Why did I chose to call it Software Test Engineering?
I am a testing professional who started my career as a test engineer 12 years ago. At that time I was being offered the job of a developer but I was not sure why, but I opted to go into QA and testing at that time. My recruiter was a bit surprised on my decision as development was a hot selling cake during late 90’s and no one wanted to opt to go to testing by choice. Actually, it was not the mistake of the individuals who were opting for development. It was a belief at that time that engineers who cannot do good development, often opted to go to testing. So, people who wanted to opt for a job in software industry all wanted to become a high profile programmer.
As per wiki “Software testing is an empirical investigation conducted to provide stakeholders with information about the quality of the product or service under test“.
With time I developed passion towards testing and started finding better ways to do it, be it automation, defect prevention, white box or manual testing. During all these days I actually kept wondering why testing still is considered not so important; why people feel that development is important and testing can be done by anyone. Why developers are often thought as the people who innovate and provide better designs, but testers are only sniff dogs that just smell for the bugs that are introduced because of hard work put in by the development team.
It is a common misconception that testing is not an engineering task and it can be done by anyone who knows reading and writing. I think from one perspective it is true as well as the test engineers need not worry about any new ways to complete their tasks. Their targets are fixed and their performance is often measured based on the execution and bugs that they are reporting. Referring post by Michael Bolton, (http://www.developsense.com/2009/11/why-is-testing-taking-so-long-part-1.html) it describes various ways test engineers are often measured in any project team.
So where is the gap! I wanted to improve testing and get it better adopted in the overall software testing world? The answer was tough, but simple. Bring innovation in testing. Apply the concepts of engineering to bring improvement in testing and finally I planned to call it Software Test Engineering.
As per the definition that I published on WIKI today, software test engineering is the acquisition and application of technical, scientific and mathematical knowledge to design and implement testing best practices and processes that enable realization of software testing objectives desired in a given PDLC (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Software_test_engineering)
I will write more on this topic in the coming days and bring in more clarity to the readers. Till then, just let me know what you feel about this. Good night from India…