It wasn’t a first time someone said something about testing and it troubled me. It is just that the recent event pushed me to change something about- why software testing? It went like this.
It was just another call from a computer science graduate who is looking for job opportunity. This time the call was from one of my relative.
Part of conversation after initial greetings-
She: Actually I got my results last week and looking for job. Please let me know if you come across any.
Me: Sure! Tell me what interests you. Development or Testing ?
She: (Laughs…) No no, not testing(still laughing), Development only.
Me: Ohh! (Tongue-tied)(She didn’t knew/know I work as Tester of course)
You see the problem? Problem is not that she choose development over testing, that is absolutely fine considering the choice factor. Problem is her reaction when I said “Testing”, rather a question- why software testing? why should I even think about it?
Well sad reality is, majority of our university talent thinks this way only. It is not their fault, education system is not strong enough to tell students what is what and what they should choose if they like what. Coming back to testing, no source of information outside colleges is influential and big enough to drive the right talent towards testing.
Majority of incoming testers join testing because either they got it as a first offer or they do not have better development offer(I was here when I joined). Another problem is, majority of us(the Testers), are not taking enough efforts at individual level to change this situation.
In my attempt to bring some change, let me start with few big myths about testing.
-Testing is a non-technical thing.
-Testing is relatively easy.
-Testing is only about finding faults.
-Testers get paid less.
-Testing cannot be long term career option.
Yes, nothing from above list is “true”.
Testing as a field is huge, and it is NOT EASY, Period. Like a developer can’t be a Pro in all coding languages, a tester can’t be a Pro in all flavors of testing.
Believe me, testing demands lots of qualities and skills to succeed:
- You got to be Curious, otherwise you will always find it working after little testing.
- You got to imagine, visualize, forecast otherwise you won’t be able to identify risks, plan your testing proactively.
- You got to understand business of your product fully, even the things which are not developed, otherwise you will catch only software bugs and not business case failures, present and future.
- You got to keep an eye on every minute detail of what you are testing otherwise you will find far less defects.
- You got to be a Story teller, otherwise you might find it difficult to project your thoughts and pass knowledge to your team which is extremely crucial part of testing.
- You got to have convincing power, otherwise more often than not, you will have to agree what your developer is saying, irrespective it being true or false.
You must be thinking, “Well, all these things are still non-technical.” Let me try answering it.
A fortunate tester gets to try his hand on many things apart from just functional testing. We do most of these at Zycus.
Here is the list:
- Load/Performance Testing: You will have to understand tool, and even a programming language knowledge will be needed.
- Security Testing: You will have to understand product architecture, configuration of different components, their communication with each other and with database. You will need knowledge of different types of security attacks too and believe me it is much much more than what you and me know.
- Automation Testing: No doubt about popularity of this. Not easy though, you will have to learn different tools, adapt or develop a framework, learn different programming languages, like java, vb, etc.
- DevOps: Tightly linked to testing.
- Deployment: When you test, you often test it in multiple environments. And for that, you will have to handle deployment of new code too. Do it manually or automate it, but it gives you lots and lots of back-end knowledge when something fails and you get into debugging.
- Debugging: Debugging always gives joy when you end up on winning side,though it be debugging through a functional issue or technical one.
- Usability Testing: Another huge market which demands extreme creativity and user behavior knowledge. You can never step out of customers shoes when you are doing this.
- Playing Business analyst: As a tester, you can’t simply rely on requirements. You got to think through them, analyse and highlight possible gaps.
- Release authority: As a tester, you hold keys to new releases. You not only find bugs and stop shipment, but also prioritize them and give a Go/No go.
- Future: I think of a future and along with many other things there are huge markets of Mobile and Internet of Things(IoT) waiting for us. It is challenging and demanding.
Will I be able to explain all the work variations in Testing? I think, No. Whatever I said is just part of it. For a instance, let me consider just types of testing and I somewhere read about over 100 types of testing. Even if this number is unnecessarily high, it will still be significant when you merge the possibles.
Let’s speak about other myth that tester gets paid less compared to a developer. Your work area on its own can’t decide how much you earn. If you are exceptionally good, you will get paid exceptionally well in any field. Don’t compare, as possibly even a developer gets paid less than many other roles in world.
Testing is not a life long career option? Really? Google it and you will see many many famous names who have made it a life long passion. They are working as Test architects, Test Consultants and many have even opened their own firms in Testing territory and doing fantastic business.
To conclude, I hope I’ve made some help in case you are someone who is looking to start your journey with testing or thinking to switch to a testing stream or confused between development and testing. I hope this post will help you decide whether testing is your thing or it is not.
Many like me are on a mission to give testing the glory it deserves and will be more than happy to help passionate newcomers here.
Come, join the community and give answer to other’s question ‘why software testing’. The future is more challenging and more demanding, and we need lots of awesome talent like you:)
“Thanks for reading. Do leave a comment if you have any feedback/suggestion. Feel free to get in touch if I can help you with something or if you have anything to share.”