What is software testing, you ask? It’s a good question! It sounds like something people have a vague idea of, but the reality is there’s a lot more to it. It’s not just pressing buttons and seeing if something doesn’t work (don’t you know?) While testing does look for errors in products before they reach the customer, it also involves making sure the product matches its own expectations, whether it functions the same way across different devices and platforms, making sure that once the product is in the hands of the user, it works as it’s supposed to, without any gremlins lurking in the code waiting to cause havoc.
We want to introduce you to the mavericks behind Razor’s Testing team and share with you some brilliant insights and thoughts from the people that don’t intend to break the internet, but instead, play a vital role in how it works in many ways for all of us.
On the line up we have Test Team Lead, Matt Christie, Software Tester, Tamarind Randall, and Zoe King, Test and Data Analyst - all super-passionate about making sure that all potential bugs and glitches are dealt with before a platform or program goes live, along with many other things besides.
Let’s be clear...The team don’t break things (and don’t appreciate it when people say they do!) - instead, they exist to hunt down existing issues so the user doesn’t have to, leaving a trail of thankful and relieved techies in their wake.
In this brand spanking new #HumansOfRazor series, Matt, Tamarind and Zoe will be talking about all the things they love about testing - why it’s so important, elements of it that are often misunderstood and details that aren’t very well-known.
Already hungry for more? Watch this space as we’ll be releasing some brilliant content in the next few weeks from each of the team, come and grab a load of our behind the scenes magic at Razor, starting with our first article from Matt - learn how our testing is crucial to the growth of our company and one of the linchpins behind the excellence of the Razor team delivery.
But before we start, let’s hear from the team themselves.
Matt Christie, Lead Software Tester
My journey to software testing began with me working in a call centre on the customer service helpdesk.
I’ve always had a high level of focus and thanks to my ability to zone in on issues that customers brought to my attention, I ended up getting handpicked to be a tester. I jumped at the opportunity to grow my skills, and my abilities as a software tester grew quickly in this role.
Before I knew it, I was the test lead, and found myself in a career that I loved, using my hyperfocusing skills to ensure that users wouldn’t have to deal with any glitches or gremlins hiding in the code, waiting to cause havoc.
During this time, to help me gain an even greater understanding of software testing, I decided to get a qualification in ISTQB. Off the back of this, I decided to teach myself automation testing in my spare time, in what was a useful combination of self-development and natural interest.
I’ve always had a passion for making things right for the customer or user, starting from my time in the call centre. It’s incredibly important to me that any product or program I work on is tested thoroughly and totally ready for the user, without any surprises lurking in the background that might affect the company’s reputation. Quality output and attention to detail is my number one priority and something I always strive for, and I really enjoy having the opportunity to make things right for the customer.
What I love about working at Razor is that you’re really exposed to the reality of how fast tech advancements are being made, and for someone with a huge interest in that area, it gives me an amazing opportunity to learn more about the latest technologies. Each day is interesting and challenging, knowing that we’re witnessing progress that’ll make a difference in how tech functions and how that translates to everyday life. Being a lead software tester is hugely satisfying and Razor really encourages that enthusiasm, which is amazing.
Zoe King, Test and Data Analyst
As a scientist, I’ve never been a stranger to testing. Before starting as a Software Tester at Razor I worked as a Genetic Technologist. Both roles are in testing, just in very different settings. However from testing DNA to testing software, many of the principles remain the same.
I will always have the mind of a scientist. I have the curiosity to want to understand how things work. It's natural to me to be sceptical of how something ‘should’ work and create scenarios to validate it. I’m also a stickler for rules, after all if it's not done in the way it's intended, is it valid or accurate?
The tech industry isn’t restricted by the same rules and regulations as the world of medical science, so with the lack of restraints, companies in the tech industry can shoot for the stars without the fear of what happens if they fail. The constant conquering of the impossible is what keeps me excited in my career. The tech industry has taken this from science and added a catalyst: improvements and innovation, only 100x faster.
However, with the lack of regulation, software can be left open to issues. This is why testing is so important. Without testing you could create the most intricate and complex software solution that could break down with the simple click of a button.
Although I might have changed fields in my career, my passion is still the same and that is ensuring that systems work as expected and the outputs are of a high quality.
Tamarind Randall, Test and Data Analyst
I started out on a Technical Support desk, dealing with the frustrations users had when software didn’t do what they expected or fielding the question of why they had to do something a certain way.
I didn’t realise at the time that a job existed for someone to actually hunt down and eradicate the problems users faced, so instead I would send the occasional email off to the manufacturers or add something to the product forum and leave it at that.
When a testing role became free I jumped at the chance to fill it and the rest, as they say, is history. The customer experience is my number one priority - if the product fails to meet their needs, they’ll find something else that does. The same is true for if it is slow, unreliable, or forces a user to work out of a logical order. What can seem like a small thing - tab order in a form, regional spellings or typos, if the same number formatting is used throughout the programme - can have a big impact on the user experience, and that’s something I want to avoid.
I love my job - I love to think around problems and enjoy the curiosity of “what if?” so that I’m able to pre-empt issues that users might have and ensure that the software does exactly what the user is expecting to do repeatedly and with the fewest number of steps. I see no shame in asking the “dumb” questions (although, in my opinion, there are no dumb questions when it comes to testing a product!) to make sure that I am 100% clear on what’s expected of me. If there are questions, they need to be asked, because assumptions are a no-no for testing. If you don’t ask, you can almost guarantee that you will pick the wrong option and then there could be a lot of work that needs to be redone or something missed entirely!
If you are looking to work with incredible people, just like our Test Team, come and check out the roles we are looking to fill.