Whining Testers Are not Fun to Spend Time with


I love what I am doing. If I wasn’t I would do something else. Like gardening or follow a career as a beach bum. Sun tan and a lot of booze. But no, it is software testing and managing software testers and talking to developers and ship tested software that I like.

But from time to time I observe a pattern that seems to be especially endemic among software testers. It is the tendency to whine about one’s own work situation while blaming everybody around us for causing it.

Let’s bullet point what some of the testers I have met at conferences not only think but also say aloud (The last one is slightly modified. Instead of the url’ed word, another one was used):

  • I am fine, they are not
  • I do a pristine job, they are slobs
  • I could be so much better if only they did their job
  • I would immediately start testing if only they’d provide me with perfect, unambiguous, neatly versioned, accurate, testable, re-usable, superman-feature-like requirements
  • I am a saint, they’re rectal cavities (caution: link not safe for work)

Isn’t it interesting to observe how this follows the usual bipolar structures usually found in western cultures? (e.g. BS like: “Either you’re with us or you’re against us”). Never a continuum nor a trinity. Or calm acceptance without assessment.

Now, please! Software Testing is not a terrible job and the circumstances are not bad at all. In order to illustrate go and read Viktor Frankl’s Man’s Search for Meaning.

I’ll wait.

See, that is a horrible situation. For those of you who couldn’t get the book or cannot read here a short abstract: The book describes Viktor Frankl’s devastating time as a prisoner in Auschwitz and how he managed to not fall in total despair and keep up his spirits to survive his personal disaster.

Whenever you find yourself in a situation, just compare to that. I’ll guarantee that you’ll always be fine.

And here’s a belief shattering secret: The world around you was not built to please your own little egoistic demands.

And here’s another: If you are one of those whining people, your are not fun to spend time with. People will avoid you. Then you will be alone. And even more miserable.


  • smile every day
  • never develop an inferiority complex
  • don’t become a zombie tester
  • avoid process freaks
  • fight sub standard work ethics where ever you find it
  • have a serious discussion with testers not willing to read books or learn anything (I think I am going to have a special post on that)

Let’s finish this post in a little bit more upbeat mood. I propose to go watch this hilariously funny short clip on youtube.