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Great Testers Care How Well Clients Are Served

How long have you been on this testing journey? Have you ever paused for a moment and wondered about the role you perform? Have you ever felt proud of being a tester? Have you ever thought someone living somewhere far corner of the world would be happy to use the software you assured?



 Yes, carry that humble pride in you. Testing is a service role and the service offered as a tester is crucial. Tester’s role is not just about testing, it is mostly about serving different clients. You are serving many clients as a tester in your routine. Clients with numerous requirements, clients with different appetites, and clients with varying necessities.

Don’t forget, you should measure your success not only with the number of bugs you have found, not only with the completed number of test cycles, not only with your test execution rate but also with how well you have served clients' aspirations and best interests.

As mentioned, what is challenging is you are serving many clients. You are serving the project manager, the developer, technical support engineers, and so on. Let’s analyse what are the aspirations of each of these different clients and how you can build a good relationship with them.

Project Manager – Their main task is to make sure the smooth flow of the project adhering to the processes implemented. As testers, you report the status when required and inform if there are bottlenecks. As testers, it is our job to express what we are capable of doing, what we cannot do, and how a decision can impact on testing cycle of the project.

The Developer – It is fair to say that the developer is our most prominent client. So, how do we make their job easier as testers? First and most importantly be empathetic, look at the problem from their point of view, be responsive to the questions which will speed up the process, and be patient and encouraging.

As testers to earn good credibility, provide clear and concise bug reports avoiding waggishness. Hence the developers will not see you as a burden but rather as a supporter or an influencer to deliver a quality product.

The Technical Writer – As testers, we may often forget the technical writer's role and the necessity of ensuring the quality of documentation. Technical writers require our help to understand how the product works and to clarify challenging areas of the product. We can also provide clear feedback on documentation, errors, or inconsistencies in documentation and suggest improvements, especially on the usability of documentation.

On the other hand, while they are exploring, they will come across scenarios that you may not be aware of. When you have a good relationship with them, they will alert you on the pitfalls of the new features, test coverage, and maybe the bugs they find.

Technical Support – This is the team that faces the customers directly and they have direct pressure from the customer for any problem that occurs in the product. Being testers, we can support them by informing any aspects of the product that may cause troubles to the users and helping them to investigate challenging problems reported by the customers. When you work closely with the support team, which is a reflection of the customer, will help you to understand the customer and prioritise the issues according to the customer's requirements.

Marketing Team – Have you ever come across a point where a certain bug is minor for the technical team while for the marketing team, it is a do-or-die situation? Let’s think about this from the marketing team’s point of view. The bug, they worry about may be irritating for the customer to perform an important task during their usage journey of the product or maybe a very frequently used option. On the other hand, this might be the value addition for the customer and the selling point for the marketing team. Hence being testers, we need to inform the marketing team about any inconsistencies in the product for them to be prepared. Even though the marketing team is outside of the agile team, working collaboratively with them helps testers understand their pitching strategy and be cautious about the features around it. On the other hand, we can also assist them by reviewing marketing documents and statements to promote the product’s capabilities.

Top Management and Stockholders – Are you sure that testers serve top management and stockholders? A question that might have sparked in your mind. Yes, we do serve them. Have you ever created test status reports or reports to showcase a high-level overview of the product quality, and then you have served the top management and stockholders? You may not have the direct visibility of serving them in some cases, however, they are the decision-makers and hence they need your input as a stakeholder, working at the ground level, to make short-term and long-term decisions on behalf of the company.

The User – The true value of our work will be reflected in the satisfaction of the user. Our ultimate goal as testers should be to ensure the quality of the product to deliver a usable product satisfying the end users' requirements. Tester is a reflection of the real-world user within the project team, so you are the voice of the customer within the project team. When you are making decisions, always have the end user in mind and keep asking how the end user would feel about the decision.

These are some of the prominent roles that you serve as a tester during your day-to-day activities. However, the roles may differ according to the domain you are related to and the working model you follow, for instance, we haven’t discussed vendors in this article. Vendors may be involved with the testers frequently if you are a service-based company.

In summary, the tester’s role is a service role where you have to serve different clients with different needs. What is more important to digest is each client should be served with empathy and understanding of their view.

Sajitha Tharaka Pathirana

Written by Sajitha Tharaka Pathirana

A Test automation enthusiast, passionate to help the teams to enhance their testing journey with his decade of experience in the field, developing automation platforms and tools to optimize the overall testing process.