How Smart Industry Needs Smart Testers

Do you know that 77% of American adults now own a smartphone of some kind and by the year 2019 almost a third of the world’s population will poses such electronic item.

If the predictions are correct then it means that there will be almost 3 billion smartphone active users.

That’s a huge number if you ask me.

What’s even funnier is the fact that the whole smartphone movement started for real not even a decade ago when the first iPhone was introduced.

Imagine that — in 10 years we went from nothing to almost an „epidemic” of smartphone consumers. And it will only get worse.

Of course smartphones were only the first step of what we now call „a smart industry”.

Every device nowadays needs to be clever in one way or another. No matter if we are talking about watches (which are now not only showing time but also giving you ability to, let’s say, browse your photo gallery on its screen) or smartbands (tracking your heartbeat, pulse and burnt calories) — user today needs to know that his electronics will do more for him than he possibly could even imagine.

As a result of that IT had to drastically change when it came to system development life cycle and what the final product offered.

What this all means for us as testers?

We are forced to become more effective and, oh the irony, smarter more than ever before, if we want to stay up to date in this crazy, non-stop changing industry.

The consumers in this day and age are hungry for neat, slick, great looking and working products and with each new technological trend our skills require an update with huge amount of knowledge.

Testers are no longer just a people that check if the product is flawless and has no bugs.

Oh no! Those days are over!

Tester now is also:

  • A programmer (how to automate the process?),
  • A manager (which tests will cover new build?),
  • A psychologist (will the user know how to use our product?),
  • An artist (will the GUI be user friendly?),
  • An electrician (how we will handle power consumption?),
  • A hardware architect (won’t this crash CPU or cause a memory leakage?),
  • An accountant (when we will prepare UML documentation?),
  • A DB specialist (will this query bring the correct response?)

and this is just a tip of an iceberg!

Some might think that now I’m exaggerating a little bit but am I?

Whenever I look at my job I see something more then just an IT position in which I’m assigned to small type of the job’s description.

If anything it’s the other way around.

Tester’s job in the XXI century is one of the most skilled positions on the market. The demand for test engineers with wide and complex knowledge is so high that we should stop the rumors about testers „just testing” and ask the IT industry for a little more respect for our profession.

Love it or hate it world is no longer the same. There is no place for just an ordinary, simple PC or notebook in the house.

The modern society lives in a cloud of multi connected devices in which one action triggers instant reaction. Forget even about still young and simple Internet Of Things where you could ask your fridge to cool down or demand the oven to monitor the food you were making.

In the year 2019 user is absolute master of his entire house and he can trigger any sort of action from any place in the world. He can easily see and manage e.g. how much electricity he is using (live data) and even fix that on the fly.

Add the fact that there exists a cloud data option enabling 24/7 access to any private information from any device people want and posses.

If this wasn’t enough then the virtual industry is making a huge step forward allowing users to have even deeper immersion with the technology.

It’s hard to predict right now how this will evolve (who will win the battle — augmented or virtual reality?) yet I might take a wild guess that to some degree this hi-tech item might become as popular as smartphones and in next, upcoming decade, again, nothing will ever be the same as before

I’m assuming some of you are well aware of the most, if not all, of what you’ve just read.

Believe me however that there are still many testers right now, in the middle of their carrier road, not asking often enough one question „what should I overall do — take a blind guess, focus on just one field and become specialist of it or maybe be more flexible?”.

If you want a word of advice — be hungry for new and fresh. Build your strength on the fact you are able to handle any problem the company might have.

You are tester, overall, for the love of God!

This means stepping out of your safe zone and discovering new and fascinating technology each and every day.

There are two main factors that define and best describe the current generation of software and hardware — short pace of market life and constant changeability.

Releases succeed a few times per year (instead of annually). Iteration gets shorter and shorter and as a result market is flooded with constant waves of new apps, operation systems and devices.

You can’t stop the future, my friend, but at least brace yourself.

Be active participant in the testing industry and try to ask the correct questions even if nobody is having the right answers at the moment.

This doesn’t require a lot of energy from you but rather patience and regularity. With that attitude you can handle any sort of problem you might stumble upon.

Flops however are inevitable (like for example Samsung Galaxy Note 7 explosive batteries or famous Red Ring of Death in Microsoft’s Xbox 360 console) and we need to keep that in mind.

It is nearly impossible to satisfy all of the demands and requirements of the final product yet it doesn’t mean we shouldn’t at least try.

Being smart, by definition, means that we are suppose to predict, to some degree, the problems that might occur. Especially if we take into consideration that not far from today waves to us such technology as skin chips or Elon Musk’s amazing programs like SpaceX or Tesla electric cars.

Oh boy, I can’t wait to see what those things might and will bring to my job and life.

I do believe that some will say that what I’ve covered so far is not a rocket science but if at least one person, after reading my article, will become more passionate with his tester’s job then I can bring home the bacon.

Overall, by the end of the day, remember one thing about your occupation — testing requires open minded, stubborn, inquisitive, pry people, who can handle problems with smart attitude.

So if you are a tester right now, it means you are one, heck of a peculiar person that is the most suitable to take responsibility to bring users the technological future they want and need.

A smart future.

Marcin Sikorski — IoT Freak. Tester. Writer. Public Speaker. Trainer. Owner of Also — big enthusiast of China.