mistake, and saw what happened. He is actually a really great tester now. He knows the value of it. So, I think there is a big value there. I am always eager to get developers who have an interest in testing into a testing group. They are often very, very effective. I really try to get a mix of people in a testing group. I like to have both people who are domain experts and who have a very deep understanding of the customers' attitudes and requirements, as well as getting people with technical depth to understand how we can both build the test technology that we need in order to do testing effectively and efficiently, but also who can kind of identify the areas and review the stuff that we are testing.
Carol: It is that diversity of the way that different people look at things that really brings a value before something breaks, as opposed to having all the problems out in the world. I think you are right, that we get used to some of the software that is released because of time to market or for another reason. There is one particular manufacturer that I think of, that I will not mention, that two or three times a day I know my personal computer will come up with this nice blue screen with this very prominent white writing that goes across it and it says, "abend error" with an OE 80 digit number behind it. And what do you do? There are no numbers to call. If you call, you will probably be going through a number of different places. I think you're right, that we get used to not having our problems fixed, or taking the blame for something that happens.
Bret: Yes. I remember that I had an error like that recently. The system had frozen up and so I needed to reboot it. It would not do a soft reboot so I had to power cycle the computer. Then when it comes up, it says that I am running the scan disk because you did not shut it down properly. That the system was not shut down properly, as if I had done something wrong. The attitudes that you are talking about are actually written right into the system. You can see them in the messages that it gives to us when we use it.
Carol: I think it is even a little bit more subtle than that. I know that mine comes up and says, it is very similar to that, it says "reminder, you should always shut your machine down first. You did not power down properly."
Bret: Yeah. Okay, you probably remember it better than I do. It is the same message.
Carol: Well, I probably get it more often than you, and I get more ticked off than you might on those, but I know exactly what you mean. When you take a look at testers and the types of skills that testers have to have. I think that one of the interviews you did in preparation for the article that you wrote was with a tester named Jonathan Bach. He said, and I love his quote, he said that "testers don't always set out to break developers' software." As Cem Kaner has said, "The software comes to us already broken. We just want to find the breaks that are already there." Is that a fairly pervasive attitude that developers look at testers as breaking something?
Bret: Well, I think that there is really a big mix in that.