During last fall’s STPCon, I attended a session about showing your team the value of testing. It was presented by a guy from Keen Consultants. He showed us countless graphs and charts we could use to communicate the value of testing to the rest of our team. Boring…zzzzzzzz.

In the spirit of my previous post, Can You Judge a Tester by Their Bug List Size?, here is a more creative approach, that is way simpler and IMO more effective, at communicating your value as a tester….wear it!

(I blurred out my AUT name)

You could change it up with the number of tests you executed, if that sounds more impressive to you. Be sure to wear your shirt on a day the users are learning your AUT. That way, you can pop into the training room and introduce yourself to your users. Most of them didn’t even know you existed. They will love you!

Now I just need to come up with an easy way to increase the bug count on my shirts (e.g., velcro numbers). Because, like all good testers know, the shirt is out-dated within an hour or so.


  1. Ced said...

    I don't find this particularly professional.

  2. Eric Jacobson said...

    Thanks for the feedback, Ced. Which part is unprofessional? I assume you're not talking about t-shirts being unprofessional attire (we’re allowed to wear them at my office).

    Do you think what testers do should be hidden from the users or are you worried about offending the devs? My devs were cool enough to see the humor in it and called me “1109” for a while. We kid each other all the time. That’s what makes our jobs fun.

    And the truth is, when we went to prod, us testers may not have written the bits that shipped. But we sure did contribute in a significant way.

  3. Adam said...

    I think it's great! Great idea!!!

    I may do something like this with my team.

  4. SandeepMaher said...

    I think depiction of the number on the tee sounds a touch crude.

    Maybe you could go for different coloured t-shirts with relevant text as suggested below -
    "Bug-finder Extraordinaire"; goes to tester of the month/quarter/project (visual: cartoon of person stooped with magnifying glass with a rising sun background)
    "The elusive bug that did NOT escape ME!" for the tester who found the 'best' bug using creative/thinking/domain skills like no other (visual: a dead man-size bug cartoon with a tester his foot on the dead bug)
    "Hallelujah! I befriended the {Devil-oper}" goes to the tester who collaborated excellently with developers & nominated by the dev team members. (visual: a human with fire-spouting red devil, crooked tail et al - Guess who's who :)
    "The world is divided into people who do things--and people who get the credit. HEY BUT I AM BOTH!!" for the tester do-er, hard-working, with all the positives.

    And there could be others for finding the most number of critical severe defects, fewest 'cancelled', tester who grasped the domain fastest, tester who went beyond the test cases (in the strict process-centric environment primarily driven by test cases - unlikely, not recommended but probable) & so on..

  5. Ced said...

    Eric, I regard absolute bug counts as horribly misleading as there are so many bugs that are not entered into the tracking system and so many bugs that are not relevant to really count (spelling errors and the like).

    Displaying the amount of bugs on a shirt is just terribly wrong in my eyes, I'd rather be proud about a successful release and have a party together with all the developers, sales people, account managers, marketing staff and bosses instead of boosting some obscure, irrelevant statistics on a t-shirt.

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