Why Testers can’t Perform “White Box Testing”?

White Box Testing
  • February 6, 2014
  • admin

This is one challenging question for the testers. I asked this question from a QA team member and he told me, “I can’t do it because I don’t know coding”. He further added, not only me, 95% of the testers can’t conduct white box testing. It’s not a QA person job. It’s a duty of a senior developer. We are here only to conduct black box testing.
All I knew, before this question was that testing is the business of the testers and they are capable to conduct every kind of testing. This forced me to conduct a research on this subject and I came across some amazing findings. Allow me to share those astounding findings with you. I have listed down these findings in the four bullet points.

Finding 1:

Some testers believe that coding is important for testers, but not a necessity. Testers can certainly add value to their testing skills by learning coding. This school of thought believes that knowing coding is neither a plus nor a minus for a tester. If a tester knows about coding, it’s good for him, if he doesn’t know anything about coding, there are so many other things to learn & absorb in the testing field.

Finding 2:

Some of the orthodox & self-obsessed IT personnel & developers believe that “Testers are the computer science graduates that can’t code well”. The main reason why computer science graduates end up working in software quality assurance is not by choice but because they don’t have a choice. They are just not good coders. Testers must come out of this dilemma or quit this casual behavior of not knowing anything about coding.

Finding 3:

Majority of the testers are of the view that they don’t need to learn coding because it’s not related to their field. There are so many other things to learn in QA that are more important than learning coding. They staunchly believe that a QA person needs to learn more about how to use different QA testing tools. These things are more significant for a QA person and he/she can master him/herself in the black box testing by learning how to use different tools.

Finding 4:

Small chunk of the testers believe that to be an exceptional tester and to stand out from other testers, you really need to know coding and its practices. Learning coding doesn’t mean you are going to switch career and becoming a developer. It’s simply means that you are becoming a master in your field. Coding can help you get better understanding of the application. Moreover, it can also improve the writing skills of the testers. By learning about coding, testers can use development terms in the defect reports. They can track where the developers go wrong and also suggest fixes. It also allows the testers to broaden their exposure and knowledge base and earn the title of “quality assurance engineer”.

Wrapping up:

After interviewing various people from the development & testing background, I came to a conclusion that knowing coding is imperative for testers. Days have gone when companies used to hire testers for conducting black box testing. Renowned testing companies don’t hire testers. They hire quality assurance engineers. Being a quality assurance engineer, one should know about all aspects of quality that includes evaluating the quality of the code, unit testing, code reviews and black box testing to enforce the total quality management model.