It’s true.  Our job rocks.  Huff Post called it the 2nd happiest job in America this year.  Second only to being a DBA…yawn.  Two years ago, Forbes said testing was #1

But why?  Neither article goes in depth.  Maybe it’s because all news is good news, for a tester:

  • The System Under Test (SUT) is crashing in QA, it doesn’t work, it’s a steaming pile of…YES!  My testing was valuable!  My life has meaning!  My testing just saved users from this nightmare!
  • The SUT is finally working.  Awesome!  It’s so nice being part of a development team that can deliver quality software.  I can finally stop testing it and move on.  Our users are going to love this.

See?  Either way it’s good news.

Or maybe I just spin it that way to love my job more.  So be it.  If you think your testing job is stressful, you may want to make a few adjustments in how you work.  Read my You’re a Tester, Relax post.

During a recent exchange about the value of automated checks, someone rhetorically asked:

“Is automation about finding lots of bugs or triggering investigation?”

Well…the later, right?

  • When an automated check passes consistently for months then suddenly fails, it’s an indication the system-under-test (SUT) probably unexpectedly changed.  Investigate!  The SUT change may not be directly related to the check but who cares, you can still pat the check on the back and say, “thank you automated check, for warning me about the SUT change”.
  • When you design/code an automated check, you are learning how to interact with your SUT and investigating it.  If there are bugs uncovered during the automated check design/coding, you report them now and assume the automated checks should happily PASS for the rest of their existence.
  • If someone is organized enough to tell you the SUT is about to change, you should test the change and assess the impact on your automated checks and make necessary updates.  Doing so requires investigating said SUT changes.

In conclusion, one can argue, even the lamest of automated checks can still provide value.  Then again, one can argue most anything.

Perhaps Jimmy John’s should have hired some software testers before slapping their “Order Online” logo all over the place.

Yesterday, while entering a group order online, I had a little trouble typing my Delivery Instructions in the “memo-size” text box.


The only way to add a drink to your sandwich order was to add a second sandwich.  Um, I only want one sandwich.

I selected the earliest delivery time available:


However, after painstakingly collecting the orders of about 17 people, when I submitted my group order, Jimmy John’s showed me this user validation message:


And prior to me clicking the OK button, Jimmy John’s cancelled my entire order, including sending this email to all 17 people :


There is some additional context here that is too complex for this post.  Suffice it to say, I was irritated that my order was cancelled with no warning.

I called the Jimmy John’s phone number provided on the top of my screen and the dude said, “we have no idea how to retrieve your order, we just get a printout when it’s submitted”. 

In the end, the good people at my Jimmy John’s franchise accepted a fax with screen captures of my original group order (we tried email, but they couldn’t retrieve it) and they delivered the order flawlessly.

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