Wednesday, 21 March 2012

January 2012 - New Year, New Career in Software Testing

Hello, my name is Andrew. At the beginning of the year, 2012, I entered the big wide world of software testing. Although I am obviously new to this arena I am quite confident that my use of the words big and wide are unlikely to be in debate. However, I welcome any debate or correction on anything I write here.
In my short time in this industry, I have become aware that software testing is regarded as different things to different people. From what I can gather the majority of software testers fall into two broad camps; for the purposes of argument I will call one group 'Checkers' and the other 'Testers'.
The 'Checkers' see software testing as a mundane day job in which they follow a set of instructions from which they have no interest in deviating. They believe they are not paid to do any more than this and have no particular desire to.
The 'Testers' are in complete contrast to the 'Checkers'. They see their job as a challenge and look forward to trying new ways of testing every day. They enjoy their job because they get a feeling of fulfillment from taking on new challenges and doing things differently and with variety. These two categories are obviously rather generalised and at two opposite ends of a spectrum. I think that the reality probably falls somewhere in between these two extreme ways of working.
My previous background is in Telecoms, I won't mention which provider, as I don't wish to confirm what are probably correct assumptions. All I can say is that the cultures of my previous workplace and that of my new employer are worlds apart. Although the work was not software testing I can still recognise that the mindset of most people was anagalous to that of a 'Checker'. I would say that any ambitions people had were made very difficult to realise by the working culture that surrounded them.
I believe that it is largely down to the individual to take responsibility for which way of working they choose to follow. Although it is not the employers responsibility to make an employee think in a certain way, they can do much to support them by providing the tools, resources, training, people and culture which will all make a tester more conducive to progressing as a 'Tester' rather than becoming a 'Checker'. As is probably clear I am very much in favour of staying as close as I can to the Tester end of this scale. I am happy to report that my new employer does fulfill the supporting role I feel I need to enable my testing career to progress and flourish. This very blog is one prime example of this. I have never written a blog before but having read others I feel a desire to record my thoughts, if not for others to read, then at least to keep as a record for myself of my views as my testing career progresses.

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