Friday, January 27, 2017

Getting My Start in Testing

I would like to imagine that the God of Testing visited me in my dream when I was younger and told me I was chosen at birth to save humanity from the impending doom of buggy software. I may even one day recall it like this but since the internet is only for truths, this is how it really happened. And sadly, every bit of this is true.

I became interested in computers once I saw the movie Hackers. Internet was still in its infancy. I didn't get my own computer until I was in middle school. I wonder what would have happened if I had gotten one when I was younger. I was lucky to be able to take a programming course in 9th grade. It was BASIC. I did some programming at home and coded up little games. Trivia and such. Then I learned C as I progressed. My first full game was a text based RPG on a TI-83+ calculator that I did on the bus to and from school.

Early on I decided I wanted to be a video game developer. I loved video games and computers and programming cam naturally to me. It made sense.

I went to school for a degree in computer science at Florida Tech. I got a work/study job with Dr. Cem Kaner in his lab: the Center for Software Testing Education and Research (CSTER). I did various research projects and took classes in software testing. I didn't know at the time that FL Tech was well known for studies in testing.

In the summer of 2006, I went to a job fair and looked for an internship in development. I spoke with a representative for Progressive, handed him my resume, then went home to pray... and study. Ok, I played video games.

I got a call back and the phone interview went well. I was invited to visit Cleveland for an interview in a QA role. Wait! QA? I don't want to be a tester. I want to be a developer. I want to program. I am sure they were mistaken. I figured I would correct them once I arrived.

When I showed up and walked into the dining area for a large gathering of future interns, I learned that there were 5 students interviewing for 3 tester positions and about 100 students interviewing for about 10 developer positions. I am sure my numbers are off, but I knew math well enough to know that I needed this job and my odds were better as a QA.

Well, I got the job. I had a great summer and learned a lot. I got to program anyway (QTP automation scripts) and was a part of a small subset of people that could do both testing and programming well.

And here I am.