…managing the human dynamics of the tester/programmer interaction is a key issue
Sometimes we forget that in the end, we are all people on development teams with different styles, habits, mannerisms and interact with others differently. Any pairing relationship is unique, and we have to work together towards a common goal. Some of the generalizations I make based on my own experience may not apply to others. I hope others can share their experiences to help broaden our knowledge.
Brian also comments on critical thinking and disruption:
One can be a critical thinker but not a critical speaker. One can post-process the thoughts and use them to guide progress in a non-disruptive way. That’s not traditionally been the role of testers: it’s been their job to have critical thoughts, to evaluate the product against them, to report the results clearly and dispassionately, and to let someone else decide what to do about it. In an agile project, it seems to me that the tester’s responsibility has to go a bit further.
We still have a lot of work to do as testers when working on Agile projects, but the exploration, inquiry and discovery is a lot of fun. It will be interesting to look back on what we are doing now in several years and see how far we’ve come.