Were you an accidental tester? Or was yours a deliberate choice?
Whether or not you made the choice on purpose, you would have come across some side effects of being a tester which is:
You act and think like one at all times! 😱
You try to break anything you try new, you are skeptical and perform some testing yourself to see if anything new works fine! You chuckle when you learn that there is a silly missed negative testing!
Jokes apart, Testing is never an easy job! It is probably one of the most challenging roles of a software team with a broad mix of multiple responsibilities and involves being a customer advocate right from the start.
In this post, we ask some of the expert testers how they feel about testing, how they landed up in the profession and what keeps them going!
Let’s begin with Viv Richards
Name twin of cricketer Viv Richards but not related in any way 😉 He is an independent testing consultant, international keynote speaker, trainer and event organiser.
You love testing. Why?
I’ve always liked to try to understand how things work both by observing and exploring. Being a tester lets me do this and so much more. As a test consultant, I get to work with lots of different teams every day attempting to help solve various problems that arise. No two days are ever the same and there’s always something new to learn or share.
The testing community is probably the best community I’ve had the pleasure of being a part of. Everyone is welcoming, eager to learn, and also share their knowledge and experiences.
I love getting involved with the community not only to help others but also to learn from other people’s experiences as well as using it as a way to validate some of my thoughts and ideas!
“No two days are ever the same and there’s always something new to learn or share.”
Let’s ask the BossBoss what really draws him to do all that he does for the testing community.
Aka the friendly tester which he is! ‘Automation in testing’ advocate, Richard is a teacher, speaker, tester at Friendly Testing. He’s the BossBoss at Ministry Of Testing
Tell us Richard, what’s that you most love about testing?
It’s my job now as BossBoss of the Ministry of Testing 🙂
But for me, it’s about connections. Connecting with people through social channels, Slack groups, forums, meetups, conferences, content and much more. I’m always looking to be better, to learn new things, and the best way I’ve found to do that is via the testing community.
Learning directly from others who are in the same positions as me. Experiencing the same problems and successes as me. The testing community also offers multiple ways to engage. Being active in the testing community accelerated my career like nothing else has.”
Are there some reasons you love testing specifically?
As mentioned, I love to learn. Testing for me is learning. I’m presented with systems, software, people, problems and much more and I’ve to learn about them. I thrive on thinking about the what if’s. Formulating questions, answering them, and creating ten more.
I love sharing my learnings with the team, confirming assumptions and hopes, while also surprising them with odd or broken behaviour. Then there is my love of coding and creating a little army of robots to assist me with my testing.
Testing is such a broad topic, that you can take inspiration and ideas from so many other domains and apply them to your context, it’s a truly creative role.
“Being active in the testing community accelerated my career like nothing else has. I thrive on thinking about the what if’s!”
Erin’s a creative professional with a passion for software quality and a champion for inclusion and accessibility.
How did you land in testing, Erin?
I began testing as a hobby many years ago. Some of the first projects I tested on were video games and mobile navigation apps.
When I learned I could become a software tester as a career, I jumped in the opportunity at OverDrive.
This is where my true love for testing was established. I began to test their reading app on multiple devices and platforms…and explored the MANY different types of human users that interact with their products.
Over the years, I found a gap along the way where no one was really discussing accessibility outside simple dark or high contrast themes and special fonts for screen readers.
I decided that I should spread awareness about all the cool features many of us use every single day and explain that there’s an entire (huge!) population of end-users we weren’t considering while developing products.
And if I could just talk about these users and some of the barriers they face, or what it’s like to go through a digital experience as they do, we’ll learn an awful lot! And grow some empathy along the way!
That’s why I do it. I care A LOT about digital equality.
Quality Manager, Cypress Ambassador, Marie authors tech blogs also co-organizes Cypress UK community meetups. It was only when she applied for graduate role entry jobs that she learnt you could build a career out of testing!
Tell us why you love testing, Marie
I love testing simply because there is so much areas to explore and learn! I love learning on a daily basis and I feel that software testing provides me with this benefit. It also allows me to understand what our user needs are and be more empathetic towards them.
Testing to me is both challenging and creative with so many specialised paths that you can pursue whether it’s accessibility, performance, exploratory or automation. I also get to work with different technologies and collaborate with different individuals.
