uTest is proud and excited to report that Governor of New York Andrew Cuomo’s Regional Economic Development Council has awarded $1.8 million to Per Scholas and its Urban Development Center (UDC) partner Doran Jones. The grant will help fund a software testing center currently being built in New York, bringing 150 software testing jobs to The Bronx.
uTest recently conducted a survey within its own community for the first time, surveying uTesters on what motivates them, their testing aspirations, their views on certifications as a whole, and some of the biggest pain points in their organizations.
The survey was not scientific and wasn’t designed to be (our corporate brand lovingly took that on earlier this year surveying the greater testing industry), but rather aimed to provide the outside world a glimpse into what makes our community tick and give uTesters insight into what drives their peers.
The survey was launched on the uTest Blog on November 7, and submissions ran for just over two weeks. There were 125 total respondents — 80 male, and 44 female — ranging from entry-level QA/testers to senior-level test analysts.
The major qualification here was that respondents not only had to be a uTester, but make their primary source of income as a software tester. Here’s the story the submissions told us.
Rob Lambert (aka The Social Tester) is a veteran Engineering Manager building a forward-thinking, creative and awesome team at NewVoiceMedia. His mission is to inspire testers to achieve great things in their careers and to take control of their own learning and self development.
Rob is the author of Remaining Relevant, a book about remaining relevant and employable in today’s testing world. Rob is a serial blogger about all things product testing on his own site, and is also active on Twitter @rob_lambert.
In this uTest interview, Rob discusses what makes a passionate tester, what holds testers back from getting the jobs they want, and the power of social media in the testing world. At the conclusion of the interview, you’ll also receive a link to an exclusive discount for the purchase of his book ‘Remaining Relevant.’
uTest: You recently posted that one of the eight lessons you learned from building and growing a test team was finding ‘people with a passion for testing.’ What is a ‘passionate’ tester to you?
Rob Lambert: I believe passion shows itself in a number of different behaviors. The first behavior to observe is that of a deep curiosity for the work being done and the surrounding environment people are working in. I look for people who wonder what the other testers do. They ask, “How could I do this better?” and “What problem does the software solve?” and “What does this company I work for do?”
“The only type of testing that I can do is manual testing.”
“Test automation is very important, but I am too busy now to learn something new.”
“Test automation is useful, but I will learn it when I will need it.”
“I am interested in test automation, but I don’t know any programming and it will take a long time to learn it.”
“I want to learn test automation, but my employer does not have any training programs.”
Have you ever heard any of these stories? I have, and not only once, but many times, about test automation, load testing, and web service testing.
Most of the testers I know say in one way or another that they would like to learn more about their profession but, “not now, maybe later, when the conditions will be better, when they will need the new skills in their job, when their employer will pay for their training, when someone will train them for free, when they will be less busy, etc.” The list goes on.
In Episode 13, UK-based software testers Amy Phillips and Neil Studd talk Weekend Testing Europe. Weekend Testing Europe is the European chapter of Weekend Testing and was just relaunched in 2014 by Amy and Neil.
Weekend Testing is a program that aims to facilitate peer-to-peer learning through monthly Skype testing sessions. If you’ll also recall, uTest contributor Michael Larsen is a founding member of the Americas chapter of the program.
How many times has a tester or developer uttered these words to only have them come back and haunt them? Or worse, lose credibility? As a tester, it seems like a no-brainer to use CYA language in your everyday work. Heck, one just has to look to prolific software tester James Bach’s recent talk at CAST to figure that out (“I’m reluctant to say ‘pass.’ I’d rather say, I don’t see a problem as far as I can tell”).
But is “safety language,” such as ‘it seems to be’ versus ‘it is,’ something that should be a part of every tester’s skillset? Gold-rated tester on paid projects and uTest Forums Moderator Milos Dedijer seems to think so. It was a discussion topic that recently cropped up in the uTest Forums:
Some time ago, I had an argument with my team lead about my use of safety language. I tend to use it in any argument, and I believe that it’s a good practice. I don’t use it in my factual reports, but I do use it frequently in my descriptive reports. For example, if I say that a set of steps has been executed I don’t use safety language to report results, but if I say that a certain feature has been tested I use safety language almost all of the time. Using safety language to preserve uncertainty appears to be one of the skills a tester must have.
uTest has never conducted a study of its community members who have testing as their full-time careers…that is, until now. By launching our State of the uTesters software testing careers survey, we hope to give our testers a better picture of their peers’ testing careers — what motivates them, their testing aspirations and some of the biggest pain points in their organizations.
But the data will only be as good as the participation, so send in your responses today if you’re interested in what your testing peers have to say. We will also be selecting a couple of random participants for a uTest t-shirt from all entries. The survey should take just 10-15 minutes and will be open for submissions until Monday, November 24. We will be publishing the results of this study here on the uTest Blog in December.
uTest is proud to introduce the beta version of A.C.E. (Assisted Continuing Education), a new software testing career mentoring initiative beginning November 1. The program will be available to all members of the uTest Community.
The mentoring program is designed to help software testers build a solid foundation of testing education. By honing these essential skills, participants will be well-equipped to grow their testing careers and strive for professional success on many levels. This will be achieved through participation in various course modules, each geared to the software testing professional at various stages of his or her career.
At the November 1 beta launch of the program, A.C.E. will offer the first two modules of the program, How to find valuable bugs and How to write great bug reports. Testers will have the option of signing up for one (or both) of the course modules.
Recently at STARWEST, I caught up with professional software testing team lead Richard DeBarba.
Rich gave some great insight into what qualities he looks for in a team member and how attending STARWEST helps him focus on the most optimal training materials and direction for his team. By attending conferences like STARWEST, Rich is able to keep up with recent trends in software testing and learn about progressive new tools or practices.
So what types of testers do team managers like Rich look for? Check out the video below to see what he had to say!
In Part II of our latest Testing the Limits interview with Michael Larsen, Michael talks why test team leads should take a “hands-off” approach, and why testers should be taken out of their comfort zones.
uTest: In a recent post from your blog, you talked about the concept of how silence can be powerful, especially when leading teams. Do you think this there isn’t enough of this on testing teams?
Michael Larsen: I think that we often strive to be efficient in our work, and in our efforts. That often causes us to encourage other testers to do things “our way.” As a senior software tester, I can often convince people to do what I suggest, but that presupposes that I actually know the best way to do something. In truth, I may not.
Also, by handing other testers the procedures they need to do, I may unintentionally be encouraging them to disengage, which is the last thing I want them to do. As a Boy Scout leader, I frequently have to go through this process week after week. I finally realized that I was providing too much information, and what I should be doing is stepping back and letting them try to figure out what they should do.