Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Are you a 99tests tester?

After a routine day at office, I am in my cab to home. Relaxing at the last seat, chewing Center Fresh and listening to songs, I am lost in my thoughts... What makes me confident to take up any testing tasks without any fear? I am about to complete five official years of software testing and looking back, I need to credit my success to many people and many tasks I did again and again.

The long post is reserved for the fifth anniversary. Today I want to highlight how a single community has helped me grow and is helping many testers to grow. Few months ago, when I googled for 'Beta Testers', I hit the site www.99tests.com I registered as a tester and as the site was in Beta stage, there was nothing in store for a 'hungry-to-test' tester like me...

Few months passed, I had even forgot that I had registered for the site when I received the email about a new testing competition. Immediately I joined and found many colleagues from the testing community already in the hunt for the top tester for the competition. Healthy competition and true test of testing skills were on display. The best part about these competitions is the short duration. They are spread over few days (3-5 days) and lots of value to be gained compared to the few hours spent. One gets to know the thought process of many testers, learn different test ideas and earn some money too. I regularly participated in most of the 99tests competitions and had healthy contests with my co-testers.

What have I gained from 99tests?

Time management: Few contests taught me how to prioritize my testing tasks. Though the deadline was two days away, due to the high number of bugs, the competition would end 24 hrs in advance. Such experiences helped me learn the importance of time management and prioritizing the testing tasks.

Test Ideas: There were few competitions where I learnt a totally new test idea which I was unaware of before the competition. The new test idea got added to my list of test ideas.

Customer's Expectations: Though few bugs seemed very obvious, the customer would mark them as invalid. This happened to most of the testers in the competition. I learnt about what bugs actually mattered from the customer's point of view.

Healthy competition: Few competitions were so close that I felt I was playing international cricket. There was a healthy competition to be one among the top three testers.

Test of testing skills: After participating in 5-6 competitions, I tried testing my skills. I joined the competition late on purpose and tried if I could still win it. Sometimes I could and sometimes, the lead was too big to make a entry to the top three.

Variety of products: I must have participated in 7-10 competitions and that means 7 varied products. It is an amazing experience to learn the product, log bugs as per the customer's expectations and win the competition. You need to experience it to understand the feeling.

And I gained some money too...

I am proud to admit that 99tests has played a big role in my learning curve and continues to do so.
I am a 99tests tester. Are you one? 
Better late than never: join www.99tests.com and enjoy testing :)

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