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Tester personality – Optimistic and Positive thinking

When I decided I would start blogging, I had to find a suitable name for it. Something personal, yet professional. It took a while, until I remembered my first chat with a respected tester I look up to. I was challenged on the most personal side I have; my happy and optimistic personality.

“You can never become a great tester if you are always optimistic!”

The sentence still rings in my ears, but I still think I am able to become just that some day, a great tester. Being a happy person has always been an advantage for me, especially at work I might say. I always meet people with a smile and happy attitude, and this usual reflects back on the way they treat me. This is why I really value getting a good start especially with the developers, whose code I will be testing.

Test results, especially those that are given as feedback to developers are rarely happy news. This is one reason I usually try to find positive things for feedback as well, but they should never hinder my bug advocacy.

As a side-note, I actually also used the /concept/ of /happy testing/ in my first big software project in university. This project class was all about experiencing the waterfall process model from a real perspective. I was test manager of a team of 4 testers in a project setting with 18 people. The most funny thing was that when all the specified tests had run, we did some exploratory testing, where we found a last bug. But since this kind of testing had not been specified in any predefined plan, we had to introduce the concept happy testing. =)

So, as long as I deliver my value as a tester professionally, I think it is really valuable having a positive attitude to my surroundings. It will make the surroundings more recipient to the information I have to give, may it be positive or negative.

Happy testing!

Update: Having a discussion about the post with James Bach, I need to clarify this. I think I am able to control the scope of my optimism, which means that the context of testing a product is not subject to the optimism. As James stated, optimism and critical thinking will take each other out because of their nature.

My reflection on this is that as long as I somewhat can control scope of optimism, the critical thinking I perform on the product is sufficient for good testing. I might mis out on some aspects, but I think that they are small enough to be marginalized as other things that I would miss for other reasons.

  1. May 16, 2011 at 11:56

    A positive attitude toward life and work is great.

    And if you achieve “I think I am able to control the scope of my optimism, which means that the context of testing a product is not subject to the optimism.”, then you have struck a happy balance between your outlook on life and your outlook on the system-under-test.

    Here’s a humorous look at how I view the Dev/Test attitudes toward Optimism and Pessimism:

  2. May 16, 2011 at 15:20

    Great post. A little bit of both never hurt anyone.

    Here is something I wrote on the topic during one of our launch periods:


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