It certainly was not passion that got me started walking on a road to a software testing career. When I got my first job in 2010, I did not know anything about the industry, not one bit of it. At the time I was just like most college graduates, I didn’t know what kind of work I should pursue, only that I am comfortable working with computers all day, I like how people can create interesting games and programs using such machines, I enjoyed the internet. The only things I knew then were things a lot of people can do: going to forums, playing LAN and online games, chatting with people who are miles away, googling for answers. I got a job in software testing because I was desperate to find a way to earn my own keep, seriously trying to prove to myself that I can do things that’s worth something (monetarily) to somebody. There wasn’t any passion in play, only a little bit of curiosity about the job position and a willingness to try what’s on offer. I told myself that I could always give my resignation if I did not enjoy the work.
Days passed. There were training on computer hardware and software, targeted to quickly familiarize ourselves about what the company does. I saw how programs were being built, I learned how software requirements were written and documented, I understood how the gears of software development process turned for the first time, and, eventually, I was taught how to validate products according to what they were supposed to do. Things were fairly straightforward, I immediately knew that there were still a lot of things I needed to learn in order to do the gig well. I had to pair with programmers and business analysts to be able to send out the best custom software versions on time. I had to talk to clients because ultimately it is their opinions that matter, and because I had to relay their wishes properly to the developer team. I had to learn about databases and bug reporting and programming and listening intently to people’s problems. Essentially, I saw how a group of people, individually having their own agenda, together, is able to build something of worth to our customers out of incomplete written notes, decisions experiments, and research. Sometimes we’ve done it with flying colors, sometimes we’ve released it behind schedule, a lot of the times we’ve finished the work just barely on time.
Weeks and months and years passed, and the more I learned about the job my confidence in what I can do grew. Small successes on all those days when lined up together collectively made memories of triumphs: documents that helps a client troubleshoot or manage software by themselves, test results that help business people decide what to do next, investigation data that helps a programmer debug an ongoing major issue, systems that provide accurate testing feedback quickly, questions that help bridge clients, product managers, and software engineers together in building a worthwhile product. Now I realize that what I’ve been doing has turned up to be a fun gig, because of all the inexhaustible challenges and things to learn, from testing heuristics, to programming concepts, to automation, to software development and testing infrastructure and systems, to finding out explicit and implicit requirements, to psychology and task management. Now it seems to me that this is what passion feels like, how it is only formed after failing so much as an amateur and after learning from mistakes and tiny successes, after trying something we don’t know if it will work and we enjoy it one time so we decide to try it again and again and again even if we fail countless times because we desire to be the best at it. Passion sounds to me a consequence of those actions and decisions, not a blueprint that is revealed to us at the very beginning of a journey to success.