Any person off the street

Have you ever heard a programmer been instructed to write code that any randomly selected carpenter can immediately read and understand?
What about a software architect, do you expect her grand designs to be fully comprehensible to the florist down on the corner?
Would you truly expect that to exchange any of your project managers for their mother overnight would make no difference to the project?

I haven’t, I don’t, and I wouldn’t.

Programmers, software architects, project managers, carpenters and florists all enjoy a certain professional respect. What they do is complicated and you need skill and practice to do what they do. Everybody knows that.

But time and again I find people being hell bent on demanding test specifications so detailed that any person off the street could just walk in and do the job.

PS. I hope mothers enjoy the respect they deserve too, but I’m not sure motherhood counts as a profession.

2 Responses to Any person off the street

  1. Simon Morley says:

    Well said!

    I’ve recently been asking testers what distinguishes them from instructions written on paper… With the meaning that if they can’t be distinguished then maybe their work can be outsourced, ie “what value do you add…?”

    Hopefully, it will be a wake-up call to those that want to learn.

    • Geir says:

      Thanks Simon,

      One thing is to get testers to explore new horizons, getting the rest of the organization to join the voyage is a different thing altogether.

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