What Makes Developers Professional?

A couple of posts I read lately made me think. Again.

The first one is Elisabeth Hendrickson’s on whether testers should write code. Elisabeth focuses on the perception of the tester in agile team. From Elisabeth’s research it shows that testers in teams (not only agile) are expected to be able to code. The research does not conclude what “coding” means, but some of it points to test automation. This makes sense to me, as I don’t see the developer/tester border getting blurred – the professional developer’s core skills are different than the professional tester.

The second article, Larry Obrien’s in SDTimes is a review of Pex and Moles. One thing Larry mentions: “testing cannot be palmed off to non-developers”. He talks about giving the Pex software liberty to write tests, which give the developer an impression that the code is covered by tests, which realistically are not good tests. (This is not a Pex bash, I’m saving this to other posts).

The underlying theme I get from both articles is professionalism.

Professional developers do not rely on testers to write tests for them. It’s pushing responsibility away, and that’s not professionals do.

Professional developers write great tests. It’s their responsibility, and part of their core skills. They do not rely on software generating tests for them. Unfortunately, we’re not there yet. Professional developers use the best tools to get them as much as possible on the way, but they need to complete the run themselves.

Before I tell you what I think, do you thinl professionalism == craftsmanship?

Gil Zilberfeld

1 comment on “What Makes Developers Professional?”

  1. Arne Mertz Reply

    I think that professionalism is more than craftsmanship. Craftsmanship means writing clean code and good tests, documentation and what not. It means delivering solid work.
    Professionalism includes that, but also means being able to defend craftsmanship values, to be able to say no if necessary, and to do more than just delivering whatever is demanded.

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