution test), and show with them you are a tester with testing view and mindsets, developer can do it but can not do it better than you - tester, and they need you for the peaceful mind, at that time no one can see tester is low level (just lower if you want to compare again with developer :D).
  3. Thanh Huynh
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    August 3, 2015 at 12:38 pm

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    @Thong, Sang,

    Good points.

    I used to be in a Job Fair and heard one student talking to his friend when this guy is about to apply for a Tester position. This student talked to his friend "Are you insane? Tester is for loser" and then they both walked away.

    These two students may not have hands-on experience with both software development and software testing, but where their conception came from about software testing?

    I do agree with Thong that it's matter of time, but I see value of testing hasn't changed much since last 10 years since I first started in software testing. :(

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Thanh Huynh R

About [Thanh Huynh]

Thanh is owner of AskTester and also a tester. Thanh cares about how to do better testing and how to help other testers do better testing too. Contact me via: LinkedIn | Facebook | Google+|Email: thanh[at]asktester[dot]com