Do we still need the tester?

Author: Dipl.-Ing. (FH) Martin Heininger , Owner and Managing Director, of HEICON – Global Engineering GmbH, a consulting company in Schwendi near Ulm.

Martin has more than 15 years of experience in the field of methods and processes for the development of safety-critical embedded systems. He mainly supervises consulting projects in the aerospace, automation, railroad and automotive industries.

Particularly in the automotive industry, this term and the job title “tester” in the field of ECU development are rather exhausted and often have negative connotations.

✍️The term “tester” is often associated with someone sitting in a laboratory and manually carrying out stupid tests, often repeating them, but not knowing the content of the tests. The test designer has designed the test and automatic tests have been created by the test automation specialist.

1️⃣With this rigid distribution of roles and especially the stupid and boring tasks for the tester, we waste many urgently needed resources in the industry every day.

2️⃣Testing remains an annoying appendage of development which hardly anyone wants to do.

3️⃣We do not solve any of the major problems in the testing area, such as testing configurable systems, testing multi-core systems, testing AI systems, testing systems consisting of IT and embedded components, etc.

🎁The only role that remains fixed in large test teams is that of the test manager. In my view, this role is of central importance for success. He represents the interests of the test team vis-à-vis development and management and sometimes also vis-à-vis the customer. And internally, he moderates and coaches the team.


The conclusion is that we have to change our image of testing. We need test managers, test designers, test automation specialist and only for a small minority of tasks – namely the execution of manual tests – we need the tester mentioned at the beginning! And the most important thing is to swap the roles in the team again and again!

Further information about HEICON – Global Engineering GmbH- Efficient System and Software Development processes are our passion

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