Technology is everywhere nowadays, you find it in your home, you find it in the streets, you even find it where you work at.
Perhaps you work in a technology company, as an account, project manager, designer, marketeer, as someone who doesn’t actively develop any sort of code or doesn’t have any connection whatsoever to the cycle of the development of an application or website, but somehow you still come across a few products of your company and you get to try them out.
While making your brief review of the product, if you do at least one of the following behaviors, you may be more of a tester than you know.
1. “Why can’t I do it again?”
Let’s say you get your hands on a mobile application that your company has been developing and maintaining for years. You have the basic idea of what it is supposed to do but you never actually had the chance to fully use it out, having just used it on very few moments for brief periods of time, but now you got your shot, and you’re fiddling with the application.
You start navigating on the application, you rotate the device just to check if it supports landscape orientation and while you do so, you also click on a button of a form and the applications crashes. You stop for a second, you try to understand what happened, try to revisit your steps and you have a go at it again.
You do it once, twice, three times and you can’t crash the application again. You start to question yourself “Why can’t I do it again? Weren’t these the steps I just did?”. If you do this, you may be more of a tester than you know.
2. A vision from the future
Accounts, project managers and even designers work quite closely to developers in certain environments, this means that they are exposed to a lot of information about the project, which can range from functional to technical or even co-worker feedback on the project.
So, you fit into one of these categories, you know a lot about the project, how it should work but you never even tested it. You haven’t even logged in on it, but you have all this information on your head and perhaps you’re taking a walk, doing your weekly shopping, your laundry, and while your doing that activity on auto-pilot you start to process all the information that you know, you start to add one thing to another and you find a scenario that could lead to virtual disaster, a possible crash and feel the need to alert everyone. If you do this, you may be more of a tester than you know.
3. When you find a new way to test an application
Some times, due to the size or dimension of your company, or even the project itself, there is no dedicated tester, there isn’t a quality assurance department. This means that testing is a responsibility of everyone involved, whether technical or not.
Perhaps you are the person responsible for the marketing activities for the project, and occasionally, you run a few tests on the application, and as each day passes you get more and more used to the application, you can almost guess the outcome of a specific test scenario on your head just from having tested the application so many times.
One day, you start to think about all the test scenarios that you’ve been running and while you’re at it, you figure out that you can expand a specific scenario that you’ve been running on every release. This makes you anxious, wanting to know if this new expansion, or this new scenario, can lead to a critical bug, or you just want to know where the rabbit hole leads to. If you do this, you may be more of a tester than you know.
4. “We should delay the release.”
Developers are often the best testers, not because they’re tech-savvy, but because there is one particular attribute that developers and testers both share, which is the thrill of the challenge. As a developer, you are constantly challenged to build projects from scratch, and as a tester you’re constantly challenged to break them down, to find a needle on the haystack.
Let’s say you are the developer of a website, and you also run a few tests, not only because you like to guarantee that everything you deliver is perfect, but also because you care about the project and you like to help out by running a few tests. You know exactly how the website should work and how it actually works, and because of this when a release is close and you find a bug that you cannot reproduce, you start to slightly panic, you go to the project manager and say: “Hey, I’ve found this bug but I can’t reproduce it. Perhaps we should delay the release.” If you do this, you may be more of a tester than you know.
5. No outcome is good enough
At this point, it doesn’t matter which role you have on the project, or how you actually come to test it out. It doesn’t matter if its a desktop application, a website or even a wearable application, it just doesn’t matter, all that matters is that when you are testing the application you always find an issue with something, whether it is an usability issue, a performance issue or a security issue. You are always unsatisfied with something about the solution that you’re testing.
This means that no outcome is good enough, you’re always thinking 3, 5, 10 steps ahead and you can justify why you aren’t satisfied with something, and more often than not, you’re given reason. If you do this, you are definitely more of a tester than you know.
Everyone is tester, whether you’re someone who downloads a few apps or games from the App Store or Google Play just to try them out, or you’re someone that likes to keep in touch with the current web development practices and are always on the hunt for new solutions.
The real question is, how much of a tester are you really? Why don’t you just test it out?