So here we are on this Christmas morning – I’m finally writing my first blog post. The idea and motivation to set something up where I could post blogs and ideas had been there for months, maybe even close to a year – finally got started about a week ago at 2am. Couldn’t sleep and the mind was flowing with ideas – the perfect mind state to get started. It was fun, learned a lot, and was productive, although the next morning was anything but.
As I did a bit each night to setup I thought about what the topic for my first post would be. Had tons of ideas but decided to go with an idea for my first post based on one of the first thing’s a Professional Software Tester ever said to me. It was over 7 years ago at my first job in Software Testing. I was a young kid happy to have found a job but not satisfied – I was eager to learn, develop testing skills and strategies, develop test cases, test plans and bug reports, I wanted to learn how to use the different software tools and applications the company used and learn more about the products I’d be testing.
I was part of the QA Team (the Test Team that is); as QA was an incorrect term for the work the team did and the purpose it served. This is a difference I learned a few years ago reading content and descriptions written by Scott Barber and Michael Bolton. The team was composed of the manager, a few test leads and the rest of the software testers. I was new (to the job and to the industry) and fell into the latter category. The attitude towards testers and what we did was terrible, especially towards the testers who weren’t “leads”. We were seen as the scumbags who slowed things down, didn’t understand anything, and made life miserable for everybody else. The attitude towards testing in the company was terrible. As Gerald Weinberg once said when answering a question regarding what the biggest weakness is in the way companies test software; “To me, the biggest weakness is not considering software testing anything but a (barely) necessary evil. Testing is seen as something that could be done by a troop of monkeys, so serious testers are treated like third-class individuals.”
Anyhow I was in the kitchen one morning and this particular software tester (who happened to be one of the leads) walked in and asked me how I enjoyed the job so far and I replied that I was enjoying it and learning a lot (I was). He said that was good and he offered his help anytime I needed it and said something to me that always stayed in my mind “There’s a lot of pride in testing”. His behavior, skills, effort to help others (new testers included) to get better and build their own skill sets, the respect he garnered (from testers, developers and project managers) all exemplified professionalism and the value he was able to bring to the team as a proud and skilled Software Tester. I stayed at the company for 6 months, learned a lot and then moved on to better things – haven’t stop learning and getting better ever since.