What's your origin story?

Quite a common route into QA is application / technical support, and this was no different for me. I had a few years of experience in it, then an opportunity came up to do some in-house UAT and then not long after a QA Engineer position came up to which I was successful.

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I started way back in the early 90s. I worked in for a life insurance company in the customer service department and I was crushing it. I loved helping our clients with their accounts. My bosses boss came over to my desk one day and asked if I could try to clear a ledger (yes it was on a piece of paper) that had paid overages listed. I was like sure I’d be happy to. So I picked up my desk phone and started calling clients to get the ledger cleared. It took me probably 2 days and I went back to the bosses boss office and handed him the cleared ledger. He was in shock. He couldn’t believe I fixed all those clients account problems so quickly. And it was a job!!! Some clients paid pennies extra on a check and somehow expected us to know that it was supposed to go on a different account that they had.

So my bosses boss handed me another ledger and asked me to clean it up. I took the ledger and did the same work. Never talked about it, never complained just did my job. And loved it actually. When I was done I handed the paper back to the bosses boss and was done with that task.

A few weeks later my bosses boss came to my desk and told me to apply for the Quality Assurance Analyst position in the IT department located on a different floor of the building. I looked at him and said I have no idea what the position is. He said don’t worry about it just apply. So, I applied and interviewed and even though I told everyone I didn’t know how to do that position, I got hired. The first year was tough!!! But I asked a lot of question, took classes at the local community college and eventually got a degree in Information Technology with emphasis in program.

I’ve never looked back. I’ve had a wonderful career, and I wouldn’t have changed a thing.

Anna:)

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Here’s my origin story ~15 years go…

I used to play World of Warcraft (shocker). I used to log a lot of critical bugs, because I was always trying to glitch out or find duping mechanisms, infinite money glitches or other security flaws, I even hacked Rank 1 titles for myself (and reported it of course). I got pretty popular at the IT department/Customer service and on my 18th Birthday Blizzard Entertainment offered me a job to come and test for them internally. ^^

I was still in school + I had to move to Paris or Ireland, and that was a big no go for me since Hotel Mommy was way to epic at that time :smiley:

After school, I wanted to test video games but hey in Belgium that’s a big no go since that didn’t exist at all. So I went for the second best thing, testing software.
I landed my first job on my first interview, because I ruined a painting.

On the interview, the manager asked me why he should hire me. I told him I was very detailed and and a keen eye… he replied “everybody says that”.
So I replied, that the painting behind him was a fake because it had a little white spot in the bottom right (not the corner) which was not painted at all (painter forgot I suppose) but the manager never noticed it and couldn’t unsee it anymore.

Based on that, he hired me and my journey in software testing begun :slight_smile:

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I did a Software Testing Grad Programme in 2012 after doing a Bachelor of Arts and Commerce conjoint majoring in Economics and German.

The plan was to become a diplomat or work in Trade (my uni papers were mainly focussed on how Trade worked between different countries/regions). But then the year I graduated, that government department wasn’t hiring and they laid off quite a few of their staff.

Alas, I saw the job ad to become a software tester and am still here in this career path :slight_smile:

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Hi everyone - I took my Computer Science degree in the 1970’s and there was a strong emphasis on both reviews and testing in the analysis and programming elements of the course, and in the programming jobs I had - no separate test team, so I think we spent maybe 25% of the time coding and the remaining 75% on reviewing code, dry running (pencil and paper working through source code with inputs as though one is the computer) and testing by execution of the code. Mainly reviewing and dry running, with one compile every 24 hours, and 30 minutes a week to run programmes on the computer… I got into testing full time in the 1980’s - I had a break from programming for 5 years, and when I reapplied for a programming job the company decided to start me in the testing team, as a trial with an option to move over to programming after a year. Once I was full time testing I realised I had found my raison d’etre, passion and niche of happiness! Not looked back, and after a career in testing, quality management, etc, I am now happily a post grad student researching software testing… Just want to say to anyone starting out in testing - it is a gem of a career and such good fun! Good luck!

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After an alien bug mutated my DNA, I transformed from a merely brilliant customer service representative into one of the most powerful Super Heroes in the universe…of the UK. Now soaring among the stars (in my double duvet bed cover), I am now known as Staff Quality Engineer. And yes in standup I do stand with my hands on my hips staring into the distance…

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You’re right about the ‘Stumbled onto Software Testing’ part.

I started out as a Mechanical Engineer. My first assignment was to test the CAD (Computer Aided Design) software for an engineering company.

By and by, I discovered that Software Testing has greater scope and I really enjoyed it. So I switched lanes and switched gears as well.

It has been a very memorable 19 years of Software Testing experience.

My origin story starts with my mother. As a child, I attended some of her weekend computer labs. There was something fascinating about her clicking away at the keyboard and a bunch of pixelated green text displaying on the screen. Depending on what she coded, the outcome was either something great or her cussin’ under her breath. :joy: Either way, I knew I wanted to learn more and I did.

My first job was as a programmer. I loved coding and debugging. I think it was the challenges of debugging that I loved more. Some years later I got into web design, database admin, and then back to coding. I eventually transitioned to an application analyst. My reason for exploring the different facets of IT was to be well-rounded.

It’s been a fun, well-experienced journey, but I want to follow a certain path. One that encompasses skills I already have, things I enjoy doing, and has opportunities and challenges. After a lot of research, I found that software testing/QA fit the build. I’m looking forward to this adventure.

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I can relate. I was a programmer in the 1990s. My first programming job was with a dairy (yes, even cows needed computers back then :rofl:) We used COBOL.

Our accounting department had an on-going issue with misapplied customer payments. It took them weeks (and sometimes months) to catch the error and fix. They got tired of it and wanted a computerized solution.

