Friday, August 26, 2011

A tester all life... 7 Questions and no answers!!!

Question 1 - If you ever say the words, "I want to be a tester all my life" to your management, what do you think would happen?

Question 2 - Would they be happy with your above decision because you have long term career focus?

Question 3 - Would they treat you as a visionary because you have a very clear idea of what you want to do in life?

Questions 4 & 5 - Or, would they term you a loser since you have no ambition to grow up the career chain? And advise you on becoming a test architect or manager?

And if you don't have a blog, you are not participative in newsgroups and online forums, you don't market yourself, you are "uncertified", you don't read blogs and magazines, you refuse to use test tools because you don't trust those tools...  and you are a tester for the last 12 years, and an expert one at that.....

Question 6 - Would your management recognise your potential?

Question 7 - Or are you branded as a resource who's not grown up the ladder and gets you replaced?

Well, as the title says, there are only questions... no answers. Only "test cases"... no "expected behavior". At least I don't have them. If you do, please share.....


  1. If one of my team members came to me with that statement, I would have to evaluate it based on the context of the situation. That being said, on Question 4 & 5, I wouldn't view them as a loser and I would not be likely to recommend someone look at becoming a test architect or manager if they indicated they had no greater ambitions (unless they had demonstrated behaviour that was contrary to their statement).

  2. Your decision seems to showcase your maturity. However, the question is whether your management would do the same?

  3. There are a variety of answers to the questions you have posed. I would like to begin with - what level is the person at, when he has approached the Management with this statement? If the person is at a junior level, the Management should congratulate him on making a decision and let him understand and grow as a tester.

    If this statement came from a much senior person (as in your case a 12 year experienced person), then definitely Management needs to evaluate the reasoning behind the statement. If they do not do that and say the person is not ambitious and needs to be replaced, I think time to change the Management or the Job :-)

    In answer to what I would do? I would definitely want to understand the reasoning the person provides for it. If he is looking for a cushy job, where he does not hold responsibility for actions, then you also know what is to be done. if it is his choice, because he provides a logical reason for being a Tester (i.e., it makes me concentrate on my job better, rather than managing others), I would definitely want him to continue doing the same and provide a conducive environment with perks for him to keep doing the great work. :-)

  4. Also, just as a query. How would you rate a person as an expert?
    1. The number of useful issues he files?
    2. The builds he blocks, with super-duper bugs?
    3. His insight into a product. Along with the details and debugging he reports for an issue?
    4. His relaxed attitude and social interaction with the developers?
    5. Something else?

    After all, I believe the Management will take a decision based on the Manager of that person. So, if he provides an Excellent report card and there are no adverse effects of him remaining a Tester... I don't believe the Management would ever object to it... :-)

  5. This reminds me of what my very 1st product manager said to me over 10 years ago when I established a test lab for my company: "My view on testers are that they are people without ambition". Sad bad true. Since then, I have met individuals who have proven him very wrong, but I have also met individuals who have proven hom very correct. So if tester A says this, I'll shake my head, but if tester B says this, I might reply with "I believe you will and its the correct choice".
    I'll always remember that statement from so many years ago.