This was one of many exciting topics discussed in Lean Coffee conversions as a part of the club’s previous meet-ups. Lean Coffee is a structured round-table discussion where participants raise their topics or ideas, vote and discuss the most interesting ones. It is agenda-less as you do not know for sure which topics will be discussed but you can bring your ideas or concerns and find out whether others have similar concerns.
To the first question, one participant pointed out that many people in software industry think that testing is an easy job in software projects. For them, testing skills are easier to acquire than programming skills so that many software professionals can learn to be a tester, and so testing is not as “elite” as coding or developing. Another reason, as another participant suggested, is due to usually lower salaries a tester receives than does a developer at the same seniority level.
However, most of the participants agreed that the perception and its reasons turn out to be false. Testing is a crucial activity to help ensure the quality of software products. Testers are a gate keeper for quality, helping to make customers and users happy. They are as important as developers and everyone else involved in developing and delivering successful software products. Software development is the team effort, “everyone on the same boat” as one participant pointed out.
So what should we do to change this false perception? Some participants suggested that companies should have a fair salary system which is based on actual contributions of employees rather than on roles or ranks that often give testers lower salaries than developers at the same seniority level.
However, as one participant pointed out, companies as for-profit businesses make their compensation decisions following the supply and demand rule. If a testing job is in a higher demand than a programming job, then the hiring company may be willing to pay testers with higher salaries than developer peers.
One idea that all participants agreed on is that software companies should promote the right attitude about complementary contributions to the project. Everyone in the project has a role to play, and if the project succeeds or fails, it’s a result of everyone’s contributions and responsibilities.
What do you think? Please offer your thoughts using the comment box below.