After reading Tobias Mayer’s Test(osterone)-infected Developers, I noticed my test team has 3 men and 8 women, while my dev team has 30 men and 2 women. This is a small sample but I agree with Tobias that it is the norm.
Are she-testers better testers or just more interested in testing? This is a tired blogosphere discussion but a more interesting question is:
Do she-testers have unique skills worth harnessing?
My answer is, yes. I think women have at least one powerful advantage over men when it comes to testing. They are arguably better at observing subtle clues.
Most differences between men and women can be understood by noting their strongest biological roles. Women have babies! Thus, women are wired to pay attention to their babies and identify problems based on subtle expressions or behavior changes (e.g., baby is sick). I've heard women are better than men at determining if someone is lying, based on the same biological reasons.
Yesterday, while observing a premature field population UI bug, a she-tester on my team noticed the larger problem (that I missed). Previously populated data was getting erased. Of course, this may have just been a case of “two heads are better than one”, but my she-testers always impress with their subtle observations.
What differences have you observed between men and women testers? Can we use these differences to build a better test team?