1. I was not a programmer, who had to start a career in testing due to poor programming skills OR conflicts with a project leader/manager!
2. I was not a sub-standard student, who was too much afraid to step into programming. So the dream of a Software Engineer’s job lead him to start a career as a tester instead (which is WRONGLY considered as a job with less responsibility and a job that doesn’t require much skills/intelligence/competency).
3. I was not a Call Center/BPO employee, who, after spending a couple of years in BPO wanted a better and attractive job. And testing was the easiest (!) way to enter the alluring IT world.
4. I was not a fresher trainee, whose Manager could not find a better role to assign him and as a result the poor chap was thrown at the testing team.
[NOTE: You pick 100 Indian testers randomly and I am not sure if I would be surprised if 70%-80% out of them fall into either of the above 4 categories!]
I was none of the above categories and still I started a career as a Software Tester. It was not that I was left without a choice. I had other career options too; but still I chose software testing as my career because I had always wanted to be a tester. I have seen many strange faces, after they come to know that I had chosen to take up testing as a career in spite of my bright (!) academic career. I wish they could only realize the amount of satisfaction and pleasure that I find from testing!
I have always taken pride in calling myself as a Passionate Software Tester (Self-Certified). I don’t know, how far I do justice to the "tester" inside me, while making such claim! But recently, I have started to realize that testing has started affecting my personal life too! Which, I suppose, is NOT a good thing in other’s opinion. At times, I tend to perform actions, which might have been considered “great work” in a testing environment but it hurts people in my personal/day-to-day life! I will try to list out a couple of such incidents where I think my “personal being” was taken over by the “tester” inside me!
1. Recently, I had a chance to visit my family after a long time. One day, I was talking with my mom and she commented: “Since you have started a career in testing, you have become more complaining in nature. These days, you find more faults in my cooking too. You were NOT so complaining in your childhood days”. I was shocked at this discovery! I had never wanted to hurt her feelings by pointing out the possible shortcomings (like extra pinch of salt, excess use of oil etc) in her dishes. But the “stupid tester” inside me had done the damage already. However, I was glad that my mom could link this to my testing job and gave me a chance to ponder over it. Thanks mom! For pointing out yet another “possible” mistake in me!
2. It was Chennai, and I was standing in a queue outside a bank ATM. It was a typical hot and humid Chennai summer day. So the people standing outside in the long queue were getting impatient with the passing of every second. Thanks to the bank authority, who are least bothered to install another ATM machine, although it is located at a busy area and where it is hard to make a transaction, without having to stand in a really long queue.
Anyway, after a long 30-35 minutes wait and after 10-12 people, finally it was my turn to use the ATM. I entered the ATM booth with a million dollar winning smile on face. I was searching for the right card in my purse, when I came across an expired ATM card (of the same bank)! Suddenly, a wicked smile flashed over my face. The “tester” inside me was prepared with yet another mischief (it could have been a brilliant test idea and was worth a pat on the shoulder from the test manager, in my opinion). I inserted the expired card into the machine. And shockingly enough (!) it asked me for my PIN. I entered my old PIN (which I was using for the expired card) and bang! The ATM machine’s display screen flashed with a blue screen without any text/instruction! And it started beeping continuously (as it does if someone forgets his card inside the machine). I tried with “Cancel” button. It ejected the card but kept on beeping. After that, it never came back to normal state to accept a new card. All further attempts to insert a valid card were in vain. By this time the crowd waiting outside in the queue were getting restless and a couple of them started enquiring the matter. The tester inside me was jubilant at the success of breaking down the ATM machine. But the feeling of disgust seen in the fellow users (waiting behind me) of the ATM, made me aware of the seriousness of the matter. And before it was too late, I had to leave the ATM in a hurry!
There are more such stories where I behaved in a way that might have been considered as excellent work, had I have done them in my work place. But they were causes of embarrassments for others, as they never expected such actions from me!
But anyway, I enjoy being so and I think I will keep doing such things (“weird” in the eyes of others AND “good testing” work in my eyes) in future. What do you think? I am wondering if anyone of you also might have experienced such things. When the “tester” inside you had overpowered your "personal being”! When you could not resist yourself from doing things that are considered weird and un-natural! I would certainly like to hear your stories. Do share your experience(s) by leaving behind your comment.