As a Software tester, you have to think like a user

Melanie M. is a trained chemical-technical assistant and tells us about how she came to EUROIMMUN and is now working as a software tester.

Please introduce yourself and tell us how you came to EUROIMMUN.

My name is Melanie M. and I have been working as a software tester at EUROIMMUN for four years now. I am a trained chemical-technical assistant and had worked in that profession for five years. Then I felt like trying something different. A friend of mine who also works here told me about EUROIMMUN and I sent in an application.

Had you had anything to do with software testing before?

No, not at all. Up to that point, I had only worked with software as a user. In my current job, it is however all about testing software from a laboratory assistant’s perspective. When EUROIMMUN offered me this job, it sounded very interesting to me and I am not disappointed!

What are your tasks then?

The developing departments pass new software or upgrades of other, existing software on to us. This software has to fulfil different requirements which are defined beforehand. From these requirements, I create different test cases and file them. I check positive as well as negative test cases. For example: I enter an existing date and check whether the software processes correctly. After this, I enter an incorrect date, for example 01.15.2016 and check whether the software reports an error. You could say we simulate a user and check the software for possible entries, step by step.

Was it difficult for you to start working in this new field of software testing?

Actually, it was easier than I would have thought! Since I had been working in a lab before, I knew how people there use the software. This means I can apply my knowledge to the software. I ask myself: How would I use this software if I was working in the lab? How would I like the software to react? I’m just trying to see the software from the user’s point of view.

What is the greatest challenge?

From the start, the greatest challenge was to gain technical understanding of the software. Just in the beginning, I participated in a course to be a certified software tester. This helped a lot.

What do you like most in your job?

I really like to create new test cases and to find out how to crash the software- really creating the worst case scenario. Depending on the software and the modules, all test cases are different. This makes the job very diverse and exciting.

The customer service informs us how the users work with the software. A software tester, however, must also think of how else you could possibly use the software to be able to check the software’s reaction. If errors occur, the software goes back to the developing department. This process is repeated until all test cases are checked and we can release the software.

What is required of someone who works in software testing?

You have to work very diligently to properly work through all test cases and exclude errors. Communication skills are also important. It is not always easy to explain to a developer that he made a mistake or missed a detail.

What do you like particularly well about EUROIMMUN?

Cooperation between departments works really well. No matter who you work with, everyone is really friendly and helpful. This makes you feel really at ease. Of course I also like all the services that are provided for the employees, for example physiotherapy or the company events where you can bond with colleagues.

Is there anything that you particularly like about the company site in Dassow?

It is amazing to have the Baltic Sea nearby, especially in summer. Just dropping by at the beach after work on your way home, that is just great.

Read also: Interview with Melanie’s colleague, IT technician Florian Spohn, where he tells us what fascinates him in software testing.

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