Monday, September 18, 2017

I've fallen and I can't get up

A common theme around testing is answering the question "How did you fall into testing". Honestly? I cringe a bit every time I hear this question. It might be that English is not my native language, but when I hear "fallen" I get the impression of someone lying hopeless on their back, waiting for someone to come to the rescue.
Well, at a certain point, every tester chooses to become one - It might be after working as a tester for some time, or after a really crappy day at a different type of work, or, as is my case - after being exposed to testing as part of my CS degree. Sure, most people don't grow up dreaming of being a software tester,  but neither they want to become a project manager, or a financial analyst - those jobs are not visible to children as is driving a truck, being an astronaut or creating a piece of software. At some point, an opportunity presents itself, and a tester chooses it. People rarely wake up and say "whad'ya know? I've been testing for a decade, I must be a tester".

The Application Security PodCast is dealing with the same problem - most security expert have quite a versatile background and have chosen security as a career in a later phase. Whenever they interview someone, they don't ask "how did you fall into security?", they ask "What is your superhero origin story?"

Isn't that a bit more fun to hear?


  1. From my experience, a lot of testers didn't make a conscious decision to become a tester; rather, there comes a point where they choose to identify as a tester. I certainly didn't choose it; instead, I created a data collection tool (as a paper form, which was later translated by other hands into a spreadsheet file) and I was tasked with testing this new IT tool "because I knew what it was supposed to do". It was only after a number of years doing this when a friend referred to me as "a professional tester" that I began to self-identify.

    1. Well, it seems to me that you describe here the exact moment of choosing to be a tester.
      Would you say that you were led by circumstances, devoid of any sort of agency while "falling" into what (I believe) you now consider to be your profession?