Halloween is right around the corner!
It’s the perfect time to revel in ghastly, eerie, and terrible occurrences– STH presents you with stories from the dark side of testing that will send chills down the spines of even the most seasoned testers. Are you ready?
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What petrifies testers the most?
Choose your fear-
- Unpredictable software?
- Poor Testing Environments?
- Missed deadlines?
- Feeling undervalued?
- Delivering bad news?
- Keeping up with latest technologies?
- The on-site and off-site model?
- Accidentally switching something on/off or removing something?
- A low industry profile?
While these fears are indeed horrific, they’re everyday occurrences. There exist foolproof ways to manage and triumph over them.
If these still plague you and you’re in search for a solution, take a look at:
- Top 10 Challenges Testers Face at Workplace and How to Overcome Them
- Who Earns More, Software Tester Or Developer? Discover through a Salary Comparison
This piece, however, is about the most horrifying personal experiences encountered during a QA career, my QA career, so we can all delve into the dark side of IT QA and possibly learn from my follies.
Welcome to the spooky rollercoaster ride! Here are the highlights:
#1) Upholding a tradition
At an early stage of my career, I was tasked to fill in for an on-site coordinator who was on maternity leave. I was a rookie tester then and still picking up the ropes of testing. You might wonder, “Then, how did you become the on-site coordinator?” Well, I had excellent communication skills that landed me this client-facing role.
I knew I was out of my depth, but I was eager to visit the United States of America.
So, there I was, trying to learn the craft of testing while assuming the position of a Test lead. If it was Mathematics, I could have relied on formulas and achieved my goals. But, QA requires skills, clear thinking, decision-making, leadership, tool proficiency, and much more to succeed.
Each meeting I attended, my well-intentioned team members and cross-functional teams would not miss an opportunity to advise me about how my previous manager (whom I was standing in for) used to plan and execute tasks in alike situations.
She still remains one of the finest QA’s and Managers known to me. The prospect of replacing her and doing justice to her role was terrifying enough to make me consider fleeing.
This was my first and one of the most petrifying brush-ins with the dark side of the QA world.
2) Not Understanding Responsibility
In a UAT project, we were a team of 4 QA’s. Our role was to help users in acceptance testing and occasionally run some tests ourselves. It was a brief UAT session with just 2 days to complete everything.
My strength was always speed in documentation and writing. Thus, as a team, we decided to perform tests, and I would record all the defects into the defect management system (under my name for all 4 team members) at the day’s end to ensure uniform terminology and save time. I wasn’t well-versed with some of the modules that the other testers were handling, so I simply wrote what they instructed.
I didn’t pay heed to the fact that all reported defects were attributed to me. Following a low bug acceptance rate (roughly around 30%), everything pointed towards me.
The morning after all the testing was done, I arrived at work as usual. My manager scheduled a meeting with me for the day’s start, and I was questioned about why I had reported numerous invalid bugs since the issue had already reached the client and they were seeking an explanation.
That was a rude awakening for me, mainly due to my oversight!
3) Client-Supplier Politics
This is not exactly a QA-specific situation but it’s indeed a story inciting discomfort and disgust.
As a consultant, my employer had me at a client’s location catering to an important but demanding and difficult client.
Feeling suffocated in the client’s workplace, I expressed my wish to be reassigned. However, my employer did not concur with my proposal, highlighting my crucial role in fostering a good relationship with the client. Despite my best efforts to endure, I was unhappy, so I found another job and handed in my resignation. There was a 2-month notice period to serve during which my employer did not want me to let the client manager know about my departure.
As time passed, the client manager started delegating me more responsibilities, and I knew he would be disappointed when I left. Despite discussing my concerns multiple times with my employer, they did not want me to announce anything to the client manager until they secured a suitable replacement or some other safe alternative.
It was only a week before my departure when my client manager discovered the truth. He never confronted me about it, but I could sense his disappointment.
Caught up in these politics is like being trapped in a dark room with a psychopath. It doesn’t present any sensible way out.
Scary and horrifying!
Horror tales are often grim. They seldom have joyful endings. But, our stories can be different.
When my manager resumed post her maternity leave, she carved out an on-site role for me, and we worked together on many occasions. That phase still goes down as one of the best learning experiences and uplifting moments of my career.
The bug reporting situation taught me the significance of responsibility when your name is associated with a task/issue/to-do item. If your name is on it, you have to take responsibility and be ready to answer for it. The misunderstanding was resolved after I presented my explanation, but it was an awakening.
The resignation incident reaffirmed my decision to part ways with both my employer and the client. The truly spine-chilling part is wondering what might have happened had I stayed there? Thank god, I did get away from the psychopath in the end.
After all, everything is just fine– be it a Trick or a Treat!
About the author: This post is authored by STH team member Swati S.
Happy Halloween, folks!
What are some of your horror stories that never fail to give you goosebumps?