The Changing Landscape of the Role of Testers: An Interview with Melissa Tondi


In this interview, Melissa Tondi, the founder of Denver Mobile and Quality, talks about the tester's responsibility to balance technical acumen with user advocacy. She discusses the changing landscape of the role of testers, as well as what testers are—and what they are not.

Jennifer Bonine: All right, we are back with another interview. Melissa, thanks for joining me.

Melissa Tondi: Absolutely. Thank you. I'm very excited.

Jennifer Bonine: I know, I am, too. This is the first time I've had you in my little studio here.

Melissa Tondi: Yes, yes.

Jennifer Bonine: I'm excited you're here.

Melissa Tondi: I'm excited.

Jennifer Bonine: You had a lightning keynote yesterday.

Melissa Tondi: I did, yes.

Jennifer Bonine: If you didn't watch those, those are so fun. Go back and watch it. They're five minutes of a bunch of different folks getting up and talking about topics. Which would seem daunting and disjointing potentially, but super fun because you get a bunch of different variety and different people getting up. Can you tell us a little bit more on what yours was on, because I think it's so fun?

Melissa Tondi: Yeah. I talked about ... The title of it was just The You Are Nots. I kind of started out by saying in the last few months I've been asked personally, and I've had group discussions around what is the role of the software tester? What's the future of software testing? Clearly there are so many sessions, great sessions here where I just encouraged everyone to, if they hadn't already talked about the future and present state of software testing. Plenty of my colleagues here would get them on there.

Jennifer Bonine: Yeah.

Melissa Tondi: I decided to kind of turn the tables and say, here are what software testers are not. That kind of just kind of burgeoned into this whole thing of the "you are nots" of software testing. It's really fun.

Jennifer Bonine: I love it.

Melissa Tondi: Yeah. I kind of hit what I thought were five key areas that we as software testers had either evolved into, or sometimes devolved into around that. Kind of talked about that for five minutes.

Jennifer Bonine: For those that didn't get to see it, give us a little flavor of some of the five, or even all five would be fun.


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