Wednesday, 16 October 2013

What I love about QA and Testing....

Many people are unfortunate enough to be in a job that they don't like, I won't use the word hate, as that's a strong word, but I'm sure it applies to some people.

I'm lucky, in that when it boils down to it, I do enjoy doing what I do, I enjoy coming to work (and not just to get out the house!) I recently spent time off from work for 3 and a bit weeks, I must say I missed work, I missed the routine, but not only that I missed the people, the actual work I do, the challenges and just keeping my brain active. Sure enough we have bad days where we don't want to come back to work, and maybe the fact that I enjoy QA so much is about the environment I am in, and the people I work with, but I'm lucky to have worked in a number of places and enjoyed almost every one for different reasons.

Drilling down into specifics, "Testing and QA", I thought what is it I love about it?

Hence this blog post....

When I first started out in testing about 6 years ago now, I thought this is great I enjoy breaking stuff, so when people asked me why I want to be a tester, that was pretty much the answer I gave. Nowadays, it's a little more complex than that, as I have come to understand the role that QA play in a business, and how it's really not just about "breaking stuff".

This is in no particular order, so what do I now love about testing? What makes me want to be a tester? Firstly, I think it's the challenge of taking something that the business want and almost looking after it from inception to implementation, making sure it is exactly what was asked for, this involves communicating with people and building up a rapport with a number of people which I thoroughly enjoy.

Secondly, there's the challenging aspect, it's not just about doing repetitive testing tasks, there's the challenge of automating whatever we can, and improving our processes across the organisation. I enjoy looking back and thinking what I did there made a big difference, for instance I've blogged about it in the past, but the Question and Answer forum I implemented, and I really think it's starting to make a difference in how we operate as QA in our company, and I strongly recommend similar implementations for yourselves. Or writing an automated test that can perform something that would take hours in minutes... there's a real kick from things like that.

Thirdly, there's the position that you as a tester are in, you get to find problems in code that otherwise would have gone unnoticed, and it's strangely satisfying when you do find a bug or a problem that nobody else has thought about, it's even better when these problems are found out earlier!

Finally, I think that as a QA we get to try so many different types of technology, we get to explore different types of testing, it's not just about running tests, far from it, we are a beacon of system domain knowledge, of tooling knowledge, and I don't think there's a similar role in IT that offers this wide breadth of activities.

So there you go, yes I do love breaking things, providing it's not something I own... but what I love about QA and Testing is far more than that, and I hope that you agree. What is it that you love about testing? What keeps you coming back day after day?

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