The Happy Tester

Mike Donoghue is a member of a multinational information technology corporation where he collaborates on the communications guidelines and customer relationship strategies affecting the interactions with internal and external clients. He has analyzed, defined, designed and overseen processes for various engagements including product usability and customer satisfaction, best practice enterprise standardization, relationship/branding structures, and distribution effectiveness and direction. He has also established corporate library solutions to provide frameworks for sales, marketing, training, and support divisions.

Just what makes a tester happy? Truthfully, it is probably what makes a project team unhappy.

When you think about it, what is a tester’s role? To find mistakes. If there are no mistakes, then nothing gets reported, and then it looks like the tester isn’t doing their job and that the product is ready for production. Give a tester the right situation though and they will make a painstaking effort to take note of every little nuance they find so as to demonstrate their attention to detail. Oh, and the product gets released in pristine condition.

The tester role is not unlike that of a strict teacher or a fussy editor--you are looking for faults and get some degree of delight in marking them up with a red pen (virtual or not). Being from that character mold, however, has its drawbacks if you are too communicative about it--family, friends and associates may keep a degree of distance if they think you will start critiquing what they write or say, checking their grammar, etc.

Being a strong tester means being critical and assertive. Instinctually, this ability/curse is not easy to control and can lead to finding flaws in all sorts of everyday surroundings. How to communicate these errors and mistakes without being a first class jerk is also difficult.

If one has the right filters in place, it is possible to look at a technological component, software …

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