Trick Question on Developer Open Assessment

Last post 01:03 am May 20, 2020
by Thomas Owens
4 replies
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07:40 pm May 16, 2020

 

True or False: Programmers and testers should not be included in refining Product Backlog items.

Correct answer: B)
You chose: A)

A)  True

B)  False

While I understand that all members of the DevTeam can participate in the Sprint Refining Event, Scrum specifically says there are no roles within the DevTeam.  Therefore, there is no programmer or tester on a Scrum Team and therefore the answer is False.  Sorry Ken & Jeff, but you wrote this one poorly.

 

08:39 pm May 16, 2020

The Scrum Guide says that "Scrum recognizes to titles for Development Team members" and "Scrum recognizes no sub-teams in the Development Team", it also says that "individual Development Team members may have specialized skills and areas of focus". Being a programmer or a tester is a specialized skill or focus. As long as people with these specialized skills don't form sub-teams and they are all treated as equal members of the team, there's no contradiction.

05:28 pm May 19, 2020

Hi Thomas,

You're supporting my position that the question is not clear.  Yes, you might do development work, or you might do testing, both of which are a specialized skill or focus.  On this, we agree.  However, as supported by your first quotation, in Scrum, you are not a programmer (title) and you are not a tester (title); you are part of the Development Team.

08:19 pm May 19, 2020

Programmers and testers should not be included in refining Product Backlog items.

Scrum recognizes neither a programmer nor tester role. However, the framework does not forbid referring to people as programmers or testers and they may be members of the Development Team. As such, there can be no proscription against the inclusion of either programmers or testers in Product Backlog refinement.

01:03 am May 20, 2020

You're supporting my position that the question is not clear.  Yes, you might do development work, or you might do testing, both of which are a specialized skill or focus.  On this, we agree.  However, as supported by your first quotation, in Scrum, you are not a programmer (title) and you are not a tester (title); you are part of the Development Team.

The question is very clear to me.

I do not think that "programmer" or "tester" is a title. When I read that Scrum does not recognize titles, I think of titles such as "senior" or "junior" or "staff". This means that all members of the team are equals - Scrum doesn't grant any responsibilities or powers to a senior developer that a junior developer doesn't have. Everyone's knowledge, skills, and experiences are valued on the team.

When I read that Scrum does not recognize sub-teams, I take that to mean that you do not have a test team and a development team on the Development Team. Everyone on the Development Team works toward the same goals and objectives and shares in the work, helping each other.

To me, "programmer" or "tester" is just a reflection of a specialized skill. Other examples could be "operations engineer" or "database administrator" or "system administrator". They are words used to denote a specialty in knowledge, but not power, influence, seniority, or organization.