Right, and what do you love the most about testing?
It’s definitely the connections I have made and learning continuously.
I have been given so many opportunities to share my knowledge to the wider community and I am forever grateful to the individuals and organisations who have enabled me to do this. Connecting with role models that I look up to is an amazing feeling!
It’s also humbling when other software testers reach out to you to let you know that you have helped them somehow whether it’s via a blog post, a meet up talk or workshop.
When you receive feedback from different users on a feature that you collaborated with, it’s a good feeling because you know that you have helped deliver value to them.
“I love learning on a daily basis and I feel that software testing provides me with this benefit.”
Author, International Speaker, QA Director. Mike brings his experiences to his audiences, and participates in mentoring in the field of testing. No matter how busy he is, Mike will always make time for you!
How did you start your testing career, Mike?
Testing was not what I set out to be part of when I was in school thinking about my career.
In 6th grade, I took a computer science certification course on an Apple II/e computer and got my “license to code” as an elementary student. I was thrilled. I went home and told my mom “I want to be a developer and I want to do it for the rest of my life”.
The company I worked for did not have an official “testing team” or “QA group”. Testing was taken care of by the development team.
But in 2005, I was looking for an opportunity to leverage an expiring company training budget to send myself to a test management course in Tampa, Florida. The city was amazing and I wanted to visit there for the first time. As I settled into the week-long course on test management, I realized that I was the ONLY person in the room that was NOT a tester or test manager!
I was a dev manager surrounded by test folks. It was surely a lot of pressure, but I was brave and listened anyway to the instructor. I left that week with a new passion for testing – a love for building out a practice in my current company – one that, at the time, did not exist. I standardized our approach so that we at least had rules and regulations that stated that testing needed to be done, and coverage of the product should be high.
By 2008, the company had decided to start a testing team – and I raised my hand to lead the effort and build it out. Through the years of 2008 to 2014, I was so fortunate and blessed to work in so many areas around testing: functional testing, test data, test environments, automation, performance, security, cross browser testing, service virtualization and many more.
What draws you to engage with the community?
It was in 2012 that I realized how deeply I loved testing and the engagement with the community. I began my first conference talk in Miami, Florida for a conference and as I looked out across the large group of people there, I realized they actually were INTERESTED in hearing me talk. Since that time in 2012, I have now spoken in 14 countries, 5 of the 7 continents, and hundreds of keynotes/workshops/sessions and articles. I have been honored to meet some of the biggest names in the testing world, and make some of the best friends in the community.
My “IDEA” of testing in 2005 was “OK” but not GOOD ENOUGH to change the world (or at least change the outcomes for the products I supported). I look back at my understanding of testing in those early years and realize how immature I was compared to how I think today.
How do you keep doing more and more for the community?
My most amazing blessing and honor has been to learn from so many people who have led the way in this community. People that should not have given me even one minute of their time were giving me hours, days, weeks of their support to help me understand a better way and new paradigm shift for testing in today’s world.
I made it my goal in life to give back to the community because of people that gave to me in the early days. I thrive on speaking at events – both in person and virtually – and getting feedback from the community, meeting new people, getting new connections on social media, and being able to help new and experienced testers, coach them, mentor them, and guide them to a better way of thinking around testing.
My motivation comes from seeing people step out of the box and think about testing differently, and it DOES make me proud – like a proud parent – when they say “I learned how to do this from Mike Lyles” – not because I want fame and recognition – but because I am proud that I was able to make one new person think differently and experiment with the boundaries to push a mindset change in the world of testing.
“My motivation comes from seeing people step out of the box and think about testing differently, and it DOES make me proud – like a proud parent.”
The idea guy! Ajay is an esteemed speaker, conducts multiple training sessions, testing initiatives. He is always ready to help and suggest thoughtful ideas.
Ajay, tell us why you love testing so much that you are always active in the community!
I like detective movies and software testing is the closest for me in real life where I can be a detective. 🕵️
Right from motivating a team to achieve a common goal to understanding the needs of multiple stakeholders, especially in an environment where many are confused, gives me a thrill I enjoy.
Sometimes the bugs fool you, sometimes the words fool you. Staying on top of your game and helping customers get a product that they love is a nice experience. Testing allows me to ask questions and apply the skills needed to discover information hidden to many.
