The World of Testers Has Something to Learn from James Bond…
CAUTION: SPOILERS ahoy. If you haven’t seen SPECTRE yet, you may not want to read this post.
It’s that time of year when we roll out the same tired, old arguments:
The Agile purists try to drive a stake thru the role of QA Manager.
Outsource companies say having in-house QA is redundant.
The Crowdsourcers agree but say crowdsource beats outsource hands down.
The Automated Testing purists take potshots at the Manual Testing crowd for the huge investment to provide test coverage that their scripts grant faster.
The Manual Testing purists snipe back at Automated Testing for ramp-up time and a several other alleged flaws.
Don’t get me wrong, there is validity to multiple points of view and the testing industry like any requires challenging to grow and evolve but regurgitation is just that, the absence of new points of view on the same, weary subjects.
So, Where Does James Bond and SPECTRE come into it?
Here come those SPOILERS… turn back while you still can.
In the new James Bond film, SPECTRE we find Bond and MI6 assailed by the threat of obsolescence. HUMINT (Human acquired intelligence) has been declared redundant and a senior Whitehall official “C” is pushing for a unified ELINT (Electronic Intelligence) effort between 9 major nations, all under the umbrella of a shiny, hi-tech National Intelligence Center. Obviously, “C” will be the one running this multinational NSA like organization and the 00 Section is to be shut down because “C” sees no need for men like 00 agents in the field when tech can do all the work.
Meanwhile, Bond seems to have gone rogue, hunting a shadowy, criminal enterprise connected to his past. Faster than you can say “Goodbye Mister Bond” we discover this is SPECTRE and they and their leader, Franz Oberhauser (Bond’s pseudo foster brother) are the ones poised to take control of this unified ELINT center once it goes live.
Oberhauser or (redacted, I’m not going to spoil everything) Blofeld, is a staunch believer that pure ELINT will grant him control over the world.
Nutshell: SPECTRE, Oberhauser and “C” are the purists of automation that advocate replacement, obsolescence of eyes / hands-on testing. Real testers are not needed in their world. ELINT akin to automated testing can do it all (which is ironic considering the sheer number of armed henchmen SPECTRE employs, not even considering their assassin du jour, Mr. Hix).
Bond, M et al rely on Q to provide their automated solutions but acknowledge the world for what it is. Neither approach alone can get the job done. Only a holistic mix of an agent licensed to kill with tech backup will work just as only a holistic mix of both testing types will work. However, this is not the crucial lesson testers need to learn from James Bond.
The Warptest POV
Several years ago, I heard a kickass Marketing Professional talk about blogging to early stage Start Ups. The point he made was to blog about your niche, NOT you or your product.
Reading a post on a QA Outsourcing company’s site deriding in-house QA with the conclusion that you are better off taking their services is ridiculous and counter-productive. (You know who you are..)
Sometimes testers are our own worst enemy. These regurgitated arguments don’t benefit us. If there is nothing new to add to these issues, then let them lie.
Instead of the ability to evangelize a holistic approach, best practices and provide tailored testing solutions to suit each product, this reflects an immaturity in parts of our industry.
We need to do better because at the end of the day it’s all about ROI and demonstrating that testing is a mission critical investment. My hat is off to those testers who share, engage, encourage others and build a sense of community. This is clearly the way forward.