Yesterday, a tester asked me how to get promoted.  I said, “start learning about your craft”.  They said, "but all the testers I know don't learn anything from testing conferences or books".


And this is what makes testing such a cool career choice for some of us!  It's full of apathetic under-achievers.  So if you want to be extraordinary, it's relatively easy.  You have little competition!  Come back from a conference and attempt to implement a mere three ideas and you've probably advanced testing at your organization more than any time in the past.

Why is this?  Maybe because we fell into this career by accident.  Maybe because it's a newish career with few leading experts.  Maybe it’s because we can still make decent money on a software development team by merely trying to act like a user.  I don’t know.  What I do know is, the more I study testing, the more I love my job, and the more promotions I get. 

This crumby little humble testing blog made it in a list of the worlds top 50 testing blogs for several years.  It’s not because I’m awesome.  It’s because there weren’t that many testing blogs!

Put a little effort into learning more about testing.  Maybe something good will happen.


  1. Jyothishree said...

    Excellent write up

  2. mindofconcrete said...

    If your work is valued, your salary should follow up.

    Must bring solutions, methods, and if your work could be done by anybody. Should change job or acquire more competences.

  3. Michael said...

    That's a very valid answer you gave him!
    I believe that the more one knows and the more one is capable to do, the more valuable he is and thus, move viable to get promotion.
    If nearly everyone remains at their current level, it's pretty clear that the person that has gained the most knowledge and can apply effectively is most prone to get a promotion.

  4. Joe said...

    I hope you left open the possibility that the tester could learn her/his craft in ways other than going to a conference?

    Books, blogs (like yours), podcasts, networking, talking with other testers, talking with non-testers, trying test automation tools, experimenting, etc, etc.

    "Put a little effort into learning more about testing." Yes! And many roads can take you there.

  5. Lanette Creamer said...

    Oh Eric. I fear your privledged view is showing here.

    I'm very happy that you're getting recognition & promotion, as you clearly are a good person with s commitment to quality work. I just fear that it's not as easy for every race, color, gender, creed, religion, or discipine as it may be for a handsome tall white male. I know that you certianly work hard and have the merit to deserve all of your rewards, I just fear that your perspective may fail to take into consideration that the path may not be entirely even for all.

    Respectfully Intended,


  6. Teri Charles said...

    I disagree, Claire. You are awesome!


  7. Eric Jacobson said...

    Hi Lanette! So fun to get a comment by you.

    Yeah, of course, thanks for clarifying. I didn't think about that. Being *recognized* as a great tester and becoming a great tester are two different things.

    So we could say, for any given demographic (sex, race, age, etc.), becoming an extraordinary tester may be easier than you think, relative to other professions for that same demographic. No matter who you are, by learning just a little bit about testing it may get you farther than learning just a little bit about other professions...say programming.

  8. Eric Jacobson said...

    Joe, great comment. Totally agree. And yes, I listed other avenues for learning. I think I was just paraphrasing to make a short post. Thanks!

  9. Unknown said...

    Follow your passion (or evolve things into a passion) and good things will happen

  10. Software Testing Blog said...

    I totally agree. There are many testers out there but few are passionate enough to stick with it and make it a career. I have been in QA for 15 years and I wouldn't trade it for any job. Try hard, do your best, and success will follow!

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