Practitioners Testimonials about Software Testing

Pradeep Waychal, Luiz Fernando Capretz, Jingdong Jia, Daniel Varona, Yadira Lizama

As software systems are becoming more pervasive, they are also becoming more susceptible to failures, resulting in potentially lethal combinations. Software testing is critical to preventing software failures but is, arguably, the least understood part of the software life cycle and the toughest to perform correctly. Adequate research has been carried out in both the process and technology dimensions of testing, but not in the human dimensions. This paper attempts to fill in the gap by exploring the human dimension, i.e., trying to understand the motivation of software professionals to take up and sustain testing careers. Towards that end, a survey was conducted in four countries - India, Canada, Cuba, and China - to try to understand how professional software testers perceive and value work-related factors that could influence their motivation to take up and sustain testing careers. With a sample of 220 software professionals, we observed that very few professionals are keen to take up testing careers. Some aspects of software testing, such as the learning opportunities, appear to be a common motivator across the four countries; whereas the treatment meted out to testers as second-class citizens and the complexity of the job appeared to be the most important de-motivators. This comparative study offers useful insights that can help global software industry leaders to come up with an action plan to put the software testing profession under a new light. That could increase the number of software engineers choosing testing careers, which would facilitate quality testing.

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