There are many challenges that tester faces every day. Someone could even say that being tester is lifetime adventure!
The questions that true tester ask himself are: When to stop? When is the application ready to be shipped out? Have I tested everything? There is a simple but a bit frustrating answer to these questions… Tester’s work is never finished. There are millions (and even more) combinations which a person cannot try as it is not in human force to test everything.
The other challenge that tester faces daily is sometimes even more depressing. We all know that warm feeling when a new defect is discovered and when we feel like we finally found the Holy Grail. What a despair when this issue gets to a developer and is returned after few minutes with comment: ‘It works on my machine’ or ‘It is not a defect; it is a feature.’ Good communication with developers is key to successful and efficient testing. We all know that one person who takes the job very seriously and very personally and every defect raised is considered as if tester murdered his whole family and it requires vendetta! At this point tester must be very careful and very diplomatic because his life is in real danger. I would even recommend to think ahead and take out accident insurance.
During my career I often meet people with an opinion that everyone could do tester’s job as it is very easy. It is always amusing to have a chat with this person. In fact, tester position is often combination of multiple other positions within company. Good tester should see bigger picture and understand business requirements he is supposed to test. Decisions what and how to test and especially how to design a proper test case is often very close to the position of business analyst. During the development tester’s job is to provide support to developers so any knowledge of developer’s job and technologies the developers are using is big advantage. At the end, it is usually tester who is asked what is the quality of the product and where are the remaining issues. And we are back at the beginning where tester must admit to himself that he will never be able to fully test the application. However, he should be able to self-control his passion for perfection and exhaustive testing and decide that now the time has come when he can sign this off from quality point of view with clear conscious.
From all the above you could say that tester job is very sad and depressing. You’re right! On the other hand, this job is not for weak and each tester must be a hero. But we all have our moments so if you see your tester with his head in hands looking sad, be kind to him. In case you’re scared of him, the safest option is to keep your distance and throw a chocolate or some sweets towards his direction. I can guarantee you this will make him happy again 🙂