Recruiting for testing roles these days should be mostly about curiosity, problem-solving and less about productivity and text book knowledge. Recruit for right brain skills – not so much operational process jockeys.
Recently at UKSTAR 2018 Simon Prior talked about their investigation into University programs and their rare courses in testing. This lead to their twitter discussion under the tag: #makeAtester where the top responses of skills required was curiosity. Quite in line with the State of Testing Survey 2017 that lists key communication skills as most looked for when hiring for testing roles. Both surveys establish that testers are knowledge works.
Similarly HFresearch have compiled an analysis that even on a management level the trend is to hire for creative thinkers over “operational experts that improve business performance and productivity”. Talent focus should be on right brain thinkers over – The wonks who spend all day staring at spreadsheets, focused on execution “left-brained” activities are less in demand .
But where do we find curiosity training?
If that is the skills we are looking for perhaps we should stop looking at university programs in computer science or engineering, when we want to recruit testers. I have a computer science master degree, and that was really theoretical and while it somewhat focused on problem solving, the lesson was rarely about thinking outside the box.
I think I would rather hire people with business domain skills and train testing theory, than hire a process jockey with no experiences in besides textbook examples. That’s also how I came into testing myself, practical activities first – formal training later.
Perhaps it’s not as such important to have an university degree to get into testing. Though it helps 🙂 A diverse background is important, I know of librarians, laboratory technicians and humanities majors that bring good competencies to the testing field.
Finding one higher education that focuses on building curiosity, whole picture thinkers is hard – perhaps dungeons and dragons, as also discussed at the conference?