A lot of software testers (or test managers) that I've met recently have reasserted something that - for me, anyway - seems to be an interesting phenomenon: Many software testers don't come from computer science backgrounds. In fact, many of them actually have educational backgrounds in the arts. Personally, I happened upon software testing early in my career after struggling with finding work in the audio technology industry.
When I was younger, I had dreams of being a musician. But, as with most people who have peered down that career path, I eventually realized that there isn’t much money in the music industry unless you completely sell your soul or happen to be a prodigy in the musical arts.
After some soul searching, I decided that audio engineering could be a suitable compromise. Audio engineering actually opened more doors to software testing than I may have realized. There are many similarities to the two seemingly unrelated trades: They both require critical thinking (or troubleshooting as they like to call it in the audio industry) and, more importantly, they are both trades that require an immense amount of creativity.
I had a chance to talk with David Hussman from DevJam about this at Better Software Conference East. I was particularly interested in chatting with David, mostly for selfish reasons—he and I have a similar music and audio background. Actually, he still is very much involved in music and his perspective on software testing aligns with his skill sets in music production.
(As for my question about Agile basically destroying the creative process, David was a little put back by that question. I suppose I did come off as a bit disenchanted by Agile. I promise to all of you that my tone was more directed towards how quicker iterations can be a strain on the creative process.)
Watch the video below to see what David had to say about all of this.