Tester - tired of your job?
If you are a regular visitor in high tech forums, chats and facebook groups, you must have read the amount of opinions saying QA Engineering is boring.
Sadly not all QA engineers are in this profession out of love for testing. Some see it as a transition point for becoming a programmer and feel like they have compromised, while others admit that they have become bored and frustrated of their daily work and routine.
But, is testing really boring?
Every time I'm asked that question I always say that it depends on how lazy you are. In my opinion - testing is a highly interesting profession that demands from us the ability to open our minds, use our imagination and always learn new things.
If you are a lazy person who does not like to challenge yourself, exploring, thinking creatively and acquiring new skills, if you don't have the passion for always learning new technologies, do not get your personal and professional satisfaction from searching and finding bugs and defects, then testing is not for you.
With that said, every job has its down sides and it is not always an exciting and thrilling job. When the learning curve is saturated, testing does have its monotonous aspects like executing the same test cases and writing repetitive reports.
So, how do we keep the motivation flame burning? Here are some things I do to stay motivated:
· Learn- people get bored when they are not challenged in their everyday routine. I am always passionate of learning new things. Most testers get about 2-3 hours a week as their free learning time. Use it to hit the internet in search of information. New automation tools, testing tips and methods, instructional videos and courses to improve your coding knowledge and technical skills.
· Attend regular meet-ups conferences and workshops – try to attend in as many meet-ups as you can. In addition to the valuable knowledge you will acquire, you will meet interesting people and hear about how they manage their time and tasks. Connecting with other testers, sharing information and knowledge and just chatting with someone from your field of work is always a positive experience.
· Guide and instruct your team members - there is an old saying: "If you cant explain it in a simple way that means you don't understand it yourself". Teaching others is a great way to develop your own skills and deepen your understanding.
· Automate your recurring tasks – incorporate automation into your work process. Automating recurring tests is a very positive way to take the load off the manual tester and it is a great way to grow professionally and acquire highly important skills. It is also a good way to break the routine. Suggest it to your management- it could be your initiative and work in your favor in the long term.
· Stay away from negative people - People observe behavior and atmosphere from their surroundings, so my advice is to surround yourself with positive people that are not frustrated and still passionate about their work.
· Set long term goals- What are your carrier goals? Where do you see yourself in 5 years? Set clear long term goals and make everyday count as you work your way to them.
· Write about your work – Testing is a very wide field of work and every company has its own specialization. Write about your experiences, the challenges you face at work, tools you work with, write "how-to" guides and instructional articles so other testers could learn from your experience. Sharing information can help others and the feedback you will receive could help you deal with you own challenges.
· Talk to colleges from different companies and organizations – Hear how they work, learn about different work methods that could inspire your team, tools that can make your work easier and more versatile. Updates from the industry can work magic to your own testing performance.
· Don't get stuck in a bad place – If you feel like you are fed up, unappreciated or if you feel that you are "marching on the spot" carrier wise, try finding another work place. I always say that no amount of money is worth going home frustrated.