Just followed a link from a mailing list I'm on, and found the most boring sounding job ever in a list of IT job descriptions for schoolchildren. I don't recognise what I do in that description. At all.
Quick challenge: have a look for a careers guide/IT job description for your job title/job role. If you can find one - do you recognise it? Does it sound anything like what you actually do? Post it up here and let's compare.
If your school careers adviser had thrust that job description at you, would you have thought: "Oh yeah! I wanna grow up to be a software tester!" Or would you have recoiled, and decided to go into just about anything else?
Full of quotes that got me really excited about being in the industry
"QA is almost definitely the easiest department to get into, as far as game development is concerned. Sometimes the only requirement is that you have a pulse."
"No real education is required for that level of QA and it shows in the quality of testing."
"Most companies are always looking for a tester and their requirements are minimal so really anyone off the street can take the position"
"I also personally enjoyed the narrow focus of the work QA finds and reports bugs. That's it."
"having to do the same thing over and over again, day after day, for very long periods of time"
"negatives are so easy to find", including "repetitive testing on games that you don't like", the fact that a game "will ship with bugs regardless of how many you file" and "the frustration of seeing any bug be discovered and ignored".
"When you're asked, ‘Where you want to be in five years?' the answer is rarely QA. People who do answer this question with QA are regarded as underachievers"
"Honestly, everyone that I've worked with has expressed a desire to move out of QA into another department, from art to programming."
I have yet to see any description on a "careers" type website that even approaches the day job. Actually, something that elides all the interesting stuff but actually gets the rest even vaguely right would be nice.
If you were writing a paragraph for school leavers or new graduates, what would you say about software testing that would give them enough information to decide whether it's a career that might fit them?
Thanks for the link Phil, interesting points there. And yes, we could do more ourselves.
What have I done recently? Hmm. Well, my manager still has my copy of Perfect Software (and occasionally wanders up to point out bits that he thinks I have forgotten, particularly about not getting too emotionally involved lately for some reason, I wonder why), so I can't loan that out to any non-testers yet.
I did suggest to the Prospects site that they should include an entry for software test, though the software engineer description seems a close match (and I do think test falls into software engineering) - pity about the comments at the end of the case study!