Can a passion for testing be taught?

Often times a placement student or apprentice arrives to a company and there is very little previous thought about where they could be placed. They arrive and are told they will be joining testing (occasionally because “testing can be done by anyone”).

If you get in a student or apprentice who never really wanted to be in testing but has been landed there, can you teach a passion for testing?

Perhaps teach is not the correct word, can you nurture a passion for testing?

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The same with any passion. You can send all the mixtapes to your friend that you like, you can tell people they simply must watch a new series, you can make learning astronomy fun, but if people don’t like it then they don’t like it. The solution is to ensure that testing has a good reputation as an expert role performed by experts and craftspeople. Be as open to new people as possible, keep the ones who care and lose the ones that don’t.

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I would show them what it is about testing that you are passionate about, and see if that resonates with them.

They may have been put into a role or department that they didn’t even know existed, or if they did, they may not see the purpose. But if we can show them why we exist, why we help, and why we like what we do, that may rub off on them.

Try and give them something where they will find more interesting bugs, and if letting them go wild finds anything. Then you can move onto how some structure helps, with scripts or charters (depending upon organisational preference), and get them doing it again. They might have found something the first time around, or they may have been overwhelmed with what they can do, however with the additional guidance it may give them focus and they may enjoy finding problems with whatever they are testing.

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Can a passion for testing be taught? Probably no.

Can testing be taught with passion? Definitely yes! Without repeating the answers given above, it’s often the teachers who had the most passion for their subject that we resonated with at school. Passion and enthusiasm for a subject can be infectious. Testing has such a vast range of associated disciplines that there will be something for nearly everyone to connect with.

It’s showing that we are not only interested in the ‘4’ of 2+2=4, but also if everyone can see it, enter it, that it is useful to someone in context, it works everywhere on all browsers and devices, it scales if lots of people use it…

I could go on but you get the point. We should all be advocates and teachers with passion and enthusiasm whenever the opportunity arises.

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Can you teach someone to have a passion for testing? No.

Can you inspire someone to have a passion for testing? Absolutely.

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