An open letter to testers and managers

I was going over my old blog posts and I came across one I wrote early in my career when I was a QA (see below).

As the saying goes, “Life Is What Happens to You While You're Busy Making Other Plans“.

Sometimes it’s easy to focus on the short term to make ends meet. And before you know it you are stuck in working in an industry you don’t care about. In a job that no longer interests you. In a low risk/low reward golden cage. When that happens remember that everyone is born for greatness, and that each is truly unique in his/her own way.

So keep learning and growing, never settle, and keep pushing yourself to the limits. And above all, find your passion. Life is too short to waste implementing someone else’s dreams/vision.


(originally posted on October 7, 2014)

During my studies and career, I was recommended by friends and coworkers to switch from Q.A. to development, citing better pay and better career paths.

As tempting as it was, in the end I stuck with what I love and what I am truly passionate about; exploiting and breaking software.

This got me thinking about the state of the testing industry, and how many talented testers switch (or get switched) to other positions. And although I am noticing more awareness about the importance of good testing teams in organisations, there are still those who view testing as an afterthought.

For all you testers and managers reading my blog, we need to have a heart to heart.

 
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To managers

Looking through the organisational hierarchy it can be easy to lose track and see testing as grudge work, but this should not be the case. Testers (as with all other employees) invest more in an organisation the more an organisation invests in them.

As the software industry matures, the boundaries between developers and testers are getting blurred. Good developers and testers are those who can test and code (respectively).

Don’t settle for less, and always seek out and hire top-tier testers.

Keep the testing-team engaged. As a rule of thumb: if that team spends 75% (or more) of their time clicking on buttons, then you’re not going to attract a lot of talent and the testers you already attracted won’t stick for long.

Stand by the testing-team as a whole, and by each individual tester. Provide them with the optimal working conditions they need to flourish. Support them, challenge them, invest in them, and give them opportunities to grow and advance.

A good team is always greater than the sum of its parts.


To testers

Dominate your craft and to push the industry forward.

Don’t be afraid of failing. You will never know what you are capable of without pushing yourselves to the limits, and making mistakes along the way.

Be the users’ advocates. Protect them by unearthing defects, and by ensuring their points of view are not overlooked in the development cycles.

Be close to developers, product managers, designers, and whoever is involved in projects. Your job is to supply them with feedback (in the form of bugs, risks, feature requests, etc…), and enable them to be more proficient at their tasks.

Lastly, work occupies a large portion of your lives, and it’s hard to remain excited and engaged without loving what you do and the people around you. If you consider Q.A. as a stepping stone, then it might be best to invest your time into a more suitable career. However, if you are passionate about testing then never get deterred and keep doing what you do best.

Ayman Horani

Cofounder & CEO @ Obscure Games

Ayman Horani