like all my dreams." Bret, thanks for sharing.
But all this takes me back to that question the new tester at the EuroStar conference posed, "Why don't developers do a better job of testing their own code?" I believe there are three significant reasons.
First, many organizations do not perform even an elementary risk analysis to understand what "clean enough" means. One of James Bach's great contributions to our field is the concept of "good enough testing"; the weighing of the costs to our company of additional testing against the costs that would accrue from delivering defective software. About the fable, Larry asks, "What's the value proposition to the kids to perform the activity?" In most cases, we don't know. And if we don't know, how can any of us determine what is good enough and when to stop?
Second, we don't pay enough attention to defining, training, implementing, and supporting effective testing processes. About the fable, Jim notes, "…if parents…are willing to invest in this end, then the battle is more than half won. … Some lip service is given to the concept of a clean room, but this often results in paltry room-to-cleaner ratios such as 10:1." Clearly, if we don't know what is good enough, then we cannot know at what level to staff and support testing.
Third, we don't generally reward testing by developers. About the fable, Jim suggests that, "At some point, a level of (professional) maturity should awaken these 'children' to the importance of cleaning their own rooms." I disagree. Rather, I think that David hit the nail on the head when he wrote, "The children are not rewarded for cleaning their rooms." I would add, nor are they punished for not cleaning. Many of your comments place the blame on the "children." I would place it squarely on their management. If our reward/punishment mechanisms are "upside-down," if we reward the wrong thing, if we punish the wrong thing, we will get the wrong thing. Most human beings understand the reward/punishment mechanisms at work in their organizations and conform their behavior to them. When we see behavior that is curious, strange, or just plain wrong, we should first examine what is being rewarded and what is being punished.
Thanks to all of you who commented. I appreciate your contribution to our understanding.