How often have you reported testing results, and nobody seems to care?

Image for post
Image for post

Don’t worry, you’re not alone with this. I meet testers on a weekly basis facing similar situations.

Some of the most common phrases testers tell they hear from developers or project managers is this.

”Naaah! Thats not a bug, it’s a feature” or ”Naaah! Thats not a big deal, we’ll fix it later if we have time”

…All the while you know that what you report is a big deal for the project and the customer experience!

For years, I was guilty for the #1 mistake of testers. I always assumed that my colleagues and bosses were just idiots for not understanding why testing and my results mattered. …

Today, I woke up feeling like crap. After downing the morning coffee, I just stared at Instagram for the next hour in a messy brain-fog. Have you ever had mornings like this?

Image for post
Image for post
A photo from Unplash.

Getting back after the holidays full of irregular sleeping, eating like a pig, no exercise, and countless other reasons, I found myself in a bad place. The year was about to start with a discord.

Sitting there, I had just wasted my chance of hitting the gym. I had made a grand plan of hitting it three times every week and knew my way around the meal plan too. Now, everything was wrong; everything was broken, unfixable. …

I spent my childhood listening to the sounds from the nearby factory. A stream of smoke pillared towards the sky day and night.

My hometown based its economy on the industrial complex — Timber in, paper out.

Image for post
Image for post
Nope. Its not my home town factory on this pic :)

Very early, I knew that working on an assembly line of a factory wasn’t for me. I wanted to work with computers instead. So, I became a software professional.

Not long into the career with software, I found myself in a new kind of trouble. I had become a part of the software industry and just another assembly line.

Anyone who’s ever gotten laid off or fired understands how assembly lines work. Useless parts get tossed. Inefficient parts get replaced. It’s even possible to receive an e-mail that says, “you don’t need to come on Monday.” That happened to me. …

As a little boy, I went to an idyllic yellow wooden elementary school. The school had its kitchen, where Martta cooked lunch for us, and only a handful of students attended each class. No worries about the covid back then.

We started learning our first foreign language during the third grade. English classes began with basic vocabulary, and we all gave ourselves English names.

My name was Andy, while my friend Aki wanted to be known as Jake. He was a big fan of the TV series “Jake and the Fatman.”

Image for post
Image for post
Not an actual photo from my school. I just caught my attention on Unsplash.

When you learn new languages, you quickly reach a point when you start practicing small conversations with friends in the class. The first conversations between Jake and me went something…

In 1896, a scientist at the University of Lausanne noticed something unusual. After examining the distribution of land ownership in Italy, he saw that about 20% of the population owned almost all cultivated land.

Image for post
Image for post

Amazingly, the same distribution seemed to be repeated elsewhere, too, not just in Italy. 20% of the population owned about 80% of the land. Wherever Wilfredo Pareto looked, he saw the same thing.

Much later, a management expert Joseph M. Juran formulated “The Pareto Rule” based on these observations. He said that 80% of the companies’ turnover seems to come from about 20% of the customers.

Correspondingly, An Englishman, George Zipf, discovered a similar phenomenon in his linguistic studies in 1949. He noticed how people used only a small part of the vocabulary in most everyday conversations in all languages that he studied. …

The tent was packed with soldier on a christmas lunch when the explosion happened. It was the busies hour for the caterin in Mosul. A suicide bomber had walked in wearing a friendly uniform when the terror started. The year was 2004.

Image for post
Image for post

As the dust settled, Sergeant Edward Montoya sprang into action from under the table where he miraculously hidden in time to save himself. He began to search through the casualties in order to evaluate the situation.

Within hours, a small makeshift hospital had been set up and the troops were taking care of the injured. Those with the most urgent needs were taken in first, minor wounds were put in the hallway and the less seriously injured people were waiting in the parking lot. …

Imagine yourself driving a car. It’s already dark. No headlights. No streetlights. Nothing. It’s just you, travelling on a dark road.

You know you’re already running late. And stopping is not an option because this is really important!

Image for post
Image for post

As your eyes are accustomed to the darkness, you do recognise some shapes but it’s hard to distinct any details.

Moving forward, your biggest problem is that you see things at the last minute, if at all. No way to tell if there is a junction, pedestrians, deer or children. It mostly depends on luck if you reach that destination without accidents.

Anyone in their right mind would significantly slow down or stop all together and fix those lights. …

How does it feel to sit in that reclamation meeting? Trying to explain project delays to the customer?

As a software tester, I’ve had a priceless opportunity to observe these customer roastings several time. And I can tell you that it is not fun for any participant. Nobody wants to be in those meetings.

During my 15 years of journeys as a testing guru and an entrepreneur I’ve noticed that there are two core types of criteria that affect success. Most people get these two mixed up, and then problems become inevitable.

Before we dig deeper into the secret, think about a pyramid. To make the structure work it needs a solid base and then the bottom layers need to be of exceptional quality to support the rest of the building. …

First, there is the real thing.

Then, you add something like tests to observe the real thing. You create a smoke test to check that nothing important was broken in the update. Then, you automate the tests to free your hands for something more important.

That’s one layer of abstraction on top of the real thing. Like optics that you chose to view the world.

Image for post
Image for post

Now the organization demands more visibility to testing and the quality of your product. So you add metrics to observe your tests.

That’s already the second layer of abstraction on top of the real thing.
Then, the organization needs to make decisions about future resourcing, deadlines, and go-lives. …

”That’s called ’quengaruk’ or a bank of snow,” the guide explained,” and this is what you call ’muruaneq’, soft, deep snow.”

Image for post
Image for post

I’ve lived all my life in northern Finland, surrounded by snow for half of the year. Yet, all of those strange words for snow were new for me. In the Finnish language, we only have a few.

As the guide continued the explanation, I had to ask,’ How many words exactly are there for snow in Inuit languages?’

’Well, I don’t know for sure,’ he replied, ’there is a common myth that there might even be 50 words’

The realization hit me as a software testing professional. …


Antti Niittyviita

Today the world doesn’t need your fear or your worry. Now, more than ever, it needs the best version of you!

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store