The Tester’s Role: Balancing Technical Acumen and User Advocacy

Melissa Tondi

Ten years ago, many of us started our careers in testing, generally moving from a different internal role. It was common for people who were product users to be hired to jump start their technical career. Now, we see the growth of tester positions that require coding experience or a computer science degree. Melissa Tondi discusses the changing landscape of the role of testers, the challenges when hiring developers with no previous testing experience, and a way to shift the pendulum back to balance technical acumen with a user advocacy role. Melissa leads a thoughtful discussion on what makes a good tester, how we can continue to promote our profession, and how to accentuate the value testers bring to organizations. She identifies factors that caused the test/QA role to become mainstream and how it shifted to become more technically focused. Melissa helps fill in the gaps with a test strategy that balances time for the test team to continue supporting the development efforts while equally emphasizing user advocacy tests. She presents recommendations you can take back to your team to achieve the right balance for your organization.

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