The accounting team didn’t consider keeping a log or at least a couple examples of the problem. :exploding_head: So, lucky me won the award to spend countless hours digging through boxes in an old dusty file room with a few clues and little help. I felt like a detective more than a programmer. I’m surprised I can breath now. :laughing:

The good news is that I was able to create a program for them, and they used it until the company closed shortly after Y2K.

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Probably the most amazing origin story I am seeing in all of these. Your people and communication skills are clearly the icing on the cake that many software engineers lack. Awesome and keen to hear more from you @annatester , so welcome, to the most awesome software testing community in the universe.

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Fellow stumbler here! I’ve also had a bit of an on again, off again relationship with testing (it’s a bit more stable now though).

My first experience of testing was checking refurbished computer monitors for screen defects, in particular dead pixels. My work had a zero dead pixel guarantee at the time and I was managing their online shops (essentially customer service and sales along with general management). I had to deal with the returns so ended up being the last person to check monitors over and turned out to be good at it. Or at least helped set the standard.

I went into operations management and then customer services for an online learning management system in a different company which then led to the opportunity to become a software tester. I didn’t have anyone to learn from so had to learn on the job and try and figure out what made sense from the internet.

Then I moved into project management for a few years, moving to an app agency and ended up becoming their first software tester. I’d lost the passion for testing a little bit in my previous testing role (I think now it was because the role was too reactive rather than proactive) but regained my passion after discovering ministry of testing and realising there was a whole community out there. I built up and managed a small team and have stuck with testing since.

I think it’s been about 7 years now since picking testing back up again and have moved a couple of times since then in order to learn as much about the craft as possible and looking forward to seeing what the future holds!

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I found a company with 2 cute cats in office, and they’re hiring different job roles including QA.

So I applied for QA to try to get in, as it’s a less popular role.

Then I luckily got hired with no experience.

And now still petting cats in the office after 9 years.

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Wow, I love all your stories.

Mine is also a somewhat squiggly career. After graduation I started getting a degree in education science and methodology of teaching to become a teacher. But eventually I found out that I wasn’t made for teaching.

After escaping from a toxic relationship and meeting the best husband, I felt confident enough to quit university. There’s a private college in my town and it was my dream to do my IT training there, but I couldn’t afford it financially at the time.

So I started as an unskilled labourer in production until I developed health problems. At the same time, I gained more self-confidence and was able to seize some opportunities and find out how I could finance college. I graduated from there as a certified media IT specialist with a very good grade.

After that, I had some problems finding a job, probably because I didn’t have such a great CV and because I was still just starting out in my career despite my age. That was also a phase when there weren’t many vacancies in IT in my region.

Suddenly, a friend of mine told me about a small company that was urgently looking for someone to work in software testing. I thought to myself, ok, I actually wanted to develop web front-ends, but this could also be an opportunity to finally gain a foothold professionally.

Well, that’s how I ended up in a friendly QA team with a caring team leader (who is now my best friend) who quickly appointed me as her deputy because I happened to share an office with her. I was thrown in at the deep end, but she made it very easy for me with her open and communicative manner.

It’s also kind of funny because the lecturer at college commented when she was assessing my internship work that the quality assurance part was completely missing from the documentation. But she assumed that I had carried out tests and that she would therefore still give me a very good grade.

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i’m a post graduate with majors in mechanical engineering.

I had two offers by the time i passed out from university.

One was core engineering job and the other was from an it firm.

I was pretty sure i would take up the core job but destiny had different plans for me.Due to a problem with my university and the firm my job was dissolved.

I had to take up this job at the it firm.

I was trained for three months in development using C#.Net. I never liked it at that moment.
Later we were all placed in projects. I noticed that my logical ability was a little slow compared to folks in my team.

After a lot of struggle, I pulled myself out from that project and role and started looking out for options. I had two in front of me. A PMO and a Tester.

I chose testing after weighing the pros and cons.I started out as a performance tester and then i tested many applications in different domains with different tech stacks.

So thats how i got into testing

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It was 2008 when a young, bright eyed Rich had left University with a degree in Computer Games Technology. His heart was set on being a games developer but a friend recommended starting in testing. A foot in the door. Having seen his friend make the step from tester to developer, he figured “I shall do the same”.

Starting his new games testing role was a lot of fun, working with a great team and having a real passion for finding bugs. Alas the salary for a QA tester was very low and he had a need to feed. A hunger for food and drink, nearly as great as his hunger for bugs. He twisted and reformed as a games designer but his new mission was short-lived as the redundancy gremlins came calling.

Design opportunities were limited and the C++ skills very rusty so he pursued testing again. Now outside of the games industry, he could feed his hunger with food and his “other hunger” with new technologies and ways of finding bugs. Developing new skills led to time spent in other roles but he knew where his home was and that he would return. And return he did.

Upon his return he met a host of heroes, wise sages and adventurers through an organisation called Ministry of Testing. Inspired by these great champions of quality & testing, he began his true quest.

(yeah I know, very cheesy - sorry)

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After finishing Real school in Germany (10th grade, preparing for working in a job) I did 3 years apprenticeship (dual education, half job, half school) as “IT specialist for system integration” (German FISI, basically admin), but was not that happy after working in it for 2 years. Finally I was a service technician for mobile networks, changing hardware at the base stations. Driving hundreds of kilometers everyday was not my thing.

As I was looking for jobs I found one, aside many admin jobs, being “Tester - training on the job”. This was the most interesting one.
They basically were looking for someone with a general IT background, at best young, to be trained. They had a cook and and a professor applying, but this was not what they were looking for.
So I got the job.
This was April 2008.
I have changed companies multiple times, but still stay with the profession.

Funny enough despite that I have no degree someone told me that I talk like I had studied. :slight_smile:

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