We are all on a journey

At some time or another we all lose sight of the fact that each and every single one of us is on a journey.

Life is a journey. Your careers and jobs are just one part of that bigger journey.



  • Some people take more control of this journey than others.
  • Some people have more opportunities to take control than others.
  • Some people are further along their journeys than others.

There are many factors that affect the journey you are on.

These could include some of the following:

  • Your personality
  • Your location
  • Your cultural background
  • Your mindset
  • Your boss
  • Your company
  • Your family
  • Your desires and needs
  • Your passion for the job
  • Your peers
  • Your awareness of the industry
  • Your mentors
  • Your heros
  • Yada yada

The list goes on, and on, and on.

Some people are more open to new ideas, new challenges and new opportunities. This often gives them a wider choice of potential paths.


This opens up great opportunities, but it can also open up choices which are hard to make.

Some people are further behind on their journey than others. That doesn’t make them “rubbish” or “stupid” or “not part of our group”. It just means they are on a different path, are in a different place on a path and maybe they haven’t yet reached a similar path choice that you have gone down.

10 years ago I was on a path of scripted testing, no exploration and all of this in a waterfall death march environment. I’ve heard people say recently, that testers in these environments are “rubbish”…….really? Why?

I’m a better tester now for sure, but I’ve never considered myself “rubbish” – I’ve just gained wider insights and more experience from the paths I have chosen (or been forced down) in my career and life.

Some people choose alternative paths for a variety of reasons. That’s their choice, not ours. They may want different things from their careers. They may want different outcomes. They will have different personalities than we have.

Some people follow career paths that don’t seem logical, that wind and dip and move backwards.


In the end though, they too are on a journey. And that messiness and sporadic direction of travel may suit them well.

In the testing (and wider development community) we are all too quick to assume that someone is rubbish, or inferior, simply because they are on a different path, have not had access to the opportunities we may, may not show any interested in progressing beyond “enough” and may not even be aware of alternative routes they could take.

The work someone did a few years back is often still deeply associated with that person, even though their current work may actually be very good. Work some people do now may be of the same standard that we ourselves may have been doing 4 or 5 years ago.

We’ve grown and taken paths which lead us to now, they may do the same too. In 4 years time they may be doing the same standard of work as we are doing now.

Don’t get me wrong. There are testers who are better than others in certain environments. Or achieve higher marks using whatever yardsticks for measure you are using. There are testers I would hire and who I wouldn’t. But there are also good testers who are right for one context and not for another.

There are testers who, with the right help and support, could become outstanding testers. There are good testers who may not get that help and support…..

There are many routes and paths through our testing careers. The path you choose will not be the one I choose. And that’s ok.

It’s easy to point at someone else and say they are rubbish because they work in X way, or don’t have X skills.

It’s harder to acknowledge the reasons why they are at a certain point on their career journey, to establish whether there really is a problem with them being there (or even if it’s any of your business) and then to support, help and share to guide them down a path they want to go on.

4 thoughts on “We are all on a journey

  1. Hi Rob, thanks for such a empathetic and heartfelt post.I like that you emphasis that not only are we on different points on one journey, that we are on different journeys. I like the fact that you celebrate that.

    Lets also celebrate that some testers are on the coal face of this journey, battling where “no tester has dared to tread”. Lets also celebrate that we need these people to challenge us and challenge the status quo. Sometimes these challenges that makes us a little uncomfortable, but I think most of us can agree that sometimes in our lives these challenges to our way of thinking help enlighten and clarify our journey


    1. Thanks for the kind comment Anne-Marie and thank you so much for pointing out that some people are on the leading edge and on journeys in to the unknown.


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