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UPDATE: Alan Richardson beat me to the Evil Tester joke, including his own Evil Tester comics. He also left a great comment below, and he has a lot more to say on testing.

In our last Episode, Process Cop explained the Process Menagerie, and The UML Guy lectured you on its importance. Today, a new cast member appears... (Click the picture for a larger image.)

Episode 18

First, let me say it's merely a happy coincidence that Evil Tester debuted in the Lounge on Halloween. I needed him for another project, and I was between films, so it just seemed like time to introduce him. But when I realized what day he would appear, I said, "Aha! This is great! They'll all think I planned it this way! They'll think I'm brilliant!"

[Oops! Did I say that out loud?] Ummm... Forget that whole last paragraph. Really, I've been planning the timing of this strip since before Episode 1. Really!

[OK, now I need a new introduction. Hmmm... Oh, I know!] First, I'm insufferably pleased with that fireplace, especially in panel 4, with Evil Tester standing in front of it. Probably none of you will know this, but that's exactly the fireplace from a restaurant we used to frequent in the 80s after a movie. I still remember sitting there with Sandy and a friend one evening after watching Wrath of Khan (again). (For those who're wondering, that counts as today's movie tie-in.)

And second, I want to make one thing extremely clear: Evil Tester is my best friend! He's every programmer's best friend. Every bug he finds at 3 PM is a bug the customers don't call me about at 3 AM! (Actually, I'm a night owl coder by nature. Calling me at 3 AM is probably the way to get my best work. But you get my point.)

And I want him to take fiendish delight in finding my bugs! I want a friendly rivalry (not a hostile competition!) between him and me. I want him to dig and probe and ferret out bugs so he can laugh at me about them. That will motivate me to do whatever it takes to be sure there are no bugs for him to find! And it's the best thing for the customer. A good Evil Tester is my last defense against myself!

And that means I want Evil Tester to learn UML. I want him to read our models as a tool to verify what we're supposed to build. (To repeat myself from the Episode: Just because they model something doesn't mean they'll build it!) I want him to look at the models and think of likely weak points to attack. I want him even to use UML to model his own tests -- really devious, complex tests, too complex for a simple verbal description.

And I want him to get even more out of UML; but that must wait for the next Episode.

So really, to all the great testers out there, especially Ernie Out in the Barn: when I call you Evil Tester, I mean it with all possible love and respect. And the horns and the pitchfork are just a joke I couldn't resist. Especially not on Halloween!

Posted on Saturday, November 15, 2008 5:05 PM Ulterior Motive Lounge | Back to top


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