When I turned 13 years old, my Dad said, “What do you want to be when you grow up?”. I already knew the answer. “A software tester” I said!
In fact, even in college I wasn’t sure what I wanted to be. I had enrolled in a new major called “Communication System Management” and was studying to be the guy responsible for company telephone and computer networks. However, my internship put me to sleep. All analytics and no people got boring fast. The job interviews during my senior year were just as boring, despite getting flown around the country on several occasions.
So when a buddy of mine found me a job teaching software, which I had done part-time at Ohio University’s computer lab, I packed my stereo and clothes into my ‘85 Jetta and headed south, from Ohio to Atlanta. It was good money back then. People were getting personal computers one their desks and they needed to learn how to use things like…email. I went on to teach VBScript and AutoCAD and eventually taught proprietary telephone-office-update software for Lucent Technologies.
As the new versions of the Lucent software rolled out, I trained the users, which put me in a unique position. I could see first hand, which features the users liked and which they hated. I was among the first to observe the software performance under load and capture the concurrency issues that occurred.
This was in the late 90’s. The programmers were doing the “testing” themselves. But they realized I was getting good at providing feedback before they put their software in front of the users. To better integrate me into the development team, the programmers asked me to write a piece of working software. I wrote the team’s personal-time-off (vacation request) software in classic ASP and was officially accepted as part of the development team. My main responsibility…was quality.
Thus, a software tester was born. And I’ve been loving it ever since.
How did you become a tester? What’s your story?