We live in a developers’ world. We are surrounded by nerds and techies who love programming. They talk in jargons and they love to create fascinating stuff and the world loves them. This makes us, testers more insecure. We try to script our way out of this complex. Even our bugs doesn’t help. We try to befriend developers, but since our field of exploration differs so at a certain time, our relationship stands still at a point. What to do? What can be done? We are also smart people, we are also aware of technologies, then why do we lag behind? Are there any answers to our questions?
Some of us can’t bare the pressure of being on the other side of this equation. They try to jump back and forth. They seek career options. They get lost in the ocean of over-thinking. But, there are those who stand tall. They know what they are doing and understand the value of it. This breed of testers understands their exact position in the grand scheme of project management. They understand the analogy of 2nd to programmers, but they use this to build up their own skills. They are God gifted!
Being a software tester requires you to be fearless, and here are some pointers which can help you in this journey:
Know your place:
Be aware of your place, role and surroundings. You should know your place in the company you are keeping. You should know exactly who you are reporting to, who is reporting you, and who are your peers? You should know about the physical location of yourself. You should be reachable, accessible, and approachable.
A tester’s place in the company is very strategic, it affects the learning curve, for example, placing a tester within a team of independent testers, will help her learn about software test processes and how Quality assurance principle applied in the company. Similarly, if the tester is placed within the vicinity of developers then it changes the demographics completely. Developers prefer testers to be as efficient as they are in terms of platform, application LOGIC knowledge and prefer testers to perform testing on code and units rather than business cases.
On the other hand a tester’s placement with Business Analysts or customer support team will bring in different perspective to the learning curve. Here smoke, sanity, regression, and functional testing becomes imminent. Test case writing and constructing heavy yet hard hitting bug reports becomes a daily routine.
No matter where testers sit, their prime responsibility of finding important bugs changes its colors, but does not convert to something new. It’s the same reproduction of quality that makes a great testers, no matter where they are seated, but to be aware of their location, creates all the difference.
Testers share your experience:
Testing is based on heuristics, techniques, usage of tools, and skills, all meshed up together and pulled out a right time. Testing is an experienced, which repeats itself and improves on each cycle. Testers need to share their experiences. They need to put their discoveries on the table, and let everyone knows about it.
For example, how do you test a mobile based application, which is synchronized with a cloud based storage and the users are able to download and upload their data wherever they go? This type of story is something with not only young testers, but developers also seek out.
Take some time out of your schedule, maintain a blog, or take part in a discussion. Tell the world that you are here, and learn from others as well. If you don’t do this, you will not grow.
Don’t be ashamed, ask for help
One very common behavior in testers is that while encountering a certain testing problem, they become shy and don’t come forward with their questions. For testers this is also career related as they don’t want to portray themselves as someone who “does not know” about testing. But what I believe is when you ask questions or answer them, you are not only helping yourself but also the community.
If you cannot ask question, then simply write a short blog of your problem, where people can read it and respond back.
Software testing is a vital ingredient of solution development. Often time’s testers face the allegations of being responsible of overall quality of an application, on the contrary this is not the case. Software testers are not quality police. They are here to assist and help management and peers in achieving a perceived quality of applications.