What is testing to you?

To a developer, tester, product manager, and even between testers themselves, testing and quality assurance can mean different things. I want to highlight what being a tester means to me, and hopefully initiate that conversation for you.

To start, testing is a passion. If you don’t have the passion for testing, you will never be able to understand its beauty and intricacies. You will tend to simplify it and dismiss it as another job, often lower in rank than the role you have. Even if you’re a tester, sometimes you don’t have a passion for it. That’s where things get dangerous.

Testing is an art. It forces you to look at things differently. You have to think outside the box and be creative. You have to try something new and discover new techniques.

Testing is a yin yang between chaos and discipline. The whole point is to dig within the depths of a system, discover a mess, and then extract a series of events that explain a problem or multiples thereof. It requires patience and determination to track down an issue. You have a hunger for things being perfect yet you’re comfortable meddling with something that’s exactly the opposite.

Testing is a skill. Anybody can be a tester, but there is such a thing as a skilled tester. You need to understand a system, then realize what to test and how to test, being efficient while not sacrificing quality, problem solving, writing code to help you and others, and much more. You have to be a jack of all trades.

In short, testing is a very difficult road in pursuing perfection while dealing with a lot of uncertainty, complexity, and chaos. It’s almost ironic, and I enjoy it. So should you.