123 Testing: The Sound Engineer and the Tester

The Sound Engineer is pivotal to the sound of any bands live performance.  The Sound Engineer can make or break a great performance, the sound of the band and the balance of each individual voice and instrument literally lies in his or her hands.  There’s a song entitled “The Soundman” by a great British Blues artist called Aynsley Lister, the lyric goes “Don’t you know, don’t you know, that I’ve got control over you, don’t you know, don’t you know, that I’ve pulled the plug on you”.

Sometimes I think the Tester is to a project what a Sound Engineer is to a band (although I do not believe testers are, or should be, “in control” or that they should “pull the plug on” projects).  However, the Tester often holds the balance of the quality of the project delivery in his or her hands.  Like a Sound Engineer, the tester tries to maintain the balance between the individual performances of the Analysts, Designers and Developers. You might argue that it is the role of the Project Manager or Scrum Master to maintain this balance, but all too often these roles are focussed, targeted and even in some cases receive bonuses based, only on the “on cost” and “on time” delivery of projects.  The customer or product owner will strive to get as much functionality “in scope” as possible, but again this may take precedence over quality.  So it falls to the tester to be the champion of quality, to measure and report the quality and work with all the individuals to balance the cost, quality, time, scope envelope in the best interests of the end customer. Everyone is responsible for the quality of the project, the tester champions and measures the quality that the team delivers.

It is this cost, quality, time and scope envelope which is analogous to the mixing desk at the Sound Engineers finger tips, bass, treble, volume and gain being just four of the equivalent sound parameters.  The analogy continues to work when you consider each individual in the project as the individuals in the band, the Tester, like the Sound Engineer, is constantly measuring and trying to achieve a harmonious balance between these often conflicting performers and parameters so that the quality of everyone’s individual performance delivers the overall quality of the sound.

So if you are trying to achieve a harmonious balance in your project or just want someone to help with the software testing in your project, please get in touch with us via www.buitech.co.uk, emailing info@buitech.co.uk or by calling us on 0330 223 3036.