On the back of our company T-shirts are the words “Software Testing Can Be Fun.”
We always thought it was not just a cool slogan, but it is also something we believe in.
A few days ago, someone asked me – after seeing it – if we really believe that software testing can actually be enjoyable.
The person wasn’t being mean. He was just a random passerby who thought our “slogan” was a bit paradoxical.
And perhaps he had a point.
After all, the stereotypical image of software testers isn’t one of fun or excitement. It’s just the opposite. We’re right up there with dentists, accountants, and safety inspectors. In fact, we serve many of the same cleaning and auditing functions.
This stereotype exists even within the software world itself:
- Developing is where the action is.
- Testing is where fun goes to die.
In other words, the life of a software tester is dull and lonely.
But not for us.
As a matter fact, software testing can be incredibly enjoyable. Fun even.
It ultimately depends on:
- How you approach each project.
- What attitude you bring with you.
- How you perceive your contributions.
Still not convinced?
Let’s look at some none-testing examples to illustrate this point.
One Man’s Boredom Is Another Man’s Challenge
Some people love crossword puzzles. These tiny printed word games represent the very essence of a perfect Sunday morning. By contrast, others view crossword puzzles as a complete waste of time.
The same goes for Rubik’s cubes, brainteasers, and even mountain climbing – i.e. hobbies that people either love or hate.
But here’s the thing.
If you like a good challenge, any of the above activities can provide hours of personal enjoyment. And if you’re really good at these activities, you’re doubly rewarded once you finally find the solution (or reach the mountaintop).
The journey isn’t necessarily fast-paced. Nor is it action-packed. But the sense of accomplishment you experience is incredibly rewarding.
Software testing shares these same characteristics. But it also offers additional rewards that the above hobbies can’t.
Let’s take a look.
Software Testing Holds Intrinsic Value – for Us and for Others
Quality assurance may not be sexy. But what we do can help save lives or push the frontiers of human experience. Think of all the medical devices, spaceships, or self-driving cars that had to pass through our hands before going out into the world.
Granted, not every project is life or death.
But even when debugging games or silly apps, what we do still has intrinsic value. We’re helping to build a better product. Those contributions will forever remain invisible to the user. But we don’t do it for the glory. The customer’s happiness is reward enough.
And let’s not overlook the private (albeit childish) delight we receive after finding a glitch the developer team overlooked. This “friendly” competition makes our job even more enjoyable than it already is.
The journey becomes even better if you have the right team by your side (see our earlier articles on how to build such a team – here and here).
Just to be clear, software testing isn’t always fun. There are boring moments. And of course there are stressful times.
But every day presents new challenges. And the variety, camaraderie, and creativity that come with those challenges never get old.
Agree? Disagree? Share your thoughts down below.