We’ve heard it many times and we’ve been told many times. Too many times. Too many times testers believe when they are told “…there’s nothing to test.” It’s that line used to brush a Tester aside or to subtly invite the Tester to leave. I believe we reconsider the phrase and take back control of what we, as Testers, believe the testing opportunities are.
When you’re told there is nothing to test, close the card. Stop the execution. Find another card for that developer. When they say there is nothing to test, they are telling you they have no work to perform on the story card. They’re probably gold plating existing code and don’t want to be discovered. It’s a no-work Iteration for them.
It might be worse. When I hear that phrase, it’s as if they are suggesting I’m too, shall we say, inexperienced to understand how their work might be tested. Why aren’t we insulted? I think it is borderline bullying. Who are they to determine what can or cannot be tested? You’re the tester!
Lastly, let’s turns the tables on them. When you hear that phrase, you might suggest that the complexity of the story card might be beyond their capabilities. Something like “…you know, the work defined for the story card is pretty complex. Maybe YOU aren’t the right person for the card. There is nothing for YOU to code.”
You are an equal member of the project team and deserve respect for asking about the testing opportunities for any work defined in your project. Asking questions is part of your job and part of your responsibility. Question the testability. Question the design. Question the implementation. Challenge their opinion of testing opportunities and change their opinion of you.