Why I enjoy testing stuff

Those ardent readers of my blog (and I know there’s at least a few of you) already know that I make my living as a Software Tester (also called QA, short for Quality Assurance, by some in Development and Testing circles).  I must admit that I enjoy the hell out of my work, which puzzles some people, so I thought I’d write a little bit about exactly why.

  1. I love a challenge.  First and foremost, I love doing things that engage and exercise my brain cells, whether that’s testing a mobile application or website, playing chess , doing Sudoku or having a good debate with someone over a drink.
  2. My curiosity is unwavering.  I like to find out just exactly how things tick.  My favourite questions are open, probing ones such as:
    1. Why does this functionality not work (or not as expected)?
    2. How is this issue being induced?
    3. What is the root cause of this issue?
    4. Which ways can this issue be fixed or at least improved?
    5. How much useful debug information can I provide in my feedback to the developer(s)?
  3. Working with techy, geeky people is fun.  I’m a geek with a little bit of coding experience and a lot of enthusiam about all the cool stuff that can be done with code in various ways.  I really do get a kick out of seeing something new and innovating which makes me think things like “Wow, that’s a really neat idea” or “That’s great way of implementing that feature.”
  4. I like helping people.  I’m not just breaking code for the fun of it – well, not always.  Rather than saying “This isn’t working”, it’s much more satisfying to me to be able to say “This isn’t working because of [foo] and you can improve matters via [bar]”.  As mentioned above, giving useful debug information is a given for this aspect of my work.
  5. I believe in making things better.  To that end, the word “quality” shouldn’t be just a throwaway term.  Nothing is perfect, at least not the first time around – particularly when it comes to any software development project beyond a basic “Hello World” app.  I had a very senior developer say to me, “I’m not a robot; I’m not going to write a thousand perfect lines of code every single day.  Testing is a vital part of the development process as it makes sure that what ends up as a final product is as good as it possibly can be.”

These are the main reasons why I get a kick out of testing things; it’s not the end of the list by a long shot, but most of the other stuff I could write about would just end up as subsets of the above.  What aspects of your work do you like and why?


5 thoughts on “Why I enjoy testing stuff

  1. I can’t agree more, seems like we enjoy our shared profession for the same reasons 🙂

    Personally, what makes testing an attractive profession to me is:

    1. It never ends, you can always add a new layer of quality to everything
    2. It is never the same, you can always approach the same issue in a new manner
    3. It is challenge-full! Makes you find the detective in you, every bug can become a puzzle, a mystery, a discovery…

    Nice to meet you David!



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