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Why is Tester blamed for leaked defects? Is this correct?

February 1, 2018
tester blamed, blaming testers, why to blame tester for leaked defects, tester blamed for defects in production, reasons why testers are blamed

Since it is the software tester who is responsible for finding out the defects in the application and makes it bug-free to the possible extent, it is only software testers who are blamed for the bugs that are detected in the production environment by the end user. They are blamed by all the people in the project which should not be done. Now the question is why should be the tester blamed for leaked defects, and is this correct? Is tester the only responsible person to release the software? Let’s dig into this further.

There are many people involved in the development of software application such as software developer, web designer, business analyst or maybe product owner, who can do testing on their level to minimize the risk of the leaked bugs in the production environment. So for any defect leaked in the production, we cannot blame only testers to find out defects all the time.

We all know that software development is not an easy task and have to pass through all the stages of software development lifecycle in order to develop a quality software application. Testing starts only after the software application is developed. Only after the application is tested completely, it is ready to be shifted to the market.

In software testing life cycle, we see that lots of bugs are present which are detected during testing and are fixed by the development team in order to deliver the quality application to the client. There are times when some defects are found after the application is shipped in the market. These types of post-ship bugs are considered to be very serious when these are detected by end users and affects the business of the client, who is not happy with the development and neither should be.

Now when the things come to team who is responsible for developing the application and when the whole team feels the heat from the client, then there has to be someone who has to be made scapegoat for the happening and it is usually the tester who is considered as an easy target and made the scapegoat for this. One more reason for why is tester blamed for the post-ship bug in the software application is that it is the tester only who is supposed to deliver bug-free application before the software product is shipped to the market and is on the front seat.

Practically speaking, many times it happens that if any bug is reported by the client to the team responsible for delivering the quality application to the client, which is affecting the business of the application or anyhow affecting the end user, then it is who the tester blamed and called first to face the rage of the management team and has to answer the questions of the management team asking the reason for the bug leak in the production, which is really an awkward situation for the tester.

Now let us see the irony of fate that same whole team (consisting of programmers, web designers, testers, business analyst or management folk) point fingers at the tester only, in the case any bug is leaked into the production environment, the same team celebrates the successful launch of the application in the production environment and are finally relaxed after the successful launch.

Should it be the Tester blamed for bugs leaked into the production environment

Now the important question which needs to be answered is this that whether it is right to blame the tester for the bugs leaked into the production. Before answering this question, we should understand that tester do not have any net to catch all the bugs in the application and also there is no formula or process which will determine that testing is complete and there is no bug in the application. They are also the human being and are bound to commit mistakes as the developer do while doing development of the application.

Developers have testers to find out their mistake but for the tester, it is only the client or the end user who can report the leaked bug. Though it is the responsibility of the tester to deliver a bug-free quality application to the client to the extent possible, there are chances that bugs can be leaked into production environment even if the tester puts maximum effort to test the application. So at a time when there is leaked bug in the production environment, management people should be little wise to tackle the situation and do not start blaming the tester.

Now let us look at another side of the coin. There are other people in the project such as business analyst or program manager or project manager who maybe culprit while taking the requirement from the client or designing the requirement in an inappropriate way. An error can be in requirement understanding, developing the application or testing the application. So it is not fair to put the responsibility on the tester only as there may be other people who may be responsible for the bug leaked in the production environment. However, it is not logical to blame for the mistake to anyone and it is better to think of the remedy instead of blaming and what can be done to prevent such mistakes in the future.

How to prevent the tester blamed for leaked defects?

First of all, it is not wise to blame tester all the time for any undetected bug which was later found in the production environment because no testing professional will play with his/ her job by deliberately doing such thing and any professional tester knows it very well that he/she can lose the job as the consequence of such incident. However, even if it happens, one should focus on the ways to prevent such incident from happening in future.

Other Team members should be educated about the happening during the testing and help them to start testing on their own as there are other concerned persons like Business Analyst, Programmer or Program manager who can do testing at their level to minimise the risk of the leaked bug in the production and may help eliminate the undetected bug which was not found during the testing cycle. Education and incorporating transparency during testing will enable another team member of the project to start testing on their own. This will not only eliminate blame game but also will help in delivering more quality product.

One more advantage of such collaborative testing is that sometimes it helps to detect the bug in the area which is not generally tested by the tester. For example, there may be some logic implemented in coding which tester is unaware of and if the programmer tests such type of logic at their level, it will reduce such type of logical bugs during testing at their level only

Summary

Overall, you can say that playing the blame game after the product is shipped to the market is of no use to anyone in the team. It is better to learn from the mistakes done so as to prevent such mistakes in the future and help to deliver the quality product in the market. Tester blamed for such things effects individual with demotivation, lack of interest in work, lack of commitment, easy-going, etc, which in future causes an adverse effect on the entire team. Also, it is sometimes better to ignore the mistake of the tester if they are not doing it frequently, as they are also human and can commit the mistake.

About the author

Nandini KS editor

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