Does your test manager ever test? They should.
I recently got promoted to test manager. About three months in, I started to get used to delegating much of the testing tasks. I have to admit, it was nice to focus on the big picture for a while. I began sounding like a manager, being more interested in status rather than test value.
When one of my testers took a vacation to India and the other two got sick, I had to jump in where my testers left off and complete a variety of testing activities. It was like getting smacked in the face.
- In some places where I thought the tester was dragging, I discovered legitimate test impediments.
- In some places where I believed the tester excuses, I found tester misunderstandings or poorly designed tests.
- In all areas, I experienced the stress of uncertainty, the constant decision making, and the thrill of finding important problems.
The best way to really grok a job is to perform it yourself. Experiencing the act of testing is different than observing it or hearing summaries of it. So...
- Testers, the next time you take a personal day off work, ask your manager to be your backup and actually do some of your work while you’re out.
- Managers, offer to jump in and be the backup tester.