Microsoft, You Need Quality Testers, Quantity Will Not Help !!

I was reading the news article which says "The ratio of testers to programmers is now 3:1. This has given Microsoft another headache as they try and recruit good testers with the technical and personal ability to winkle out software bugs.".... The ratio of 3 testers per developer seems like too large, should'nt Microsoft start looking for a quality testers rather than hiring more and more testers (Quantity). This also shows their growing concern for the poor quality and less secure products. Not just Microsoft but also others like Amazon and Google are finding it really difficult to find good testers. Situation is such that many organizations can't hire developers because they don't have enough testers to ensure that they can ship the code developers write. Software testers gets step motherly treatment in most of the organizations. Some organizations believe that testers are the release-prevention team, But in fact they prevent critical errors going into core applications and testers need to articulate that and demonstrate the value of testing.

Many people consider software testing inaccurately, as a secondary profession done by failed software developers. The view persists that developers build things of value to the business, while testers just break stuff. Finding a quality tester has become more difficult that finding an awesome developer. Unlike many other organizations microsoft has always treated the testers well.

Disclaimer: This posting is not to show Microsoft in bad shape but it just to reflect the growing need of Quality Testers.

Clarification: In response to 3:1 ratio of testers to devlopers ratio, one of the test architect at Microsoft (Alan Page) sent a mail saying, "Company wide, MS is pretty close to 1:1 ratio. There could be some small teams with a different ratio, but company wide, it evens out." He claims the information in news article is not correct. Thanks Alan for the clarification. Alan Page has his blog at


  1. Anonymous7:39 PM

    gr8 going mallik.
    think about it . now microsoft will have to sue you. and then due to their transparency policy they will have to post the details somewhere on their website. then suddenly u have a high prestige inlink to ur website. ur page rank increases and u show up all over google. now google will realize its a bug in their algo (obviously;)), and MS$ has to ape them too, so they too are behind you.. man what a scene :)

    -- david palmer

  2. The world understands, at least in theory, the important of testing, the importance of having an independent testing function with a viable position in the organization, and the necessity to hire technically competent people and reward them adequate. Testing is coming to be seen as a profession with its own work products that are maintained as important assets of the organization.

    Today, most mature companies treat software testing as a technical engineering profession. they recognize that having trained software testers on their project teams and allowing them to apply
    their trade early in the development process allows them to build better quality software.

    Tester-to-developer staffing ratios are an interesting indication of the number of people performing testing activities compared to the number of people developing the software product. Ratios have improved dramatically in the favor of more testers during the short and stormy life of the software engineering discipline.

    Good testers think technically, creatively, critically and practically.

    Consider a project is like a road trip, then few of them are simple and performed as routine. Those projects are to be like driving to the destination in the daylight. The projects which are worth doing are more like driving a truck in the mountains, at night. Those projects need headlights. As the tester, you light the way. You are the headlights of the projects. You illuminate the road ahead so the developers, team leaders and managers can at least see where
    they are, what they are about to run over and how close they are to the cliff.