What’s you favorite curse word?

Are you familiar with”Inside the Actors Studio“?  In his program James Lipton always asks his guest Bernard Pivot’s 10 Questions to help the audience get a more personal perspective of the Actor.

Out of these questions (one of which is the title of this blog post), the following two questions are the ones that always resonate with me the most, especially in times where I may have professional doubt about what I want to be “when I grow up”.

  1. What profession other than your own would you like to attempt?
  2. What profession would you not like to do?
In my opinion the answers to these two question reflect core tenancies or aversions one has to certain professional fields stemming from their personality. So when I find myself questioning “Why am I doing this?”, when work is frustrating or something isn’t going smoothly, I ask myself these two questions and it helps me come to the conclusions that I am doing what I love, and I enjoy it because it suits who I am.
What are your answers to these questions??
[you are welcome to add them in a comment]

 

“If the shoe fits”

Not everyone working in the QA field dreamed of it as a child. I doubt anyone of you at age six, when asked what would you like to do when you grow up, answered: A tester!
A. Because why would your child-self be aware of such an occupation.
B. The profession itself did not exist in the same capacity as it does nowadays (and even that of today is in constant flux).

In a previous post “Are we all accidental testers?” by Joel on this blog, he asked about how anyone became a tester. That blog got several interesting responses, but the common thread  was that it “sort of happened” and for those who stuck to it and advanced to other related job titles with seniority and experience “actually enjoy it”.

Why do you enjoy being a tester?

John Holland’s Theory of Career Choice is a well known theory from social science that correlates occupation with personality tenancies. The bottom line of which is that certain personalities fit well in certain professions and vis versa.
Perhaps some of you have taken similar personality quizzes in the past during “career day”, while job hunting or because someone sent you a link and you thought it would be interesting to find out which job would fit you best – like this link here

I bet you clicked the link… right?

A true tester couldn’t help herself. Beyond natural human curiosity, QA professionals can’t help but explore and test their environment. I believe a good tester that enjoys their work has the personality to match.
If you haven’t taken the personality quiz yet, I bet you will now…leave no question unanswered is just the way you are wired.

what does this button do?

When personalities clash

Based on this theory, you can now observe your work environment from a different angle. Working alongside project managers, developers and your customers, who (theoretically speaking, based on the occupation-personality models) have different ways of seeing and reacting to events, can be challenging.

A project or product manager might be more goal oriented by nature, and he or she may care less for details.

You customers of course will be from all array of the personality spectrum, and communication with them is key to a successful release.

Developers, are probably closest in personality tendencies to testers, however as you know, the job requirements and practices are still very different. In fact, this is one of the current challenges in today’s QA world, with the adoption of Agile and DevOps models of development. It seems to me that many testers are expected to know programming, and programmers are expected to test more.

This challenge is the topic of Joel’s upcoming webinar [Oct. 27th]: “Why can’t developers test and what can you do about it?”

Sign up for this webinar

I don’t think you need this blog post to stress how important a good work relationship is to producing speedy and successful results. However, it ‘s not something that happens on it’s own. Not only do you need to coordinate your professional assignments, now I am also suggesting you need to coordinate your personalities, or at least consider them when trying to work successfully with someone else.

The webinar above will provide valuable answers to questions such as:

  • Why are developers bad testers?
  • How can you help your developers test better?
  • When and how to involve developers in your testing efforts?

You are welcome to sign up and take part of the discussion.

To finish where I started, here are the full 10 questions I mentioned above, just for fun:

  1. What is your favorite word?
  2. What is your least favorite word?
  3. What turns you on?
  4. What turns you off?
  5. What sound or noise do you love?
  6. What sound or noise do you hate?
  7. What is your favorite curse word?
  8. What profession other than your own would you like to attempt?
  9. What profession would you not like to do?
  10. If heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the pearly gates?

 

 

  • I love this post, especially because it references James Lipton but also for making such a strong point with the allegory.

    Looking forward to reading more great posts. Thanks.

  • maayan

    Thank you for the warm feedback.

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