7 type of Pakistani Software Testers we all have known
If you wish to question about types of QA Engineers or Software testers then the answers are provided here in details regarding the international context; you can read what James Bach has to say about it here, what ministry of testing has to say about it here in a funnier way, and what I have written here.
But these opinions are based on context derived from international software testing approaches. For Pakistan, the roles of a Software QA Engineers and Testers are a whole different ball game and being part of Pakistani context of technology and software testing the roles of the tester changes from company to company, and approach to approach.
Here are a few Quality Assurance Engineers which you can come across in Pakistan;
1. The Original
In all that tech talk and career talks around the industry and academia regarding the new technologies, development methods, and complex system behaviors, there are people who decide to be a Quality Assurance Engineer right from the start of their careers. This is a new trend which I observed during my last visit to NED Final Year Project Exhibition last year, where the students showed interest to the industry representatives that they wish to be QA engineers rather than developers.
2. The Makeshift
There is a myth in the software industry here in Pakistan, and that is “If you are not good at development, join the testing team.” I have personally come across a lot of individuals who pursued quality assurance because of poor development skills and are now considered good QA Engineers. These professionals are no less than their development counterparts, but they never intend to be developers, even in their education days. It is however a blessing that Quality Assurance jobs are coming in with frequent intervals in Pakistan, otherwise it would be hard to digest these professionals.
3. The Bug Counter
For some people, Software testing is a fun activity where you are assigned the job to discover “errors” and “anomalies” in a given product. The bug counters are those testers who on one hand love to find these bugs, but on the other they also love the count they keep up in a given time frame. They love those numbers and tend to tease their developers with these – but internationally this activity is now being discouraged, as counting the bugs is not something which brings value to the product. However, for Pakistan, we still love to do it.
4. The Bug Magnet
You can label them as cursed or blessed but what they do and what they are, even they cannot explain. You will know you are in a company of a “Bug Magnet” when the application you are using starts to pop out bugs like popcorns. No matter how sturdy your system looks, when the bug magnet uses it, the bugs will come out. Almost all of the testers, who lived long enough to earn the label, are the bug magnets.
5. The Escalator
A Tester, testing the system is one thing, and tester, testing the system and no one knows about it, is an entirely different thing. The Escalators make sure that the proper voice is raised all across the steak holder floor and people would know what is wrong with the system. Usually developers don’t like them very much, but the reason this lot survives in a development setup, is because management needs people who can create constant pressure on the developers and the clients. The escalators are exceptionally good descriptors, reporters and networkers. So when they are projecting something upward, most of the people respect their opinions.
6. The Hidden
Testing is not a trait which you can perform on a singular experience model. It requires sharing, discussions, and experimentation, practice and mutual executions. The category of application being tested has the same clientele, interfaces and user experience as something built somewhere else for the same domain. So usually you will see a lot of testers on on-line forums, twitter and even on Facebook, discussing about their findings, asking questions and sharing blogs. The one who does not, are called the hidden testers. There are a few who have perfection in their art, they are well aware of testing and its methodologies, but they don’t share their experiences. You will see those asking questions, but you will not see them answering any. Hidden testers are a common phenomenon in Pakistan.
7. The Wrecking Ball
I have to confess; the most satisfying moment for testers is when they see a system crashed and that error exception starts to flash on the screen. But not all testers knows exactly how to tap that wound, they want it from the core of their hearts, but there are only few gifted ones who can crash even the toughest systems around. We call them “the wrecking ball” testers. Developers love them because they can discover the show stoppers and loopholes before the client finds them, and can save a lot of time and energy, and business analysts always want to have them onboard because their presence creates a certain pressure on the development team.
Software Testing is not something which is taught properly at the academia like development. There are certain hours dedicated to software quality assurance, validation and verifications, but as a skill and how to use that skill when needed is not on the curriculum list currently. We don’t have a problem with this yet, but the growing international demand of quality products and customer experience issues is turning the scenario to a different direction. Hopefully, Pakistan tech industry will realize and shape up the resource centers of academia to provide the right resources at the right time.