April 23, 2013

i think i have a "career", like a grown-up...

13 years ago i stumbled into a job that turned into a career called "QA".  i learned how to test software, websites, servers, all thing computers.  i learn QA methodology, ways of testing, how to catch bugs before people in the real world go to use the product.

(Moth found trapped between points at Relay # 70, Panel F, of the Mark II Aiken Relay Calculator while it was being tested at Harvard University, 9 September 1947. The operators affixed the moth to the computer log, with the entry: "First actual case of bug being found". (The term "debugging" already existed; thus, finding an actual bug was an amusing occurrence.)

i've worked with some amazing people.  a few jerks.  but mostly awesome folks.  i've tested car insurance ratings software, a mortgage company website, back end severs & databases, electronic medical record software, a multi-million dollar project to keep auditors honest (the sarbanes–oxley act), a website to allow people to run background checks on anyone they want, websites to allow pharmaceutical companies to communicate in secure forums, a mobile app for ambulance drivers in france, and lately, software used to build demos for home improvement retail items.

i've been called a QA tester, QA analyst, QA engineer, senior QA, & project lead QA.  but starting in may, i will be an "exploratory tester".  there's no QA in my title!

what does "exploratory testing" mean?

"Exploratory testing is an approach to testing that emphasizes the freedom and responsibility of each tester to continually optimize the value of his work by treating learning, test design, and test execution as mutually supportive activities that run in parallel throughout the project." As long as the tester is thinking and learning while testing and the next tests are influenced by the learning, the tester is performing exploratory testing."

in my own words:  exploratory testing is a way to use intuition, creativity, real human thinking, real human eyes and hands, to find the bugs someone might never have thought about.  to explore and learn  and constantly vary the approach.

it's weird, creative work.  i read an example of a tester who put their shoe on the keyboard of their computer to simulate someone with keys stuck!

i've checked monster.com, linkedin and google, and i can't find anyone with the title "exploratory tester".  could i be the only one on the planet with that title???

i gave my 2 weeks notice to my boss yesterday.  today i told my team of developers.  i love these guys, and dreaded telling them.

so here's how i told my team i was resigning: we had a 9am stand up meeting.  my boss & i agreed i'd tell everyone then.  but when they got to me, i burst into tears.  so i just pointed to my boss and mouthed the words, "you tell them!"  so he did.  he explained it all perfectly.  we all laughed and everyone is super happy for me.

 and now they're back to throwing things at my head and making fun of my macbook.  i am seriously going to miss these freaks.

i'm also going to have to study for the new job.  i have 4 text books waiting to be cracked open.  i have to really hit the ground running when the new gig starts.  i'm going to be working with passionate, dynamic people, some of the best in their fields.  and my new boss, he wants me to do great things.

this new boss... he's incredible.  i've spent around 3 hours talking to him, over 2 interviews and some emails, and he's changed how i think about my work drastically.  he has me excited about my job!

so... here we go!!!

1 comment:

Groundcat said...

I am sincerely excited for you. I don't know many people who love their 'jobs' like you do. Wishing you years of happiness here!


your slightly-biased husband.