Do you love your testing job?
(This is a guest post from Sohail Sarwar, one of the cannons in the Knowledge Tester’s arsenal. He is a regular contributor, so doesn’t need much of an introduction. His previous posts are here and here.)
Situation 1: A young QA engineer joins bit senior QA engineers on lunch table.
Senior: So where you have graduated from?
Junior: Xyz University.
Senior: That is one of the finest universities; what happened to you that you have chosen domain of QA? Something wrong with your development skills?
Junior: No, I have been good at programming. In fact, I won coding competitions.
As this discussion was concluding, I could see number of questions on face of “baby-tester” entailing in a discomfort regarding his choice of professional career.
(image credit: http://faculty.webster.edu/woolflm/lovehate.jpg )
Situation 2: An experienced tester requests a meeting with his Team lead and enters the room.
Team lead: Yes, what is agenda or reason to call this meeting?
Tester: I want to switch the domain of work to development or I quit?
Team lead: But you are doing a good job and there are opportunities for you to grow.
Tester: I don’t have growth like a development guy. Plus, I foresee myself de-valued with added number of experience years. Also, there are more Dev jobs than testing jobs.
Manager, with perplexed face, gave strong arguments to advocate domain of testing but “Tester’s firmness” in his disbelief remained evident from his face.
In software organizations, these are the situations that leads/managers have to deal quite often. What are the factors spawning such situations?
- Lack of training for opting proper career path in academia with respect to interests/ability. Moreover, wrong myths prevail in academia that software industry is all about software development.
- Lack of guidance from senior resources in organizational hierarchy about importance of testing and subsequent growth in coming years for new testers.
- Lack of promoting the culture “You are doing a great job” instead, it’s “You are doing an inferior job”.
- Lack of appreciation and giving less visibility to contribution of testing resources in success of projects at organization level.
- Lack of understanding that a resource with inferior capabilities may be suitable for role of testing.
- Most common and dumbest myth of all times, “Anyone can Test”.
This list of “Lack of’s” can go on and on but bottom line is, no matter how skilled a testers is, one is found deprived of its’ testing role, insecure and dissatisfied of what one is doing. The Tester might not say but there is a pinching question in it’s sub-conscious, “Am I really doing a job that is worthwhile”.
Solutions to these problems may not come in effect overnight and may not comprehend in these lines; but they surely are concealed in changing “mindsets” to value the sheer need and effectiveness of testing (and skilled testers).
Some possible solutions:
- A person going for a job of tester should know that one wants a tester’s job and also why opted this career path. Moreover, students be enlightened of career paths other than software development in academia.
- Software community should know that testing is no more a role of “value addition”. It is the role that refers to “value creation”. This value creation should be highlighted by senior resources in industry as well as academia.
- Number of testing jobs may not be used to measure superiority of massive Dev jobs over any other discipline of software life cycle.
- Software tester’s job can only be done by a software tester. There is no replacement for a learned, skilled and dynamic software tester.
- Software testers should remain focused for technical growth and adapt to technological trends for keeping up their learning. There will be growth, security and confidence with inner peace and happiness. 🙂
In a nutshell, “Love your job”. Reap whatever you want from this career.
Please share your thoughts if you have anything to add as issue with respective solution from your experience.