< Back

Beyond the Stereotypes: The Sexiness of Testers


Patrick Van Ingelgem



Share this article

‘Test(ing)’ often seems to have a negative connotation, especially after COVID, a few years ago. Wonder why this is the case? I know it took me several years to figure this out! So let me try to explain this in this blog.

In the mind of many people, testing is often seen as follows:

  1. Testing is like a monkey that does the same operation over and over again, 24/7, without thinking, so testing is something so easy that anyone can do it

  2. Testing is only manual work that cannot be automated

  3. Testers are bad/failed developers

  4. Testing has nothing to do with developing

  5. Testers are not technical

  6. Testers do not create anything

  7. Testers only break things

  8. Testers only give negative feedback

  9. ‘Tester’ is not a sexy title

Mmmm ... not that positive, one would think. But if we look at things one by one, we might be able to refute them.

Let’s give that a try and have a look at the list.

Thoughts Unveiled: Dispelling the Myths of Software Testing

“Testing is like a monkey that does the same operation over and over again 24/7, without thinking, so testing is something very easy, anyone can do it.”

Counterargument #1: “Hiring software testing engineers is in most cases only done for complex applications. Would you trust that task to be executed by a monkey?”

Counterargument #2: “Test cases are made based on clearly written requirements, a good analysis and complete acceptance criteria. In most cases, one or more of these items are missing, and testers will have to look for this information themselves.”

Counterargument #3: "Good testers know the application through and through and need to keep every detail of the entire application in mind, developers, on the other hand, often only focus on their part.”

“Testing is manual work and cannot be automated.”

Counterargument #4: “There will always be things that have to be tested manually, but in the meantime, we know that all repetitive things should be automated as much as possible. This gives the manual testers and the business more time to test the special and edge cases.”

“Testers are bad/failed developers”

Counterargument #5: “I am not saying this is completely untrue, but let it be clear that people who don't get energy from developing, sometimes become very good testers. In some cases, they even become the better test automation engineers. Either because it suits them better, or because they learn more from test-specific matters.”

Counterargument #6: “We hire and employ testers with passion for their job, there are people who have consciously chosen to do a job as a tester, because they like doing it and get a lot of satisfaction from it.”

“Testing has nothing to do with developing”

Counterargument #7: “One can think that testing is completely different from developing (, … and for manual/functional testing that is mostly true, although most manual testers can read/understand dev code to help developers fix code), if test automation is taken into account (test frameworks in Java/.NET/Python/Javascript, test code, stubs, mock-ups, ...), developing is definitely in the picture.”

“Testers are not technical”

Counterargument #8: “... you have just read Counterargument 7 , so I think this is obvious?”

“Testers do not create anything.”

Counterargument #9: “Maybe testers do not often create a so called ‘end-product’, but they create quite some stuff. For instance, a blanket of security for the developers, and trust with business. Again, a reference to ‘Counterargument #7’”

“Testers only break things”

Counterargument #10: “Of course we try to put the 'AUT' (Application Under Test) under tension in all areas, but that is for the good cause, namely, to ensure that this does not happen to the end user in a production environment. Testers ensure that the end user has a carefree experience.”

“Testers only give negative feedback”

Counterargument #11: “As a tester, communication is key during the daily activities, they can't afford to just throw the problems over the wall to the dev team. Good and smooth communication ensures faster solutions and better software quality. By the way, I would distrust a silent tester!”

"‘Tester’ is not a sexy title”

Counterargument #12: “More and more, CEOs, IT managers, dev teams, businesses, and many others are seeing the benefit of the many types of testing that must be performed to create quality software. Even though testers do not often stand in the spotlights, they do more than contribute to the final product, and that's more than 'sexy' ... that's just awesome!”

Bottom line: The job as a tester, manual, automated or performance, is often underestimated. Stay tuned and follow b.ignited on social media.