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Every time a child says, 'I don't believe in fairies,' there is a fairy somewhere that falls down dead.

Sat 02 Jan 2010

Peter Pan is one of my favourite stories and the title of this post is one of the most iconic phrases to come out of the book.

It's at the beginning of the book when Wendy and Peter are speaking. Peter explains that when the first baby laughed, its laughter fell and broke into a thousand pieces. This big breakup of laughter means that there "ought to be one fairy for every boy and girl". Wendy notices that Peter said should and questions him.
"Ought to be? Isn't there?"
"Every time a child says, 'I don't believe in fairies,' there is a fairy somewhere that falls down dead." Peter replies.

The same can almost be said about testers when a developers don't check their code works. I don't mean a tester will die every time but a small part of their resolve dies everytime. If its not a testers resolve that dies, it may be real people that die. This may sound quite extreme but its not really.

Since the begiing of the Agile movement there has been a great movement to get the quality of software a lot higher. Aside from all the other major benefits of using scrum and XP, people have noticed the quality of software being delivered go up. They have done it by employing things that make the process more effective. Not all of these processes are efficient but they are extremely effective.

Testers resolve only dies when they feel that something could easily have been caught by the developers being effective at their job. Being efficient can lead to bugs because we are trying to develop a feature within a set timeframe which is normally slightly shorter than it should be. This is not all doom and gloom, there are bugs that testers love to find. Remember the rule for testing that if a test case is good it will find a bug but remember that testers are not there to make sure that you are doing your job properly. They are there to make sure that its fit for purpose!

When developing software always remember that you are killing your testers really slowly when you are not doing your job properly!

"To die will be an awfully big adventure." Peter Pan

This is something that every tester, from load tester to functional tester to security tester, loves to do. Make an application fall to it knees because it we managed to find some big hole. Making an application die is an adventure in many many ways. From going through the process of breaking it, to working out the cause of the breakage.

I have just watched Peter Pan for the umpteenth time and it got me thinking about my profession. Treat your testers like you would Peter Pan and they will be a lot more effective in finding those elusive bugs!

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