I am the technical co-founder of a small software startup with a complex product. Needless to say, it is hard to find a balance between adding new features which customers pay for while keeping existing features stable.
This is the reason why we have two part-time software testers who find bugs before our customers do. However, I noticed a lot of negativity in the team:
When the first tester joined, after several months I asked them if they felt dissatisfied with their job because I sense some negativity in the reporting. However, they answered that they are happy and its only part of their job to pinpoint what's wrong.
After this talk I noticed their tone to be a bit more friendlier and I actually think that they are enjoying the work.
After about a year, a second tester joined the team.
A couple months later, I got the feeling that they goad each other and they get worked up about bugs and missing functionality when working together. Stuff like "yeah, and then I did X and Y and of course, the software blew up" or "oh well, I reported the bugs months ago, they should finally start fixing it".
I think it is not the testers themselves, it is more of a team dynamic because gossiping is a powerful bonding tool. Of course they are having a point - after all there are bugs in the software - but this is somewhat "normal", especially for a newly emerging startup and it does not make sense to gossip all the time.
However, I would like to:
try to limit the agitation because it goes nowhere.
thus, prevent erosion of their standpoint when reporting (somebody might just think "Oh well, here comes negative nancy again" and dismiss the valuable feedback).
prevent frustration of developers who regularly become defensive.
prevent negativity to leak in the company culture in general.