Not catering budget for tester roles
These are the reasons why testers are been hired very late stage in many software development teams especially for a tech startup. These are my observations for the past 5 years.
The common perceptions when I interview with hiring managers (on testers)
- Testing priorities is lower
- Anyone can test
- Everything will be alright. Nothing breaks yet, so no testing resources are needed
- Testing is easy and can be done at the last minute
- I can hire more software developers and get more things done if I shift the budget from testing to programmers
If I am a hirer based on these perception, testers are the last candidates in my mind to hire. I will prefer to hire more software developers or a project manager, maybe throw in a product manager with my limited budget.
Many teams hire tester after things go wrong , or when things are about to go wrong or when there is about to have a release in near future. It is not uncommon that testing budget increase after there is a public security leak of a product. That’s when there will be an open role urgently. This happens too frequently of late.
Testers (or title that associate with testing such as QA / SDET / automation ) do much more than trying to catch bugs (or defects). If the industry keep having the perception that the only role a tester has is to catch bugs, the tester will be always only be hired towards the end of the project, and that is usually too late. Professional testers cover several important roles , processes and perspectives that other stakeholders may not have.
If you want an audit , a voice for multiple stakeholders, someone who can eyeball your requirements, customers needs, someone who can bridge different stakeholders, a voice to protect your business, someone to proactively look out for shortfalls in your process / products /services , someone who is both technical and customer oriented and much more , cater for a budget for professional tester early in the project, not towards the end of it.
When we hire testers at the very end stage of a project, we start paying for our mistakes. Our customers and the businesses will inevitably be the ones who will suffer from these decisions.