What my unusual experience brings to software testing

Many years ago, I majored in Architecture and got a degree from the Illinois Institute of Technology here in Chicago. Oddly, I sort of fell into an architectural career. I liked to draw and I liked math. I went to a technical high school where drafting was required. What else would I go into?

Plus, I was running from Englewood, the neighborhood I grew up in. You may have heard of it. Derrick Rose came from Englewood too so the neighborhood has been in the news. I don’t know D. Rose, but I’m proud of him too. Anyway, Englewood was a bad neighborhood when I grew up many years ago, and it still is, though people are trying to change things. In fact, the last architectural project I worked on was the construction of 6 buildings for the new Kennedy King College at 63rd and Halsted. I am happy to have been a part of the large team that did that.

At first I loved architecture. I got paid to draw and problem-solve. Yay! And I got to work with brilliant people in a collaborative environment. As the years passed though, I realized architecture wasn’t for me. Fortunately, the web was in its infancy, and I came across some info on how to put up a webpage. It looked simple enough so I started building websites.  I offered my services in a side business and to my employers. I built intranets and small business websites.

Since I worked on teams in architecture, I knew I didn’t have to figure out how to do every aspect of building a website. Other people could do certain pieces better. I contracted or managed the work of other developers. I’d have to test their work as I integrated it with mine; after all, it was my name on the line. I also helped promote websites. The clients I worked with needed to use the internet for business purposes – to make more money.

Fast forward and now I’m a software tester. How does my previous experience help me now?

I understand the value of teamwork.
Working in architecture and managing the work of other website designers taught me, everyone achieves more in a team. I know a lot, but I don’t have to know everything. Currently I am lucky enough to once again work with brilliant people in a collaborative environment. I may never meet the product managers and developers whose systems I test. At the same time, we are part of a team with a common goal – to deliver great software.

I know the importance of software testing
When I delivered websites, my name was on the line, regardless of who built what. I knew first-hand the pain of a user finding a problem. Problems could mean loss – loss of clients, loss of money, loss of reputation. As a software tester, I help people avoid loss and giant headaches. I give feedback that helps stakeholders make decisions that make a difference.

I think my experience makes me a better tester than I would have been if I started out in IT. Do you have an unusual background that you bring to software testing? Let me know.


Be Sociable, Share!

4 thoughts on “What my unusual experience brings to software testing

  1. Looking forward to reading more

    Found your blog after approving your membership on the STC, our members have many and varied backgrounds, not sure if there are any architects

  2. Nice website; simple and elegant. Probably come with your architesture background. We can defintatlye add more testing links that will benefit all.