What’s in a name?

At Asynchrony several teams have dedicated QA leads. These team members spend a portion of their time testing, but they also help customers write stories, and they define acceptance tests and take the lead in automating them, among other activities. I know a lot of people in the software world refer to the people who do these activities as “Agile Testers,” but, with no malice intended, I reject the term “tester.” That’s because it fails in two ways: First, QA leads do much more than merely test, and second, it implies that they are the only ones who test, when in fact, everyone on the team should test. Ultimately, the activities that the person does are more important than the title he goes by. But words are still important, and to the extent that people tend to identify activities with roles and roles with titles, I think “QA lead” is more helpful than “Agile Tester.”

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