The Psychology Of Testing

Software testing is a technical task that requires engagement of numerous software testers and developers, who combine individual efforts to create a software with impeccable features and superior quality. However, this technical task also requires some important considerations of psychology to ensure smooth development and testing of the software product. Therefore, to elaborate more on this topic, here is a discussion on the psychology of testing and its impact on testing.

The Psychology of Testing:

In software testing, psychology plays an extremely important role. It is one of those factors that stays behind the scene, but has a great impact of the end result. Categorized into three sections, the psychology of testing enables smooth testing as well as makes the process hassle free. It is mainly dependent on the mindset of the developers and testers, as well as the quality of communication between them. Moreover, the psychology of testing improves mutual understanding among team members and helps them work towards a common goal.

The three sections of psychology of testing are:

  • Mindset of Developers and Testers.
  • Communication in a Constructive Manner.
  • Test Independence.
  1. Mindset of Developers and Testers: Software development life cycle is a combination of various activities, which are performed by different individuals using their expertise and knowledge. It is not an unknown fact that to accomplish successful development of a software, people with different skill and mindset are required. From coding to software implementation, engineers with different skill set are required to perform tasks, in which they are certified. As testing and analyzing the software is much different than developing or programming it, it is quite clear that to develop a software with unique features and superior quality, developers and testers of different mindset are required. Moreover, the introduction of new development and testing techniques and methodologies has further made this a necessary requirement.
  2. Communication in a Constructive Manner: Any process, whether technical or non-technical requires constant communication between team members to successfully achieve their goals and aims. Communication, if done in an polite and courteous manner can help build a strong and reliable relationship between team members and help them avoid any misunderstanding. Similarly, during the process of testing also, the requirement of communication in constructive manner is extremely high. As testers are responsible for finding bugs and reporting them, it becomes vital for them to communicate it in a courteous, polite, and suitable way to avoid hurting and disappointing someone. Finding and reporting defects can be an achievement for the tester but is merely an inconvenience for programmers, designers, developers, and other stakeholders of the project. As testing can be a destructive activity, it is important for software testers to report defects and failures as objectively and politely as possible to avoid hurting and upsetting other members related to the project.
  3. Test Independence: The importance of independent software testing is comparatively higher than self testing or group testing, as the former helps avoid author bias and often is more effective in finding and detecting bugs and defects. This type of testing is mainly performed by individuals who are not related to the project directly or are from different organization and are hired mainly to test the quality as well as the effectiveness of the developed product. Test independence, therefore, helps developers and other stakeholders get more accurate test results, which helps them build a better software product, with innovative and unique features and functionality.
  4. The levels of Test Independence:

    The various levels of test independence are:

    • Test are designed by the person who wrote the software under test.
    • By the other member of the team who is not directly related to the software under test.
    • Test performed by an individual from another organizational group or a test specialist.
    • Test designed by a tester from different organization or company.

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    To achieve successful testing it is important for software engineers to consider the psychological aspects of testing, as they can also hamper the result of testing and can impact the performance of the end product. The importance of these psychological aspects is similar to any tool or technique adopted for the process of testing. The mindset of the team members, the communication between them, and most importantly the test independence while performing the testing is crucial and needs great consideration. Therefore, if you want your software testing to be free of any hurdles, do consider the psychological aspects stated above.

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