Ego: Is it Good for a Tester?

Have you ever encountered the following?

  • Raised a defect. But developer rejected the defect. You are sure that the defect is correct as the requirements do not match the Business Requirement Document (BRD). The developer is adamant and so are you. You reach a stalemate!
  • You believe the requirement is wrong. But both BA and developer believe it is correct. You are insisting on talking to business SME to confirm the behaviour as you believe both BA and developer are incorrect in their view. Things are escalated to the PM to action.
  • Developer is changing the severity of a defect. You are convinced that it is a major severity defect and should be treated as such. You do not like the developer changing the defect severity without discussing with you. The issue is escalated to the Test Manager.

If all of the above apply to you, then my friend, you do have an “Ego“.

As a test expert, you do require some degree of ego. I personally believe that a test expert must be able to voice their opinion without fear. Because you are not only responsible for testing the requirements, but whereever applicable, you also need to identify anomalies in the requirements.

Remember, business will have a vision and outcome, but the technical details of that solution is provided by the IT department (dev, test, deployment etc.). It is our responsibility to advise business what works and what doesn’t. Even if BA, developer and business SME may believe something to be true, if you do not share the same view, you are entitled to raise that in the team meeting.

Hence ego allows you to not conform to the popular view.

However Do NOT let your ego consume you such that it is either your way or the highway. This is the pivotal point where you become tainted as a “troublemaker” OR you are viewed as a “Negative person” instead of a team player. Please note: even if you are right, upper management does not like someone who is a “troublemaker” or “always negative”.

Remember the Albert Einstein quote (courtesy of A true test expert doesn’t let his ego get into the way of his work. Because he knows how to deal with difficult situations and therefore provides a level of calmness to everyone around.


Going back to the scenario of disagreement with BA/developer, feel free to raise the anomaly as a defect or an issue and call a meeting to discuss with all the technical stakeholders. Present your case and discuss in detail. If you cannot convince your colleagues on the merit of your proposal, accept the common agreement and move on.

Do not feel that you have lost the argument.

In team dynamics, you have to accept the majority decision. As long as the issue was raised and a solution was agreed among all stakeholders, you can consider yourself covered.

If as a Test expert, you can accommodate that, then you can call yourself a “team player”.


One Comment Add yours

  1. Sarah Jabeen says:

    Good article.

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