Should testing be a separate user story?

It's like mixing the eggs and mixing the flour as different parts of a cake recipe.

Should testing be a separate user story?

I was posed this question recently.

I have a short answer, but it misses the most important point. So I’m not going to offer my short answer. Instead, I’ll dive right into my long answer:

We already have research that tells us that tests should be written by the same people who write the code. So if the reason this question is asked is because different people are writing code and testing, that’s the first problem to solve.

Second, in well-functioning software teams, testing is so integrated into the act of software creation, in very tight feedback loops, that nobody would ever even consider making testing a separate story.

In this way, asking if development and testing should be separate user stories is like asking if mixing the eggs and mixing the flour should be different parts of a cake recipe. It just doesn’t make logical sense.

So if someone is asking this question, it means one of two things: The person asking is very out of touch with the team and how they actually work, or the team is very dysfunctional.

Of course that dysfunction can be challenging to overcome. But I’m here to help. Reach out if you could use a fresh perspective!

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