A pen lying on an open folder containing an empty notepad. Showing texts “Minority Tester Report” and “mindfultester.com/minority-testing-report”!

Minority Tester Report

This is not a science fiction movie set. It’s a blog post.

Minority tester

It is a good practice to define a minority tester before heading off.

Sorry, I prefer to tell about it.

In my career as a tester I can only remember one peer who had an engineer degree in Computer Science like me.  This is not the minority tester I want to write about.

In 1991 I wrote my first program for a software supplier. At the moment the majority of my peers in the industry are younger than me. This is getting closer to my image of a minority.

Most people in the Netherlands don’t look like me. I feel a minority tester, if they mention it.

The Good

During a hiring event I visited a company which really cared for their employees.
“If they hate the clock, I remove the clock.”
The CTO looked for potential in people, not for the other things.

I talked about IT and where testing is heading to.  There was no single question about how I looked.

Once upon a time  I clicked on a button in LinkedIn
and I got attention weeks later. My standard answer of “no test automation experience” was dismissed.

So I visited the website. This was the first time I saw a company explicitly encouraging minorities to apply. Benefits were also shown on the same page.

During the hiring event I spoke with a manager. We had a good discussion about testing. What are the limitations of automated testing? How could exploratory testing add advantages?
I felt appreciated for my experience and knowledge.

Another time another company.

10 minutes in the job interview I told about an idea popping in my head. There was an expectant silence. I told how Test Driven Development could be used with tools they used. They liked it.

The interview changed in a chat between peers exchanging thoughts about testing. My CV was referred to less and less.

The Ugly

Some of my red flags or alarm bells. Also known as some signs that I will not be hired.

  • There are managers who spent a lot of time on my explanations for changing jobs.
  • “We doubt there is a fit.”
  • “Where are you from?”
  • “No test automation experience. That is bad.”
  • I was never hired by a company where HR people used telephone interviews for the first round.
  • If I have no space left to tell something during the job interview.

Not Bad

How to get talented minority testers in your company.
Spoiler: there is an abundance available.

  • Use social media. There is strong Test Community out there.
  • Organise meetups with talks. In case of shortage of speakers hire a minority tester to give a talk or workshop. On a regular basis lists are exchanged on Social Media.
  • Sponsor diverse test conferences like TestBash, Euro Testing Conference, and Agile Testing Days.
  • Give a number of free diversity tickets for tech conferences away.
  • If you have experienced speakers in your company, there is an option to mentor diverse speakers via SpeakyEasy.
  • Listen to the answers of the job seeker and explore the reasons. My side project is speaking.

Happy hiring!