This is not a science fiction movie set. It’s a blog post.
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.
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.
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.
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 TechVoices.
[Update: TechVoices was formerly known as Speak Easy.]
- Listen to the answers of the job seeker and explore the reasons. My side project is speaking.