The general mentality in the software testing industry is ‘Negative thinking is one of the most desired attributes of a software tester’. Ever since my sophomore days I aspired to be a software tester. I wondered if being an optimist would hamper my chances of success in the testing field. Many questions stormed my mind. Some of them were:
1. Does this field belong only to negative thinkers?
2. Is negativity the first criteria to become a software tester?
3. What will be the nature of the teams I work with?
4. Is this profession going to change my attitude?
5. If yes, then what kind of a life am I going to lead?
A lot of times I felt like I was passionate about a profession that did not suit me. Keeping all my apprehensions aside, I continued working towards my goal and left no stone unturned in becoming the tester I dreamt to be.
When I practiced test case writing I would come up with at least 10 negative test cases against 1 or 2 positive test cases. For example, I wrote 30 negative test cases and just 2 positive test cases for a simple ‘Change Password’ scenario. This ratio of 1:15 further increased my ‘positive – negative approach’ dilemma. Eventually, I started to believe that I needed to be more of a negative thinker than a positive thinker.
Determination got me into this field. I have completed 6 months in an independent testing firm and this period has changed my approach towards testing. Working with vastly experienced people in a positive work environment has answered all my queries.
My new approach is
1. Testing doesn’t belong to negative thinkers at all. It belongs to people who can think along multiple directions.
2. Only people with a positive approach can survive in this field. There is no space for negativity.
3. This profession definitely impacts your behaviour outside office; it enables you to think in a 100 different ways about any situation. You can predict 100 different outcomes of an action or incident. You can come up with a wide range of solutions to any problem. So even if there are changes, they are all good.
When I look back, I wonder, where I went wrong. What made me think that? What caught me off guard?
The answer is -wrong terminology-I got stuck in a game of words!
It is not about 2 positive and 30 negative test cases; it is about 2 valid and 30 invalid test cases I brainstormed in 32 creative ways.
I believe, that the terminology ‘positive’ and ‘negative’ test cases should be refrained since they have a tendency to affect the psychology of testing in a negative way.
For me, in the battle of positive and negative thinking, the winner will always be positive thinking, creative thinking!
Mayank Raj | Trainee Test Analyst | Zen Test Labs