Testing is not a career

It’s a journey…

If you talk to a number of successful testers today you will see a common thread.  The majority of them did not plan to become a tester, they became testers almost by accident via a number of different paths.winding road

If so then, which is the best path to becoming a successful and professional tester?

The truth is, I don’t know.

Furthermore, I am not even sure there is a correct path.

But I understood something more interesting from talking to many of these successful testers in the last 20 years.

It took me a while to realize this, as I had to be able to ignore what they were doing and even what they were telling me, in order to be able to focus on who these people were and what set them apart…

Successful testers have the following Qualities that I have found in almost all of them:

  1. Empathy – the ability to see the world through the eyes of others and understand what is important to them.
  2. Curiosity – to be able to dig deeper into the real reasons behind behaviors that others would simply dismiss as not interesting or irrelevant.
  3. Technical Skills – to go deep into layers of their products that are usually not explored or exploited by other testers .
  4. Self Learners – to make sure they don’t wait for information and knowledge to reach them, they are looking for ways to expand their horizons on their own.
  5. Stubbornness – to not get NO for an answer when people are trying to tell them they are wasting their time.
  6. Communicative – to make sure they are heard and understood when they need to communicate their ideas. I focused on this point exactly in a webinar earlier this year – view webinar

  7. Humility – to understand when they are pursuing the wrong path and make corrections without drowning on their egos.
  8. Perseverance – to understand results do not come from quick winning sprints but from running the long marathon races.

I know there are many lists and many people writing them, but I am keeping this one handy and the next time someone asks me how can they become better testers I will start by ask them to look into the list and really asking themselves if they have at least most of these points.

If they don’t see themselves there, then I will suggest they look for another profession.

And if they do, I will ask them to look for ways for using these skills in order to make their work professional.  Trusted that when done correctly and smart enough they will be able to become great testers in their own time.

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Testing is not a career

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