While I’ve mostly given up posting regularly on QA (just too burned out at the moment), every now and then I see something that I just HAVE to share or respond to. This post on Pradeep Soundararajan’s blog, “Tester Tested!” was that thing for me today. It was posted at the end of August but the discussion, via the comments, has continued into this month. In short, it is enlightening, infuriating, and full of “ah-ha! been there, done that” moments.
God bless Pradeep. He seems to take a lot of flack from people who don’t see anything wrong with a person putting fake experience on their resume in an effort to get a job in QA. Seriously, what the hell is wrong with people like that? Pradeep alludes to the common misconception that testing is the “easy” job in IT, and if you don’t have any coding skills you can always get a ticket on the IT money train by becoming a tester. So, so false, as those of us working and practicing real software testing know. Whatever their reasons for choosing testing jobs in particular, I have seen the ugly fallout from poseurs like this infecting the workplace.
While the post deals with testers (or faux-testers) from India in particular, I have seen this “fake experience” disease in all manner of testers, whether they are immigrants or natural-born US citizens. Ignorance knows no nationality you see, and anyone can be an opportunistic, lying scumbag on a resume.
I’ve also dealt first-hand with more than one person who had someone else (fluent in English) write his resume and all of his follow-up correspondence when interviewing for a job. Once hired, and expected to compose test plans, short test cases, or even simple emails on his own, his writing was suddenly completely unintelligible. Or the person who sold herself as a “test manager,” inflating and fabricating experience on her resume, but once hired it turned out she not only didn’t know how to manage testers or the testing process, but she didn’t know the first thing about testing. Asked to create simple documents like a work breakdown structure or a test schedule, she was clueless. Given a straightforward set of test cases to follow, she was quickly lost and unable to complete them, much less to actually identify any defects. About the only thing she WAS good at was taking credit for the work of others, a skill she obviously put to good use on her (faked) resume and in (bluffed) interviews.
It does tend to make you angry and bitter, to see situations like this. Talk about agile testing or exploratory testing or new tools or methods all you want; this is one of the reasons I think hiring is the biggest challenge we face in the testing field today. In my personal opinion, I can teach a new tester how to use a tool, but I can’t teach a liar how to be honest.