What has testing taught you?

A question that some Software Testers might find difficult to answer. In my case, I could give you a never-ending list of what I’ve learnt since becoming a Software Tester.

When I first took the leap to become a Software Tester, my initial thought was to “break everything” and even though you wouldn’t see those two words in a Software Tester’s role profile, this isn’t as far from the truth as you might think.

Software Testers are analytical thinkers and are driven to get to the bottom of things. Curiosity is definitely one of our strongest traits.

When I asked some of the Software Testers I work with “What has testing taught them?” I got some interesting answers. Some have said that becoming a Software Tester hasn’t only influenced the way they work, but also the way they live. It’s in our nature already to be analytical but you find yourself looking into every little detail even outside of work.

I notice so much more than I did before working in this role. The crooked picture frame on the wall, that person who opens their packet of crisps upside down, my microwave saying it’s 10:11 and my oven saying it’s 10:09, all these examples are things that I just can’t let go of, some might think this is sad, but it’s a habit you get used to.

One of our Testers, Andy said, “I can’t switch it off. I find that I dissect almost every site I visit and every object I use”.

Others explained how testing has made them realise more than ever that you should not be afraid to ask “why?”. It’s a question that people are sometimes afraid to ask, but if you gave me a pound for every time I asked “Why are we doing this?”, “What’s the benefit of this?”, well, I would be pretty rich by now.

There’s another aspect of Testing that puts us in the shoes of our customers. You feel the frustration that our customers can feel when booking on sites. The smallest thing can put you off booking a product. If something doesn’t look right, or behave the way in which you thought it was going to, this can be really annoying!

The Software Tester role is forever evolving with changes being made every week. Some of these being how we use different tools and the relationship between us and the rest of the development team. Some testers might say that testing is actually only one small factor of our role. Testers have so many other responsibilities within the Development team. We provide feedback to improve the company’s processes, our websites, our communication. We push back on other members in our development team and question everything.

There is so much to learn in tech and so many different areas. I’m sure by this time next year the Software Tester role would have evolved even more.

So going back to the question I asked at the beginning “What has testing taught you?”, I would say the key thing I have learnt is to never make assumptions when testing because it could lead to all sorts of bugs. Don’t be afraid to question everything. And most of all, it has taught me to immerse myself in the product to understand what customers want and their needs.