Today I’d like to share with you some of the experiences I had as a beginner tester. I hope it sets you off on a path to enlightenment and leaves you off with a good appetite for testing. Shall we begin then?
The early days
It was 2004 when I finished school and started working at my first company. I finished as a software developer which is kind of an exaggeration since I only finished a 2 years course of it. I wasn’t really one for school. I was more of a home learner. That’s how you learn programming these days anyways.
The company didn’t hire developers at that moment. At least not junior ones. But! They were kind enough to offer a position as a tester. As the saying goes, Don’t look a gift horse in the mouth, I accepted the position although my intention was to go over to development as soon as possible.
Years went by. I was still a tester. I foamed and fumed about it I wanted to be a dev guy. I was furious. I was angry. I was inpatient. I was an idiot. Instead of crying and instead of the light going on after 2-3 years or more I should have realised the potential of my position sooner.
So there I was. I was sitting at my desk clicking away at stuff and writing up dull documentations about why I’m clicking at that stuff and how I’m clicking it. My document infect was so pretty and well formatted that I was fairly proud of it.
I ignored calls of my sanity and went on producing test cases and documents for many many more months / years. I was bad at my job. And I tell you why. I missed bugs I missed the little things that made the difference. I was following documentation by the letter I was leaving out things I wasn’t paying attention I wanted to be a developer damn it!
But fortunately because of various people in my life, like my brother, my resource manager, my friends and this guy :: James Marcus Bach ( http://www.satisfice.com/ ) :: I soon begun to realise that this job is about so much more! I read Jame’s book The buccaneer scholar.
It opened my eyes in so many ways. I knew that there is somebody else out there how is like me. Passionet and keen on learning new things. Exploring technology and going where nobody else went before. I was beginning to understand that I could be much more in this position. In my country at that time Testers weren’t regarded for too much. We were the enemy that needed defeating. We were in the way. We were somebody who had to be hated. Fortunately it changed much since then and lucky for us The Company had great support for Testers.
I learned that I can use my passion. I learned that testing can be / IS, indeed, the best thing that could have happened to me.
With these new thoughts in my mind I begun to evolve. I realised that I can incorporate my dev skills into testing and later my testing skill into development. I was no longer following test cases blindly. I was no longer writing up pretty documentations ( I was writing other kind of documentations.. 😉 ). I was following instinct, skills, knowledge I hoarded from people. I was talking to the Devs, I was talking to the deployment team, I was talking to the managers AND the product owners. I hoarded knowledge as much as possible. I wrote everything down into my Mind Maps and was determined to become the single most knowledgable entity on the projects I was working on.
I embraced testing. It become my way of Life. It wasn’t a simple job anymore. It was embedded into my brain processes and synapses. And that’s when I got into automation.
The later years
So I got into automation. I loved it. The thought that I can bend the computers will to do my bidding / job was absolutely mind blowing. I’ve done development at that point already of course that wasn’t new to me. And I also was shown some way of automation but that wasn’t so great so I dismissed this possibility for a long time. After a while I came back to it with the thought that, hey I could do this better. Selenium came out at that time around, Watir was also there and a couple of other tools in Perl.
I started developing with / in / for those tools and noted that despite the believe that it’s only automation it actually took quite some thinking to come up with a framework that was adaptable, concise, manageable, fast and so on and so fort. It was an effort that most people didn’t realise or care to know about.
So for the better part of those years I was trying to convince people that building a testing framework requires actual development work. And is not something that should be taken lightly. I sort of succeeded with it.
After various circumstances in my life I moved to UK and took a job as an SET(Software Developer in Test). It sounds fancy but is rather just an automation guy who from time to time looks at production code. It was a spring board for me. And now days it seems I’m simply just a developer. But!!! And here comes the twist.
Because of my years of background in Test I feel I’m so much more. I know to write testable code. I know many ways how my code could fail. I know many ways of writing something and then coding up a script for testing or do extensive unit testing. I don’t love my code blindly so that when it’s done I only test the “happy path” because I don’t have the time to code up more.
I will always have time for testing. I will begin with testing. Because people need to understand that the only way to go fast is to go slow. If you go fast it will bite you in the behind and you will suffer more then you would have suffered if you would have written up that one last little test for that one last little corner for the world that is your boiling, brooding, breathing pile of code.
Honestly I don’t know were I’m going from here. Being a full pledged developed is a new territory for me even though I was an automation dev before. But I’m looking forward to this exciting new life. And I will NEVER ditch my Testing carrier. In fact I’m aiming to complete the BBST course next month. Because once you’ve been a tester you will never go back being anything else. It becomes a part of you. And stays with you forever.
Thank you for reading.
And as always,
Have a nice day!