Why be a software tester?

First of all, I want to thank everyone for their comments on here, as well as on Twitter and slack about my last blog post about why I don’t want to be an automation engineer. I’m pleased it caused conversation, and I’m even thinking of doing a talk about it during the 99 second panel section of Testbash Brighton.

When I was looking at a job, let alone a career, software testing wasn’t something that was ever mentioned to me. But now I know I wouldn’t want to be anything else. But why would anyone want to be a software tester?

Testers may understand the code of a developer, and some even learn to code so they can run their own automated scripts. So, why not be a developer then?

Testers may understand the business process, able to work out tests or clarify the creation of requirement documents. So, why not be a business analyst?

Testers may understand the infrastructure they test against, how everything is connected and ways to exploit it. So, why not be an architect or DBA?

Testers may have strong communication skills, able to explain their point of view, problems or share information with others. So, why not work in sales, marketing or management?

Some testers do eventually change their role to be one of them, or something else entirely. But it doesn’t answer why be one in the first place.

To me, one of the reasons I enjoy being a tester is they combine those skills above, and likely many more that don’t come to mind as I write this. They are more than the sum of their parts, providing a value that can be invisible to some.

If you have ever looked at a website, been given some fancy new device, or anything else with options available to it, if you have ever thought “What happens if…?”, then that spark of curiosity could be the start of you being a tester. Testers are curious. They want to know why things do what they do, what happens if they don’t do what they’re supposed to, and how they can make that happen.

So why be a software tester? Because curiosity may have killed the cat, but it can save a project.

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