This job at smug mug inspired me to write this post as it sums up one of those great opportunities to relate your day-to-day job (and your skills) to a passion you may have, as well as joining a company that seem to be making big changes to the way photographers get their work out (and get paid for it).

I often hear testers say that they hate testing but I believe this strong statement is more about the job they have, than the work that a tester does.

There are numerous factors at play in any role, but I believe one of the biggest factors to affect your work is the product that you test.

The job at smug mug is interesting because I found it through my photography network on google plus. If you have an interest in photography it sounds like a good job. You get to test  a platform for showcasing photography. You get to test a community site based around the love of photography. You get to test a platform that is changing the way photography is managed, distributed and paid for. You get to work with other people who have a love of photography. If you enjoy photography this role sounds perfect. If you don’t enjoy photography then it probably doesn’t sound too interesting.

In fact, in order to do the role well you probably need to know more than most about photography to ensure that the terminology used, the technical details about each photo and the process flow that photographers go through is accurate. Sure, there may be specs, but I suspect you will add more if you have experience and knowledge of photography.

If you like cars wouldn’t a job testing car sites or car apps or on board car software be interesting?

If you like writing wouldn’t a job testing writing software or a platform for writer’s to collaborate be good to work on?

I’m not saying testing can only be interesting if we are working on a product that is related to our interests. We can also find enjoyment testing products that we can relate to. I enjoy testing call centre software because I can relate to it. I’ve enjoyed testing anti virus products because I can relate to this also. I enjoyed testing online voting because I can relate to it. I didn’t enjoy testing banking payments and settlements because I can’t relate to it and found it overly complicated. Each to their own. What I can relate to, others may not find interesting at all.

The product under test isn’t the only aspect of an enjoyable role for sure (culture, management, autonomy, team, office space etc), but I firmly believe that we enjoy our testing more, and can explore the limits of our own skills, if we have some connection and affinity to the software we are testing.

If you’re not enjoying testing could it be that you don’t have a connection to the product you are testing? If so, what could you do about it?

P.S

Do you really enjoying testing a product you can’t relate to or have no interest in? Let me know.

One Thought on “A job you enjoy..smug

  1. Martijn de Vrieze on 23/04/2013 at 8:51 pm said:

    I’ve found that quite often the assignments I enjoy most are the ones where I’m working with something completely new to me. That can be something I can relate to, such as a warehouse management system, but also something I can absolutely not relate to like an ERP system, or worse, SAP.
    One of the main things that keeps my job interesting to me, is learning new things, technologies or even logic (for example the user logic in an SAP or ERP system). I really enjoy the learning process which is a core partof a testers job.

    I do however get bored with systems I cannot relate to faster than with something I do relate to. so maybe there is a nuance difference in your statement?

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