Testing: bugs and emotions

Posted by Bart Klinge on June 5, 2019

While reading the ISTQB handbook (not something I advise you to do) you will sometimes come across stories of testers having difficulty talking to the people who do the coding and how to deal with that. Having to tell the coder that what they created contains bugs or is missing a feature somehow is possibly problematic and how to tell them is supposed to be a skill testers should have or develop.

Within TOPdesk I don’t really see this as a problem, or at least I do not experience any problems with this. Of course our coders don’t like having bugs but telling them leads usually to a talk on how you found it and when it breaks. So a small “jeeh” for you! Still having/finding bugs means something went wrong somewhere and in the great scheme of all things TOPdesk it means loss of time, money and resources (you could argue that all three are just the same).

But finding a bug just feels good. For me every story feels like some kind of test. There might be something wrong and it is up to me to find it. Finding bugs as soon as I start things up give off a nice feeling. When I put in a little effort and find a bug, it makes me feel warm and fuzzy inside. The other side; having to test a big story with no bugs in there, where I need to make sure they are in fact not there, only give off the slight satisfaction of keeping up the pace by burning those story points.

As far as I can see there only 2 disadvantages in finding bugs.
1. Finding a bug is fine, rolling up to your colleague with a smirk on your face is funny and stress relieving. However, doing it every 5 to 10 minutes makes the guilt grow and takes the fun out.
2. Maybe it isn’t a bug? What if you just forgot to start up a specific service, work with the wrong database, or have the wrong branch (which leads to a whole set of other feelings; frustration, boredom, etc.)? I return to my desk with a coder by my side, the smirk on my face, only to have it wiped off by the realization that I am the one who made a mistake and not the one who did the coding.

To conclude. Emotions in this story are just some of the emotions during testing and mostly have to do with finding bugs. Other stories are there to be written about being frustrated, bored, terrified, relieved, intrigued, baffled, undetermined and many other emotions that pop up when you’re testing.

About the author: Bart Klinge

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