Software Testers – Past, Present and Future

Early during the last decade, software development companies were producing applications by the bucket-load to keep up with the incredible customer demand. The role of the Software Tester then, was to (in my opinion) detect the critical and major issues, and most minor issues were simply brushed under the carpet to get the product out of the door on time. For the Software Testers, it was (to coin a phrase) “A much simpler time”. During this time-frame the Software Testers actively working hard to get themselves recognized as a necessary part of the software development process, and not just some kine of ‘bottle-neck’ that delays a products release. Credit to the testers for actually achieving that goal!

Having worked so hard to achieve their aim, Software Testers found themselves under threat, a threat which in a way came from inside their own camp. The threat I am talking about was ‘Test Automation’. Loose talk around the offices focused on how ‘so much more useful’ this kind of testing was. Testing could be ran 24 hours a day and repeated many times faster than a manual tester could perform. The humble Software testers were considered a dying breed. But, hang on a minute…..we are still here!

Rather than migrating the manual testing over to automated testing entirely. The move was actually more of a ‘leaning’ instead. A typical software development company will include only ‘some’ automated testing. Just tests where automation would enhance the manual testing or save a bit of time. Some testers have switched over to becoming devoted to test automation and that is now their primary job.

So while the road of a Software Tester has been ‘uneven’ to say the least. They have in fact, now firmly established their role as a necessary part of the software development cycle. Once considered to ‘dying out’, the Software Testers have not only ‘beaten’ the threat of test automation, but actively use it alongside their own work to assist it and to enhance it.

So what it is store for the future of Software Testers? Well, software is still going strong and is now present on other platforms. The most popular ‘new’ platform has to be the ‘iPhone’. It pretty much came from nowhere and has now topped 250,000 Apps that have been developed. These iPhone Apps are just regular software applications designed to work on a specific type of hardware. Many software testers are realizing that their software testing skills can be transferred over to this new kind of software development, and are becoming iPhone App Testers. There now exists iPhone App testing companies that are dedicated to providing iPhone App Testers to improve the quality of this rapidly growing phenomenon.

The future looks bright for Software Testers and iPhone App Testers alike, and that’s good news for the people who want quality from the software they are using, whether its a PC application, web application or an iPhone App.

Fast Or Slow: What’s The Right Speed For Your Next Negotiation?

We often spend time talking about the negotiation styles or negotiating techniques that should be used in our next negotiation; however, we rarely ever spend any time talking about how fast the negotiations should go. Should you next negotiation be a fast negotiation or a slow negotiation?

Why Quick Deals Are Never A Good Idea

I really like the idea of a “quick deal”. You know what I mean: you get in, you get out and you have a deal that you can live with without having to invest too much time or effort planning. However, I speak from experience when I tell you that a quick deal is almost never a good idea.

Quick deals generally wrap up with one or both sides leaving the table feeling unhappy. The reasons can be varied, but generally it comes down to the simple fact that they now realize that they somehow missed a critical detail. If only they had had more time to explore more possibilities, then they could have reached a much better deal.

Racing through a negotiation does not allow you to take care of the people side of a deal. Everyone’s ego needs to be stroked during a negotiation; they need to feel as though you are willing to take the time to understand them as a person before they are going to be willing to reach a deal with you. If you skip this step, you might get a deal, but you’re not going to get the best deal.

Why You’ll Want To Control The Pace Of Your Next Negotiation

The pace of a negotiation is something that can be controlled. Now the big question is by who? It’s either going to be you or the other side of the table. I’d like to recommend that it should be you.

The first thing that you are going to want to do when a negotiation starts is to determine how fast the other side wants the negotiations to move. Are they operating under a time limit and do they need to reach a deal quickly? Or is something not ready on their side and they need to slow things down so that they can get their act together?

As a negotiator you need to determine what pace they want to negotiate at and then you need to try to change it. Move from slow to fast, or fast to slow. See how the other side reacts. This will reveal information to you about what kind of constraints they are operating under and will provide you with more information that you can then use to create your negotiating strategy.

What All Of This Means For You

The final outcome of your next principled negotiation may depend on the pace of the negotiation. The other side of the table may want things to go fast or slow, but that doesn’t mean that you should agree with them.

Negotiations that complete too quickly can leave one or both parties feeling dissatisfied. Because all of the possibilities were not explored, one or both parties may feel that they didn’t get the best deal. Additionally, when the other side wants the negotiation to move at a given pace, you need to take control and make the negotiations move at the pace that you desire.

Who controls how fast a negotiation progresses is one form of negotiating power. You’ll want to control this and so you need to take the time to determine how fast the other side wants the negotiation to proceed and then take steps to control its pace.

To Negotiate Successfully Become Proficient At Conflict Resolution

When it comes to conflict resolution, some negotiators enter into such activities with neither thought nor plan for the manner by which they’ll engage the other negotiator. In so doing, they place themselves in a less favorable position than if they’d thought through the process.

Whether you’re in a business or personal environment, you’re always negotiating. As such, there will be times when you’ll have to engage in conflict resolution. In so doing, consider the following:

1) Before you become upset by your perception of a situation that you view as requiring conflict resolution, check your perspective and seek to understand the other person’s point of view. Be sure you understand the cause of that person’s discomfort from an intellectual standpoint and if possible, assimilate that person’s emotional state of mind into your own mindset.

2) Observe the body language of the person with whom you think you may have a disagreement. Determine if what you see matches what you hear.

a.)Watch the eyes. The eyes may hold in-sight to the resolution.

The eyes can give insight into the real thoughts that are occurring in someone’s mind. Typically, if you ask someone a question and they look up and to the left, they’re attempting to recall a past experience. If they look up and to the right, they’re being creative with their response (making something up). Therefore, if someone looks up and to the right, when thinking about a past experience, you should become attuned to the fact that their discomfort may not relate to the situation at hand. It may be complicated by additional circumstances that are not applicable in the current situation.

b.)In a conflict resolution, the feet can keep you from defeat.

When addressing someone in person, observe the positioning of his or her feet. While they’re totally engaged with you, they’ll tend to have their feet pointed towards you. When they are in the process of disengaging, they’ll point one foot, or both feet, away from you.

c.) Speech patterns, in person, over the phone, and via e-mail give a glimpse into the mind.

When attempting to resolve conflicts, note the pace at which a person speaks. In particular, take note in the change of their pace and at what point the change occurs. In so doing, if you’re astute, you can discern the sources of motivation that stimulates someone to take a particular action. Alter the pace and you alter their perspective.

3) Make sure you listen to the fact that sometimes, people just want to know that they’re being heard. If you encounter such a situation, to the degree you can, let the other person speak. Be a patient listener and don’t interrupt them.

4) Listen for the emotional level of the conflict for the degree of stress that’s involved. Assess whether someone is using misplaced aggression from another situation and projecting it into the situation with you. In essence, assess what the real source of a conflict is before addressing it.

Conflict resolution can be difficult, in any aspect of your life. The better skilled you are and prepared to address conflicts, the more capable you’ll become at finding the appropriate solution in the appropriate situation… and everything will be right with the world. Remember, you’re always negotiating.

Negotiation Quote:

“Never fear to engage in conflict resolution and when possible, never engage in conflict resolution out of fear.” – Greg Williams, The Master Negotiator

The Negotiation Tips Are…

· In every aspect of your life, you negotiate. So, the better you become at conflict resolution, the better you’ll become at negotiating.

· When negotiating, you give others insight into your demeanor. Therefore, always be aware of the demeanor you display.

· Conflict resolution can be unpleasant. It’s something that you may not like to do, but it can relieve tension and pressure from an otherwise irritating situation.