Friday, April 27, 2018

Flunking tester candidates in masses

Recently, I've been receiving messaging in LinkedIn. It starts with someone I don't know wanting to link with me. Since LinkedIn is my professional network, I check profile for complete fakeness and approve if it could be a person. The next step is getting a message, usually just a Hi. Nothing more. Since it is my professional network, my default response is "How may I help you?". The response to this is "I need to find a job".

These people often don't know why they are contacting *me*, beyond the fact that they just did and I responded to their greeting. When I ask more about what I could do specifically, the conversation ends with "I don't know".

If you don't know what you want, how do you know I would know what you need?

One of our teams is currently seeking a senior tester. It has not been easy. I have not really been a part of the process, except filling in during absence of other great testers. I see applications fly by due to notifications but I have not as much as read one for a while.

What still happens is that the other great testers share their wonders. They share the realization that the tester we are looking for is hard to find because it is a tester and a programmer (for test automation), great communicator and able to grasp complicated systems in a very practical manner. But they also share the realization that there is a surprising number of people who think the way to test is to write test cases. That exploratory testing means monkey testing and no serious tester would do that. That testing happens in the end after programming is done. None of these beliefs are true, and least of all in a company that emphasizes agile practices.

So if you're one of those people who feel like approaching me for a job help on LinkedIn, I just wanted to mention a few things you absolutely need to do. Go read stuff on Ministry of Testing. Look for things that introduce ideas of how test cases are not the thing that makes testing awesome. Learn to build the technical tools, and the most important tool: your brain. Join slack and look at what people talk about who identify as testers. Here's the key: it's not test cases.

I've been insisting that I don't see people like this in my bubble. I don't, because they are stopped at the gates. Learn more stuff that remains relevant.