An engineer’s job is to solve problems, to innovate. So, coming up with a standard is fun and challenging. Using someone else’s standard often is not. There is a sense of being a “cog in the machine”. Time is spent learning someone else’s standard and how to apply it, which is like “being told what to do”. Creating a standard is a problem to solve. You are solving that problem as you create the standard. Using someone else’s standard is like being told the problem and immediately being told the solution, without the joy of solving it yourself.
This is why I believe that the most experienced test engineers love standards. Because the experienced ones have already gone through the process of solving various challenges, and so they understand the problems and are open to seeing different solutions.
So, the “hate” comes when an engineer doesn’t get a chance to solve the problem on his own. The “love” comes when the problem has been solved, and the engineer wants to see the “best” or “more perfect” solution. Or simply to automate that problem because she has moved on to another challenge. Because while an engineer loves to solve a challenge the first time (and hates it if someone gives her the answer too soon), engineers also hate solving the same problem over and over again.
At IntraStage, we are constantly trying to make better standards for test data and test configuration. Our team has worked in this space a long time, and we have worked with hundreds of test engineers. While our goal is to create a world-class standard, we are also trying to make it fast and easy to train engineers in the use of the standard. We also have to evolve the standard over time, as test engineering continues to increase in complexity. Finally, we have to leave hooks for expansion on our standards, because every customer has custom details that the standard has to account for.