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My Software Testing Story by Adam Brown

  • 07/09/2010
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  • Posted by EuroSTAR

I don’t think I’ve met anyone yet who originally set out to become a Software Tester. Most career advisers don’t even know that the job exists and a lot of people, especially programmers, see Software Testing as a profession inhabited entirely by nocturnal trolls who take pleasure witnessing the downfall of others.

I was inspired to write my Software Testing story after reading Andy Glover’s cartoon on Career planning for Software Testers.

What did I want to be when I grew up? I can’t really remember one particular thing that I wanted to be, but I remember a period when I was around eight where I really wanted to join the army and had lots of camouflage gear! I remember I also wanted to be a stuntman or spy at one point.

Since I discovered computers around the age of around ten, I knew I wanted to work in the IT industry. I had no idea what I wanted to do, just as long a it was a job involving computers. IT was always my strongest subject at school and college and despite my careers advisor trying to convince me to become an electrician, I somehow managed to get a job as a trainee programmer straight after leaving college (lucky break #1). My careers advisor also told me that I was wasting my time looking for programming jobs as I wasn’t good enough at maths. I worked as a programmer for over a year before being made redundant.

I floated around for a couple of months applying for programming jobs before spotting a job as Tester in the local paper’s jobs section. I would never had dreamt of applying for it if it wasn’t for my family convincing me that I should apply for it. After the interview, I was convinced I didn’t get it as the other candidates seemed more experienced, and after eavesdropping, seemed like they knew what they were talking about. My only experience of Software Testing at this point was when my software was being tested and getting annoyed when the tester found defects! I didn’t hear back from them in over a month, so I started to apply for other jobs. I had job interviews lined up for programming jobs, one as a Cinema usher and had a job lined up as a cleaner on a train, and working in a saw mill. However, as it turns out, I did get this job despite quite possibly being the worst out a bad bunch (lucky break #2). The job wasn’t what I expected as it was about 25% testing, 50% first line support and 25% second line support. I knew I wanted to focus more on the testing aspect of my job and begged the MD to pay for my ISEB Foundation course. After arguing my case and how it would benefit the business, she turned me down… so I paid for it myself, and set myself on getting another job as the whole experience filled me hatred and determination that I would find something better and work for a company that actually gave a crap.

I applied for the company I worked for now half heartedly knowing full well I wouldn’t get it. I really wanted the job, but I thought I’d have no hope in hell of getting it. Nearly two years later, I’m still in this job, and I have no intention of finding another one.

So I would say my software testing story involves lucky breaks, hard work, spite, lack of fitness and upper body strength and a fear of heights. Who knows… instead of testing software for a living, I could be a part time ex-army Stuntman moonlighting as a Spy trained in martial arts and espionage.

What’s your Software Testing Story? Leave a comment below.

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