is often very beneficial as a tester.
I am often really happy when I get new testers on a team because they have that kind of fresh eye on things. I try to remember that fresh perspective as I work with a project for a long period of time, because that kind of reminds you that most of your users are going to have that fresh perspective. Most of our users come in and learn the product and they use right away. We are seeing fewer and fewer cases now where the software we write is used by expert users who learn it in and out and are going to take training on it and what not. So, I think that is part of what I meant by the dilettante, that a dilettante is someone who can go in and can learn a little bit about that. We have to do that with the technical stuff too. In order to communicate with the developers, we need to know their language. We need to know enough about the technology to communicate that and get the information we need that is going to help us decide on what areas to focus our testing on.
Carol: That is a good explanation, that the testers need more of a generalist attitude as opposed to specific COBOL, Java, or expertise in being able to program. I think it is very interesting the perspective that you bring. I will ask you a question. The attitude that most developers hold towards testers, is it kind of the same attitude that a lot of developers hold towards users?
Bret: Well, I think that is a struggle that we face. I actually, just yesterday, I was calling in to a technical support line with a problem that I had, and the person I was talking to said, "Well, that should not be happening." The implication of this was not that the system was not functioning correctly but that somehow I had done something wrong. Of course, it should not have been happening that way, but eventually I got through to somebody who was able to fix the problem for me. That is an attitude that really pervades the whole technology industry, it is not just the developers. It is the people who work with it, and many of us...part of our introduction to the technology is kind of learning to somehow take the blame for all the problems that we have. It is our job to get everything working. I assume that people who use computers see several errors every day and get used to seeing that as normal. The testers, I think, a good tester and a good developer as well is trying to confront those attitudes which are common in the industry which a lot of us struggle with.
Carol: Right. We talked to a guest in a previous series and we said something about the intimidation factor, that if developers have been developers all their life, if they came out of a technical field, then it is more of an ignorance having never been a user, that they just do not appreciate walking in somebody else's shoes. Some of the cross-training that goes on, might help in some of those ways. What is your opinion on that?
Bret: Oh, I agree with that. I have had some excellent testers who have been developers who have worked on projects and who have really seen the value of good testing. I know of one case of a developer who made, I think it was like a million dollar