Being in the QA field for 9 years now, I have seen that some people generally stay away from a testing job. They feel inferior and have a lot of negative thoughts running through their minds.
I would like to share my thoughts and experience and address some common myths that people have.
Myths about being a Software Tester:
#1) Testers get involved ONLY post development in the project life cycle
This is one of the biggest myths. If it is a reality, the project has huge problems.
- Involving QA at a later stage is a big risk to quality and the schedule of the deliverables.
- Testers need the equal amount of time as developers. This is to understand the requirements, analyze gaps, prepare their deliverables, plan and execute tests.
- If testers are involved at the later stage of the project then they rely on the developers understanding and follow it while testing the product. And it’s very unlikely to improve the quality of the deliverables in the end.
Instead, a test team must have their own mindset, understanding, analysis, time, and involvement from the beginning.
This will not only help QA team test better but also lets the entire project team implement better quality assurance. Many organizations realize this and include their QA teams from the project’s initiation.
Recommended => 3 Major Misconceptions that Testers Need to Dismiss
#2) Testers will not become Project Managers
Many think that if you are a tester, you do not have a career growth in the management side. But both are mutually exclusive. To be a manager you need to acquire skills like people management, cost management, time management, etc. As you can see this has nothing to do with Testing, Development or anything else technical.
The PM skills have to be developed separately and anyone in this world belonging to any technology or stream can do that. So, being a tester does not encourage or deter project management pursuit. It is an independent field and anyone with a keen interest can make it.
#3) Reporting to Dev lead is a ‘block’ to a tester’s career
Ideally, there should be separate verticals; both Dev lead and QA lead should report to a PM. But sometimes there might just be a Dev lead for both Dev and test teams and we have to report to someone who might not know testing in-depth. It is not the best situation but is definitely not the end of the world.
As long as you are doing your job right and being patient with the lead to help them catch up with testing practices, you should be good and will not have a long-term negative impact on your career.
#4) People with weak coding skills are assigned to testing
The most common myth about being a tester is that testers are not good coders. In fact, testing involves coding too, in most cases.
- Testers do write complex SQL queries to validate data or to create test data in case of ETL testing/data validation.
- Testers do convert the code written in one DB to another in the case of migration testing.
- For automating testing, it is required to write scripts in JAVA/Perl or other coding languages.
So, there is really no weight to this opinion.
Also read => Top 5 Things a Tester Must Have to Excel
#5) Testing is clicking at random places
It is a common perception that testing is just clicking on UI randomly and tracking details in excel or other documents.
The reality is that testers perform very well-defined test steps to assure that the UI/APP is working in exceptional cases as well. So, it is the vision that counts.
Since a user does not have boundaries on what they can and cannot do, the same goes for testers. This is why it is important to explore the UI, which might look like lots of random clicks. Only we testers know that there is a method to this madness.
#6) Testing is just documentation/filling excel sheets
Firstly, let me strongly say this, documentation is a job of everyone working on a project. A precise, complete and accurate document gives a foundation and historical evidence about the project.
However, for testers, documentation is more important because the deliverable we create is not a program or module, but it is assured quality which takes a solid shape through artefacts. MS Office suite is the go-to choice for most teams but to take it to the next level, use test management software.
#7) Testers have low pay scale
If this is happening to a tester then he/she is at the wrong place and might need to consider a change. Having said that, pay depends on a lot of factors and to say that being a tester is the ONLY reason why you will be paid less, it’s not true.
For more information and some quick comparison, check point #5 here => Who Earns More, Software Tester Or Developer? Let’s Find Out By Comparing Salary
#8) Testers do not get fame
Testing sometimes seems like a “thankless” job. Understand that it is nothing personal. It is sometimes a matter of the company’s culture on how they value their teams.
Try to stay positive and let your work speak for itself. Try not to expect medals and awards for doing your job. Agreed that things are easier if the team and the clients appreciate the QA teams, but if they don’t it does not mean we should undervalue ourselves.
I worked in both extremes and enjoyed thoroughly working with clients who knew what QA and its importance are.
Recommended => Is Software Tester’s Job Really a Low-profile Job?
#9) Testers delay project delivery
Irrespective of starting out in parallel with the Dev team, we still have to wait until the development is completely done to start testing. Following that there is bug reporting, correcting, retesting, etc. This gives a superficial impression that testing is dragging the project on and on.
This problem does not arise with teams that have pre-planned test cycles. So, testing does not delay projects but incorrect planning and unreasonable expectations do.
Be a tester if you believe in QA.
It’s an amazing job to do and you are going to enjoy and love it. Don’t forget that you are paid to improve the quality of the end product and for your excellent skills.
About the author: This is a guest article by Meenal B. She is working as a Team lead in a MNC and specialized in overall QA process for performing functional, data, performance and security testing.
Do you agree with my views? Have you faced any other myths about a career in software testing? Let us know in comments below.