Role of a Tester

Here is a breakdown on what happens in a software development project and what value a tester adds at each phase. This is based on how our own teams are structured and from prior experience.

1) Design of the feature/application

There are 2 aspects -

a) User Experience

Tester can add a lot of valuable input here. They can share knowledge from prior experience, from knowing how other similar systems function or just being aware of what the customer needs.

b) Application Architecture

Tester may not be able add too much value here. This is better left to the development team

Time spent by tester 5%
Value add to business ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐☆☆☆

2) Prioritization

Testers can highlight what should be the logical thing to be delivered next. This may be based on interaction with customer support/success team or other stakeholders. They can also help in setting release timelines based on testing time needed. Developers may point to technical details on what needs to go as a base before more things are built on top.

Time spent by tester 5%
Value add to business ⭐⭐⭐☆☆☆☆☆☆☆

3) Development

a) Development

This is a Developer's job. However, the developer may clarify requirements from the tester. Devs may also have testers play with the feature before pushing to codebase.

b) Unit Testing

Developer's job. Unit testing helps speed up development and is a tool to structurally build software. Testers shouldn't be involved here. API Testing: Developer's job. In some cases, testers may help. However, a tester's role here would be considered as a developer's helper rather than a tester.

Time spent by tester 5%
Value add to business ⭐☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆

4) Build Process and Build Monitoring & Maintenance

Setting up the process is normally a joint effort from dev and test team. Monitoring is done by dev or tester depending on what the pipeline or job is doing.

  1. Simple build task - developer.
  2. Nightly runs - tester
Time spent by tester 30%
Value add to business ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐☆☆

5) Testing

This is the job of the Tester - Most of the tester's time should be spent here.

This involves Test Design, Manual Testing, Integration Testing, Functional Testing via User Interface, End User simulation testing, Functional UI Automation, Report Analysis, Bug Reporting, Triaging etc.

Time spent by tester 60%
Value add to business ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

6) Release/Deployment

This would be done by a combination of developers, testers or other specialists. Testers perform post release sanity testing.

Time spent by tester 5%
Value add to business ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

7) Customer Support

When pulled in, Testers and Developers both help in applying known configurations. Testers can help in reproduction of customer issues locally, so that patches can be verified locally and tests added to regression.

Time spent by tester 5%
Value add to business ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐☆☆☆☆

Time spent by tester Value add to business
Design of the application 5% 7/10
Prioritization 5% 3/10
Development 5% 1/10
Build Process and Build Monitoring & Maintenance 30% 8/10
Integration Testing, Functional Testing via
User Interface, End User simulation testing
60% 10/10
Release/Deployments 5% 10/10
Customer Support 5% 6/10

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