What motivates you to do more for the community?
When people achieve success and are happy because of me, I feel good. It pushes me to do more. I got a lot of help from many people. It is my way of giving it back.
“Software testing is the closest for me in real life where I can be a detective.”
An expert trainer, experienced teacher and a speaker on topics related to testing, automation, service virtualization, best approaches. Bas is very approachable and always willing to help.
What is it that you love about your testing profession, Bas?
What mostly drew me to software testing and (particularly) test automation is the fact that you’re solving puzzles each and every day. This can be finding answers to questions like:
– Why does this particular piece of code behave the way it does?
– What is the most efficient way to get the information I’m looking for?
– How does this brand new test automation tool or library work and how can I use it in the most effective way?
And, what keeps you motivated to do more?
What keeps me motivated to share my knowledge and experiences is that I want others to do better than I did when I started my career. I spent a lot of time and effort performing worthless tests and writing worthless automation, and it took me quite a few years before I learned how to do better.
I’d hate to see people new(er) to the field make the same mistakes that I do, and I am genuinely happy when I see someone benefiting from something I’ve written, spoken about or discussed in one of my training courses.
Wow, that’s awesome!
“ I’d hate to see people new(er) to the field make the same mistakes that I do.”
Sr. Test Engineer – XING. Co-founder & Chief Editor Tea-time with Testers magazine. Director at Association for Software Testing, Testing Coach & Speaker.
How are you so passionate about testing?
The key reason to be passionate about testing is the pleasure behind finding things out. I like to make the best use of my power of observation and risk assessment skills to help stakeholders with information that can decide the future of the product.
And, of course, above all, I am active in my personal mission of improving the state of software testing. I do it by collaborating with leading authors, thought leaders, and expert practitioners and also by volunteering my time to help fellow testers by writing blogs and providing coaching on software testing.
My dedication to the advancement of software testing has now become my hobby due to the enjoyment and satisfaction I gain from my efforts!
Senior test consultant at Deloitte. Finds the world of testing very interesting and enjoys exploring and gaining more skills and expertise.
I ❤️ testing because it’s a good mix of technical and business knowledge one gains. I love sharing testing techniques and there are so many of them!
Everyday is not the same and testing for me is a dynamic field with a really great community of advocates.
Do you do a little prep before you start engaging with a big audience?
What keeps me going on is the learning that I am gaining, I aim to always give it back to the community. I always love to share.
In terms of preparing to engage with a bigger audience, I just take a deep breath and start! It is nerve wracking for sure, but at the end of it you will be so satisfied. Therefore I enjoy learning and exploring and make sure this is given back to the community. I get messages all the time, “Your talk was really helpful, I am trying to do the same at my team and your talk helped me proceed”.
“Everyday is not the same and testing for me is a dynamic field.”
On a mission to make testers’life easy! Creator-SelectorsHub, Chropath.
How was your entry to the testing career?
For me IT job itself is accidental, I did Chemical Engineering.
I got into a software development role but then someone told me about Selenium testing so I learnt it and made a switch. Then I found so many problems in software testing which I feel I could solve and help the community. That’s where I became a creator!
What was your career switch like?
Testing is something which we all do in our life in some or other format.
I believe that Testing and Development is like the 2 faces of a coin. If any one of them is missing then the software is incomplete.
And, why do you love testing so much?
I love testing because Testing is a process post which we can say that yes it is a good quality product, just by developing a product we can’t say if it is a good quality product or not.
Initially, when I started developing software and helping people, I was not much aware about the community. But then I started getting their feedback and I was amazed looking at their happiness.
I realised that this is something which gives me motivation and inner peace more than money. I decided to work full-time for the community and solve their problems through my innovations.
Where do you get this energy from? What keeps you motivated to do more?
Community feedback and support is something that keeps giving me energy and boost to work hard for them. Big shoutout and thanks to the whole testing community!!
“I love testing because Testing is a process post which we can say that yes it is a good quality product, just by developing a product we can’t say if it is a good quality product or not.”
Do you feel the same?
Tell us why you love testing and do you experience any side effects of testing too?
Let us know!
Break ’em well, testers!