…..teach them well and let them lead the way.

I have recently had a couple of conversations with colleagues who know people who would like to get into testing.

Great.

But how does that happen? It’s not like you can make someone ‘fall into testing’, as so many of us profess to have done.

Should I point them straight to the ISTQB Foundation certification? It is after all, a prerequisite of so many job adverts.

Do we reference wikipedia for some nuggets of information on the topic?

As I was seeking to find the best explanation, I was reminded of the good work on this topic that Simon Prior has done with his #makeatester campaign.

I would strongly recommend looking through his blogs on the subject, maybe starting here.

Ministry of Testing have an awesome article by Heather Reid called ’30 Things Every New Software Tester Should Learn’, that is an amazing first port of call.

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With that in mind, I ran a test team meeting with my fellow testers, earlier this year, looking at our own thoughts.

The questions and answers are as follows:


So, why are you a tester?

  • I find faults in products easily
  • I do things differently than most (in an ‘ugly’ way)
  • I am drawn to edge cases
  • I am pedantic
  • I like people
  • I love the constant variety
  • I can make a difference
  • I fell into it

And what attributes/characteristics help to make a good tester?

  • Spatial awareness
  • Self confidence
  • Thinking outside the box
  • Good communication
  • Luck
  • Pragmatism
  • Critical thinking
  • Curiosity
  • Perfectionism
  • Strong eye for detail
  • Creativity
  • Quick to learn
  • Flexibility
  • Not being a sheep
  • Able to confidently speak your mind
  • Being able to look at the bigger picture
  • Being able to break stuff

What do you think would be a good background for a career in testing?

  • ANY
  • Creativity – the arts
  • People skill based
  • Diplomacy – politics?
  • Technical
  • Games
  • Stats
  • Diversity is key!

And what motivates you, as a tester?

  • Continuous improvement (both self and the workplace/product)
  • Always learning
  • Variety
  • Teaching/coaching
  • Making a difference
  • Money

What do we think is our purpose in our workplace?

  • Quality advocates
  • To raise awareness and improve the testing skills of our colleagues
  • To be inter-departmental conduits
  • To make the user’s experience better
  • To inform
  • To help others see the whole/bigger picture.

I think it’s fair to say that there is a decent spread of answers there, we are a relatively small team of testers, but we have a strong voice. While we are all testers, we have different skills, backgrounds, characteristics, motivations and perceived places in our workplace, but we are united.

The goal that we have when we recruit new testers is not to recruit a perfect candidate, someone that can tick all the boxes and the last thing we want is someone who is identical to us. The beauty of testing is in its rich variety and diversity.


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For me personally, I find standing out, seeking niche or untapped areas, so very appealing. It is for that reason that I have sometimes struggled in group settings where I have perceived that another in the group has the same mindset or mannerisms to myself.


I love meeting new testers, we bring so many different ideas to the table, if you are even only slightly intrigued by the prospect of testing, I would heartily encourage you to visit any resources from Ministry of Testing or the Test Huddle, better yet – get in touch with any testers you know, talk to them about their experiences. If you don’t know any, I know that Simon is always keen to #makeatester and you can get touch with me too.

 

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