Testing as a career isn't new. People have been testing for as long as software has existed. But many still don't see testing as a valuable career choice, or a career choice at all. This is partly due to a lack of education when it comes to testing, myths about the role of a tester and the way the software industry has approached testing in the past.
These have given rise to some common misconceptions:
“I've heard software testing is boring”
You heard wrong! Testing is misunderstood by many people and many organisations and neither test software in the right way. In software development, testing is quite honestly one of the most exciting and rewarding roles, providing you are in the right place; somewhere that will allow you to express yourself, be free to think creatively and utilise your testing superpowers.
Testing is varied. You can dig deep into different mindsets, use psychological techniques to hunt bugs, organise others to hunt bugs for you, get creative with both technology and code and solve difficult problems.
This idea of testing being boring may originate from testing practices such as laboriously creating test scripts, repetition in execution, testing for regression and high documentation environments. Much of the time, these tasks were really only checking (see checking vs testing) and here’s where we can use tools. We can use our development skills as testers to write creative code, utilise tools, develop testing software so that we don’t have to do a lot of these ‘boring’ tasks manually.
“It's for people who aren't good enough to be developers”
This certainly isn’t the case. A lot of the time there may not be crossover between these two disciplines, and quite often, a different mindset separates great testers from great developers, but many developers started their careers as testers and many testers have been developers. This idea is apocryphal; it has perhaps come from places where testers and developers were adversarial, developers frustrated with low quality testing and testers frustrated with low quality code.
Both roles are creative. Both can be technically challenging. Both aim to solve problems. An appreciation of one gives rise to a greater understanding of the other. At Scott Logic, respect goes in both directions. We aim to hire only the best.
“Testers aren't respected”
Any team or company that doesn't respect the role testers perform likely won't be producing software of the highest quality. Ask any of our developers and they will give an honest appraisal of respect for the role that testers perform. As much as any developer would like to think their code is perfect, it isn't and we make our developers look even better by finding where their code is broken so they can fix it before it’s released.
A tester needs a rounded view of the world, a keen eye for detail and an investigative nature with some technical skills thrown in. You may have an artistic background but be great at maths or technical skills, or a scientific background with a methodical way of working, or a law degree with a passion for technology. There is no one mould that makes a good tester.
At Scott Logic, we look for passionate problem solvers with a keen interest in technology, that have a love of learning, sharing their knowledge and producing high quality work.
Career path at Scott Logic
We have a clearly defined career path that aims to nurture, support and help your career grow in the way that you choose; from graduate to principal consultant we can provide you with the tools and knowledge to apply your skills, learn new ones and enjoy the freedom to continually think outside the box to solve problems.
In the next post in this series, we'll explore some of the types of project our testers get to work on and the kind of work you can expect to be doing as a tester at Scott Logic. Stay tuned.