Picture of the author
Vernon Richards | Quality Coach

Vernon Richards | Quality Coach

October 27, 2022

My Best Advice for Testers Dealing With Dismissive Teammates

How on earth can someone not care about stories being unclear?!

Since starting as a Video Game Tester in 2002 and working my way up to today as a Senior Expert Quality Engineer(!) in a health company, I have learned a lot about working with colleagues that dismiss your testing concerns. Frankly, it's a pain in the ass! But we have options!

My favourite approach is to frame what I want in terms of what they want.

Let's say I visit with you, and you suggest we eat out. Awesome! You know a spot that serves the tastiest ribs covered in the most incredible sauce - delicious!

Any friends in the audience will know that it's completely underwhelming for me on 2 counts:

  • I'm Muslim, i.e. I can only eat halal meat, and pork is totally off the menu!

  • I'm vegan, i.e. I no longer eat animal products.

Disaster! So what could you do?

Well, if (by some miracle) there was also a tasty lentil curry dish on the same menu, you could rave about how scrumptious that was! I do enjoy a nice lentil curry, so I'd go along.

You get your ribs, and I get my curry, but crucially we're at the same destination, albeit for different reasons at first.

Do you see how that works? I love it!

Try these other ideas the next time you feel like you're being ignored:

  1. Honour their perspective & experience: Learn how they arrived at their position before criticising it.

  2. Recognise that people go deep on other topics: Weirdly, not everyone digs testing, and that's ok.

  3. One person's problem is someone else's solution: Something about the current situation either works or is a non-issue from their perspective. Understand that before you attempt to change it.

Give those ideas a try, and let me know how you get on!