Revision: Testers in This World

Recently I’ve remembered my old article and wondered, how much my thoughts have changed and how they align to the principles of context-driven and modern testing (and yes, I don’t see them as contradicting each other).

Remark is the parentheses is a bit stupid. It was discussed in the AB Testing episode 94 and at least for Alan and Brent there is no real contradiction.

It looks like there are two main themes in that article.

Theme One: Finding a Job as a Tester

A bit of a background: when I was writing that piece, I was in depression. That’s a different story about development culture and its effect on one’s mind, but I’ll write about it sometime later. So, depression. And a bit of worrying about getting the first job locally in Canada.

No wonder that rereading the article now feel like the main takeaway was “software development is a shitty business, whatever progress will be made, there will be still more than enough companies to hire testers.” And I won’t argue the last part. Modern testing principles are things to strive for, but my experience so far tells me that it’s too optimistic to assume that all companies will end up there. So, there will be enough companies who will lag behind. Ergo, there will be enough positions for any testers. Even for mindless test case executors.

Now, the question is, do I want to work in such companies? No.

If I would want to continue as a tester-generalist, without specializing in some future-proof niches like pentest or perftest (at least, they seem to be future-proof), a sweet spot would be companies closer on a way to the “tester-less” transformation, but still needing some help on that way. Will there be enough such companies? Probably, yes. Getting position will be definitely harder but not impossible.

Theme Two: Clay Metaphor

Nowadays I agree even more with the metaphor I came up with in that article. Yes, we are a clay or a sealing foam. We, testers, should help others in improving quality. That means that our work is immensely context-dependent: different organizations need different “holes” to seal.

But we can go on even further with this metaphor: make it’s not just a clay, but a sci-fi fancy-shmancy clay which heals holes and scabs when applied. Yup, that means that after some time we won’t be needed in this organization; that’s fine. You can move to some other position where your experience being adaptable and generalizing could be of assistance. Or you can find other organization and kill testing position there too.


As a result, while some wording was off, core principles still sound ok to me: adapt, help&heal, move on.