This post is part of the Pride & Paradev series.
What do I think of software testing as a career?
Software Testing is the Worst Career on the Planet
It’s amazing how quickly you tire of testing the same thing over again in Internet Explorer 7 because the programmers don’t use Internet Explorer and hadn’t thought to test it in that.
The harder you work at finding bugs the lazier the developers become at letting them through.
People constantly question you about why you’re still a software tester and haven’t turned into a programmer yet as though technical specialism is a natural career progression.
Lots of people call themselves software testers because they’ve played with software over a couple of years and attended a testing certification course over a couple of days. You’re grouped into the same group as those people.
And they expect you to test it by the end of the iteration which happens to be today.
Despite what iterative development brings testing always gets squeezed and you’re expected to constantly go above and beyond to get things done.
Career progression means either becoming a specialist ‘automated tester’ or a test manager, one involves writing code, that no one ever sees, the other usually involves writing wordy template driven test strategies, again, that no one ever sees.
But the absolutely worst thing about being a software tester is the distrust you develop in software. You constantly see software at its worst: it’s hard to believe that any software can be developed that actually works without any issues. This means you hold a deep breath every time you hit submit on a credit card form, praying that it will actually work and not crash and charge your credit card three times.
Software Testing is the Best Career on the Planet
Some days I am amazed at how much fun my job is. I get to play with cool gadgets: I have four smart phones and an iPad on my desk, use three operating systems and eight browsers on a daily basis.
I get to look at software from all different angles: from a user’s point of view, from the business/marketing view, from a technical viewpoint and try all kinds of crazy things on it.
I get to really know and understand how a system works from end-to-end, and get to know its quirks and pitfalls. Finding bugs prevents them from being released into Production and causing someone else a great inconvenience.
I develop great relationships with programmers who like the feedback I give, and business people who I work with to develop acceptance criteria and discuss issues in business terms and how they will be effected.
I get to understand code, database schema, servers and browsers. I am involved in automating acceptance tests. I get to go to awesome software testing conferences around the world to meet other testers.
I get to tell my family about all the cool things I’ve tested and they get excited to occasionally see things I have worked on in the media etc.
It’s a really cool career.