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November 04, 2014
Testing: the good and the bad
By: Gabbie King
Now that my project is firmly into the testing phase, I wanted to take some time to reflect on my experience so far. I would say testing has a fairly bad reputation amongst analysts but the reality is most analysts will have to test at some point. So my advice is to not drag your heels and try to make the most of it. So the good and the bad…

The good:

  1. You learn a lot! Testing is the best way to learn an unfamiliar system; it gives you a great opportunity to learn by doing and I can honestly say within two weeks my confidence of the system increased substantially. Looking back, I wish I had joined the project at the test phase as I have learnt so much that I wish I had known at the beginning when tackling design.
  2. It’s challenging. I found testing challenged me in a very different way from anything I have done at Accenture so far. It involves a great deal of problem solving and logical thinking, and this gave me a great sense of achievement when I tackled some complex problems.
  3. It looks good when promotions come around. On the whole if you have been heavily involved in test, never mind how junior you are, you will have a lot to show for it at the end. Aside from completing test scripts, it is a good opportunity to become an expert in area of the system. This is something my manager has pushed over the last few months. If you become the go to person for an area (however small) you are in a great position when your performance is being assessed against other similar candidates.

The bad:

  1. Depending on the type of testing it can become quite repetitive. You may find yourself running a test multiple times, with only very small changes to the scenario.
  2. It can be frustrating – this is the aspect I’ve struggled with the most. The test scripts my team have been running are very complex and an absence of easier test scripts meant the new joiners and experience testers were given equally challenging scripts. This means a day may pass where I’ve only managed to complete 1 or 2 steps of my script. On the other hand, it’s a great feeling to pass one of these complex scripts.
  3. You are reliant on other people. This again may be quite project specific, but because our tests covered vast areas of the system, it meant constantly finding the right person to go to when you get stuck. Quite often I felt like I was taking up too much of people’s time with my silly questions. This is where I am very thankful to my team, for being so patient and always helping me out. On the plus side, I’ve definitely spoken to people I hadn’t come across in the six months previously!

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