03 November 2011

Joy of Test

  There is currently a discussion on the STC site asking Can Software Testing be Fun? So I decided to share the things about Software Testing that I personally enjoy:

  Creativity - I get a lot of fun out of designing and thinking up tests to perform. Exploratory Testing is especially good for this since it involves a very rapid feedback from the test idea to the test result, meaning you can fire test ideas out very quickly.

  Casual Coding - I am not a programmer by any means, but I do get enjoyment out of coding, especially when you overcome a particularly tricky problem, but I couldn't sit in front of  a screen all day just spitting out code. Testing allows me to get enough coding done to enjoy, but not so much that it wears me out.

  Community - There are two parts to this. First, is the community of the people I work with. I have been very lucky to work with a lot of intelligent, articulate and understanding Developers, Project Mangers and, of course, Testers in my time.
  Secondly, there is the wider testing community. Membership of the STC has expanded my horizons in the blogs I read, the discussions I have and the people I meet. The community as a whole has shown me many ways in which I can learn more about the craft, as well as feel that I can participate to make it better as well.

  There are of course things I dislike about the job, but that is depressing and not the point of this post.

  So what things do you find enjoyable and fun about testing? Head over to the STC discussion and share. You never know, your enthusiasm may cause somebody to start their own testing career.

02 November 2011

Google Vanity

  I quite often find myself opening a browser window with no intention of actually looking at anything. During one of these moments, staring at the Google.co.uk page with no plans to actually do anything, I was struck with an idea. How many pages into the results will I find the first entry that refers to me?

  I started by searching for this blog, using the words Testing and Chef, without any quotes. 29 pages later and frankly wondering what the hell I was doing continuing with this charade, I found the first reference to this blog.

  Then I tried adding quotes around the words. This was better, with me having a result at the bottom of the first page.

  My final attempt to find the blog was to use testingchef as a single word. This returned the most results, including my twitter profile, but I had to make Google search for what I asked, it deciding that I must have meant to search on Testing and Chef again.

  Lastly, I thought I'd see where my first entry is when using my name. As you can guess, with a name like Andrew Morton there were a lot of results tedious books of royals and other 'celebrities'. I found my first mention on page 8, which happened to be my Software Testing Club profile.

  My plan (assuming I remember) is to repeat this next year and see if the results have dramatically changed.


  I'm so sad.


  I believe that one of the signs of a good tester, is somebody who makes the job of software tester indispensable to their company, but does not make themselves indispensable.
  Sharing information is key to a testers role. If you find yourself garnering information that is not being shared with others, you probably aren't being an effective tester. With a myriad of quick and easy ways to share information, from wikis and instant messengers, to e-mails and blogs, as well as good old talking to someone, you should have no excuse not to.
  Remember as well, if you make yourself indispensable you limit your own chances of moving forward and learning new things because the company cannot afford to have you do anything else. That is not my idea of career satisfaction, but YMMV.