Why a tester should learn another trade.

Times are changing and the time of the functional tester is all most over and gone. For years testers have been hiding behind the fact that they are only for validating the functionality of an information system.  The recent developments in the application lifecycle and the System Development LifeCycle makes the need for an IT-professional who is able to use more than one skill in a professional manner a valuable asset for a project team and here is why.

As  a tester we have been taught that we should be independent, true to our skill-set and be hunting for bugs whenever we can. Newer development strategies ask for a different kind of tester one who is a teamplayer and one that is trying to prevent bugs from being inserted into the system. This means that the skillset for a tester is either shifting left toward business analysis or shifting down the stream towards the programmer.

The mainstay of a testers has always been to identify if a requirement is testable in every which way.  But what is the good choice to make in order to gain maximum effectiveness when developing a related skill. It all depends on the Tester and his relation to coding or business analysis.

When you have a greater affection to coding than you have to business analysis, it is more easier for you to learn the ways of thinking of a programmer therefore it is easier for one to learn the tricks and trades of a programmer. But what coding language should one learn, well that is one where I cannot give any advice, the one thing I could recommend is to learn a language that is commonly used within your organisation. Where as when you have a greater affection for business analysis, you can use the techniques which you have learned during your education as a tester, but from a different perspective.

When testers learn another trade they become more valuable for the organisation because they can program or do business analysis and do that with a tester’s mindset,
always looking for adding quality.