Software testing can be stressful and thankless. With Valentine’s Day around the corner, it’s a good time to recall why we fell in love with testing and to find that love again.
Software testing is not the easiest job. Finding bugs within short windows of time can be stressful, and sometimes, thankless. So, why did we fall in love with testing in the first place and how can we find that love again? Well, frame of mind is a big part of falling in love — it can be easy to forget what you truly love when you’re caught up in the minutiae of the day-to-day. As we get nearer to Valentine’s Day, we urge you to reflect on your love for testing to make it a more meaningful experience. After all, there’s a lot of love that goes into software testing: love for your team, love for your community, and above all, love for your customers and users.
Love For Your Team
Software testers are part of a greater team, and the responsibility of finding bugs and critiquing product functionality is an important act of service to help others improve.
If you’re an individual contributor, you may not consider yourself a leader. But remember: leadership is not a title, it’s a behavior. The best software testers find ways to not only improve the product, but to improve how the team operates as a whole. Speak up if you notice that a particular feature is resulting in more customer-reported bugs. Ask “Why is this happening?” if you notice that a particular bug keeps resurfacing, even after fixes are applied. Even if you don’t know the answer, simply asking the question can provide significant value.
Your actions may fuel an initiative to replace legacy components if outdated software creates persistent customer issues. Or, you can create defect reports to justify replacing your testing tools if bugs keep leaking into production. It makes sense why testers get promoted to Director of Engineering positions. It’s because testers are naturally curious individuals, and asking the right questions and pointing out problem areas help to improve the team.
Be nice. Pointing out flaws should be done with compassion. At the end of the day, someone’s design or coding decision led to the defect. No one likes to be told their baby is ugly, so you need to find ways to communicate the expected and actual results of your test in a non-confrontational way. A picture is worth a thousand words, so we recommend using as many screenshots as needed to support your case.
Be open. After all, no one is perfect and honesty is essential in any good relationship. If you wrongly labeled the severity and caused a defect to go unresolved before the release, it’s okay to admit it. Be open and honest about your successes and your failures. This is the only way for teams to truly work together at an optimal level.
Love For Your Community
Sometimes, it’s hard to feel a connection with your immediate team at work, especially now that COVID-19 is forcing many testers to work remotely. To add a burst of fresh energy in your life, consider volunteering your time with a non-profit organization like Code for All.
This organization brings together technologists from around the world to build software projects to improve local communities. For instance, the GISCorps COVID-19 Testing Site Locator was built to help anyone find COVID testing sites from a central place. Building these types of applications require developers, designers, and testers to all contribute their expertise. There are thousands of software projects that are looking for volunteers like you to contribute, so you can easily find one that suits your interests.
If you’re looking for a way to boost your mood this Valentine’s day, keep in mind that research has proven that volunteering makes you happier. There are plenty of ways to apply your software testing experience and do some good while networking with other professionals in your community. To find a software project to volunteer your time, check out: https://codeforall.org/.
Love For Your Customer
A good software tester is able to put themselves in their customer’s shoes and imagine what they need from the product. Taking on responsibility for delivering a good customer experience helps change the way you view your work. It feels less like "I need to deep clean the house", and more like "I need to help my guests have a memorable stay".
Remind yourself of what life would be like without your product. Taking a step back to reflect can make your day-to-day work more meaningful.
At Functionize, our software testing colleagues have the advantage of working on a product that is built for people just like them. We built an intelligent testing platform because we felt the pain of spending too much time fixing broken tests. Before Functionize, test maintenance was the bane of our existence, and we wanted to solve that pain for our customers. That is why we fine-tuned our machine learning models over the years so that our tests can self heal and adapt to changes in your application. There should be no surprise that we use Functionize to test Functionize. Because we “drink our own champagne,” we constantly find ways to enhance the UX. Improving our products is especially sweet because we delight our customers and our own testers at the same time.
To all of the software testers out there, we see you. We recognize the love you’re bringing to the world. And we want to help make your life a little (or a lot) easier. Hearing feedback from our customers (both good and bad) is what keeps us motivated. So, we would love to continue to hear from you at firstname.lastname@example.org. To all of you behind the scenes making the world keep going ‘round, Happy Valentine’s Day!