Software testers don’t often get applauded for doing good work, for finding system loopholes, for making sure that the application is working as desired. She is expected to complete these things before the deadline and it doesn’t mean much to the corporate boss how many long hours of productive work she puts in if the product is not ready. In such cases she will be thoroughly asked why and will be placed in the limelight and will be stressed trying to answer properly how things came to happen that way. There won’t be any thank yous, there won’t be any pats on the back for trying to meet expectations. There won’t be any extra incentives for taking initiative or for doing overtime. She might even be blamed for failing. She may leave the workplace a little heartbroken from time to time as everyone around her continues to ignore the value of what she does.
But if she knows the worth of her work, she will steadily work her ass off and learn. As time passes, she will gain remarkable skills. Her ability to communicate with programmers and clients will get better over time, provided she studies her environment. Her knowledge of testing will grow if she continues to experiment, fails, and takes note of what works and what do not. She will become more experienced, more relaxed, more efficient, more eager to improve. She will know when to stay working for a project or when to move on to a more worthwhile team.
Eventually, she will find her rightful place in the industry. Eventually, she (and her work) will be appreciated by the people she works with. But only if she endures, perseveres and grows into someone irreplaceable.