What makes you stay as a tester? Martin Jansson

I believe that as a tester you do not value the same things as someone with a different role in the organisation. Each individual most certainly value different things, but I think there are some specific traits of the organisation that triggers a tester to stay or seek new employments.

As a test consultant you value different things. You move into different organisations knowing that you probably won’t stay long, still there are some areas that can be similar to what you value as a more permanent tester.

These are some of the things I value:

Test Approach: I value Exploratory test approach highly. If I enter an organisation with Script-based test approach I try to get it to move toward Exploratory.

Lovable product[s]: If I am to be an assest to the organisation I need to love the product or product family. At least have an interest in making the product something you take pride in.

Other testers: I think you work best as a team in testing. Therefore you co-workers become especially important. Do they have the same keen interest of testing as you? Do they also share the same passion?

Developers: I value the developers a lot. If you are working with good, open-minded, passionate developers it makes everything so much more fun.

Freedom: I value to have the freedom to do and say what I feel is right, even if it might hurt a bit for the organisation.

Trust: If I feel that my superiors and my co-workers trust in what I do and what I say, I will feel more confident and feel that my work brings value.

CEO: If the captain of the ship steers the vessel where I want to go, it makes a big difference for me as a tester. If the CEO think testers are important and that they add value, it is a key part for staying around.

Why did you seek an employment where you are today? When things are getting tough and it becomes hard to understand why you stay, what is keeping you?

What makes you stay?

Marlena Compton June 7th, 2010

I just switched jobs to Atlassian and thought a lot about all of the factors you mentioned. I was able to make a favorable judgment call on everything except for “other testers” and “developers.” In my case, I had to trust that because the other factors were all A+, those two would be ok as well. I haven’t been disappointed.

The one factor you didn’t mention that was important to me, was that I find a place where I felt I could make a contribution to the testing of the organization. It’s important to me that I have something to offer in return.

Martin Jansson June 7th, 2010

Marlena, it is always interesting to dive into a new company. Especially if you know there are lots of areas that you see yourself as a novice in. It is important that you are clear on what you bring to the new organisation. After a while you will often notice that there are other things that you have brought with you that was not on the table from the start. What organisations need is not always what organisations want.

Rikard Edgren June 7th, 2010

I agree with this.
One important addition could be that “something is happening”, that you feel that your testing and products are progressing in directions you like.
That you change methods and try new things, that you are creative in the details and the whole.
And maybe most importantly; that you learn things.