Where Have All the Testers Gone?

I spoke with a couple of recruiters this week. They've been specializing in finding test people for the last 10-15 years. (I used one of them 15 years ago, the last time I was hiring testers.) They both asked a question like this, “With all this Agile stuff, where am I going to find the testers I need?”

Agile breaks the some of the barriers between developers and testers. Both developers and testers need to write code (or scripts). The developers write small internally-facing tests. The testers write small and sometimes larger externally-facing tests. The difference is that the developers write some code that ships. All the testers' code stays on-site.

If you're a hiring manager, make sure you train the testers who are interested in writing code and scripts. If you're a tester, learn to write some scripts, in some programming language, not a test tool's proprietary scripting language. If you're a recruiter, have a talk-to-talk with your hiring managers and tell them the testers they want to hire are worth what developers are worth–because they are developers.

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