Fakes and Poseurs

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.

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4 Responses to Fakes and Poseurs

  1. Thanks for the post and added support to a work that I have been doing with little support from people within my own country.

    I hope you might have discovered that I wrote about the bad state of interviews in my blog where I shared the experiences and the change needed.

    Anything can be faked if just asked to speak about it. For instance, let me try to fake my experience of traveling to space. “Oh, it was beautiful. I could believe that it is worth spending more time in space and worth dreaming to become an astronaut. As a technical person, I also got a challenge to fix some bugs on space which otherwise could have got down the space station that we had docked on”. Show me a picture of a space craft component and ask me to explain it, I will.

    Put me on a space craft and ask me, “What to do next?”, I fumble.

    Putting a tester to test by asking him to demonstrate their testing skills is the change we need. If the world gets that going then fakers will vanish rapidly.

    Isn’t that cool to think of things that wont happen?

  2. priya says:

    guys stop it

    faking is just a lie (where no one is in looses) it is not a big scam that eats all poor people money nor make toys with dangerous chemical so a child looses life,

    if u both guys and whoever are against faking
    i want to ask u guys
    u guys never lied

    if so continue writing articles about faker and faking

    but i am 100% sure u guys lied lot of times

    • Priyadarshini .G says:

      hi priya,
      Am sure everyone lies at some point off time. But here they are talking about faking your experience which will ruin the life of the one who’s doing it. Am just shocked to see that they really don’t realize what they are doing to themselves. It is really a an big issue to be concerned of; people losing their moral values and now turning out to be liars and cheaters. There has to be a stop for all this.

  3. Billy says:

    I think you’re being too harsh. I agree it is bad to lie but if you feel you’re a competent individual who can work in the IT field with no experience then making a false résumé is probably the only way to get into the field. If I proved I was smart enough to use all the tools and understand the concepts of being a tester but had no experience would you hire me? No, so don’t blame those who fabricate their experience.

    If they are proven to be incompetent then don’t hire them but if thu can do the job I wouldn’t worry. I know many people who gotten jobs and now are experts in the field despite having no experience when they started

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