As a tester, while striving for the impossible goal of perfect software, I sometimes feel stupid. How valuable am I to the team? Do I really have any hard skills different than the next guy? Am I a testing failure?
I feel stupid when…
- production bugs have to be patched (the kind I should have caught).
- devs talk about code or architecture I don’t understand.
- non-testers log bugs.
- I have to execute brainless tests that the guy on the street could execute.
- I can’t remember if I tested a certain scenario and my executed test documentation is incomplete.
- the team celebrates individual dev accomplishments for feature sets and QA is not recognized.
- my bug is rejected by dev for a legitimate reason.
- I read a software testing blog post about some tester with 95% of her tests automated.
As a fellow tester, maybe you have felt stupid at times too. Feeling stupid is not fun and eventually will lead to disliking your job. I guess there are two solutions; 1.) find a new job or 2.) try not to feel stupid.
I talk my way out of feeling stupid as a tester the same way I do outside of work during conversations with doctors, physicists, CEOs or other potentially intimidating experts of some field. I remember that everyone is an expert at something…just something different. In the examination room, the doctor may be the expert at prescribing the treatment, but put the doctor and me at the bottom of a 300-foot-deep pit in a wet cave, and suddenly the doctor is asking me for help (I’m a caver).
When it comes to testing, we don’t know the same things the developers or BAs know but we shouldn’t feel stupid about it. It doesn’t mean we should stop learning, we just need to put things in perspective instead of feeling inadequate. Faking your knowledge is way worse than saying “I don’t know”.
Don’t second guess your skills as a tester.
In a future post, I'll tell you when I feel awseome as a tester.
Labels: software testing career