3 Testers, 3 Stories
One of the benefits of getting older is that you can tell stories. No, not the stories you heard but the stories that you observed. So here are my three stories based upon lives of three real testers but am hiding their identity and making the story more generic.
If you are wondering why you should read these stories, let me entice you by informing that they’ll help you plan your career better.
And by the way, this name is borrowed from the famous Urdu magazine category called “teen auratein, teen kahaniaan” (3 women, 3 stories).
Meet Tester Alif. She started her career in software testing by accident but in first few years of her career, she really liked testing as profession. She took pride in breaking software and stopping releases by reporting obnoxious bugs. As the time passed, her excitement went away. She started to believe the repetitive nature of testing is kind of boring. She tried to reinvent herself by joining a new team or new organization, but she never enjoyed testing as she used to do in the early times.
Alif took a decision. She left testing and became a Programmer. First she felt uncomfortable with this new role and her old friends mocked her a lot. But after spending some time, she became comfortable. She had doubts that she will get bored with Programming as she got bored with Testing, but she didn’t. Many years have gone and Alif is now an accomplished Programmer. Many people actually don’t know that Alif was once a Tester.
Now let’s review life of Tester Bay. He chose software testing as career as he had a knack for finding issues in even apparently unblemished work. He became an expert Black Box tester very quickly and got a repute of someone who can find big bugs at will. He progressed nicely and became a test lead like role and taught the skills of testing to his junior members. As the time passed, Bay started feeling relaxed as if he knows every trick of the trade. He became more and more a person who managed technical stuff but not do much technical stuff himself. He became dull and kind of useless though he never realized.
Bay has had some miserable years lately. He was laid off from one job though quickly got another. But within six month or so, the lack of depth in his skills was evident and he was put on a project that is not much important. Bay thinks he is doing good and his job is safe but anyone who has little understanding can predict a bleak future for Bay.
Let me introduce you the third and last tester in this series. Tester Jeem became a tester by chance as he applied for a Design job but was offered a testing job. He started it reluctantly thinking that he will soon quit it. But he started to like testing. The fun of exploring new stuff, the spotlight he got for helping his team achieve excellence, the confidence he got by understanding the internals of the software he tested made his job a fun. He grew in the ladder and became a technical tester who had a team working with him on key projects for his team. He occasionally thought to switch his career to his ambition to become a Designer but he felt that there is so much new stuff coming in Testing profession that can keep him moving for many years he can foresee.
Jeem also became an advocate for testing profession. He started to tweet about it, started joining Meetups and training, started reading lot of books/blogs and was a source of information for many testers around him. Jeem has decided to remain a Tester for the rest of his life.
That ends the three stories folks. I know you were expecting more dramatic than they are above but I told you they are real stories.
Usually I like the notion of “Story is more important than the moral of the story”, but if you want one from above, here you go:
Never Be like “Bay”. Always be like “Alif” or “Jeem”
Or to make it generic:
Do what you love. And if you don’t love it, quit it
Do these stories look familiar to you? Have you spent your life as Alif, Bay or Jeem?