Testing in a Modern World: A Slack Takeover with Janna Loeffler
Thought leaders throughout the software community are taking over the TechWell Hub for a day to introduce themselves, answer questions, and engage in conversations.
Janna Loeffler is a QE manager for Ultimate Software and has more than 15 years of quality engineering experience.
@JannaLoeffler presided over our most recent Slack takeover to discuss all things testing, how the role of a tester is shifting, and navigating a career as a woman in tech.
What to Do about Missing Requirements
“How do you handle it when not all the requirements are shared, then something breaks in an area not tested, and somehow this is your fault because you did not catch it?” —@Jeanette Kreutner
Loeffler said she thought this was a bit of a trick question: You’re not going to be set up for success if you have a siloed test team that is held solely responsible for quality. They can test and radiate risk out, but they cannot be held accountable for the issues that are found.
“I like to say that testers do not create defects; they find them,” she said. “So, it has to be a cultural shift where testers are not responsible for the defects developers wrote.”
She said it’s inevitable that gaps will happen and things will be missed, so then we just need to learn and correct our course.
“If the problem is that requirements are not being communicated out, pull people together and suggest a way to improve things.”
Dealing with a Double Standard
“Have you found that women can sometimes be taken less seriously than men in the tech world?” —@pennytests
“Absolutely!” Loeffler responded. “I have actually run into this in a past position. However, I’ve never let it slow me down. I’ve also learned that if I’m not happy or not being taken seriously at a job, it’s probably not a good cultural fit.”
She said you have a couple of options: Find a new job or a new team, or address the situation directly, as sometimes people don’t realize their actions.
“I’ve just learned that life is too short to be miserable,” she said.
DevOps and Testing
Loeffler also shared a question she said she gets asked a lot: With companies moving toward DevOps practices, they are saying that everyone is responsible for testing. How does this affect me as a tester?
“The role of the tester is definitely changing in some companies. Instead of performing all of the testing, everyone on the team is expected to test,” she said. “Where it can go wrong is when no one is responsible for the testing.”
She said we need to be more strategic than ever about our testing, ensuring that the status and results of our testing are communicated in an efficient and effective way.
“I know I can’t rely on my team to do all the testing,” she said. “So how do I best use my skills, and how do I take responsibility for the testing that my team is doing, and guide that testing?”