Four Things Parenting Can Teach You About Testing in the World of Development

I recently realized how much my day-to-day work has helped prepare me for life at home with a newborn. Who knew that raising a newborn and testing in the dev world would have so much in common?!

In the world of development, things move pretty fast and are constantly changing. I used to think I had a pretty good understanding of what “go with the flow” meant, especially when testing in the development world!

Yoda with text "Much to learn, you still have"

My wife and I recently had our first child. You may already be smiling if you have had kids or have spent an extended time with a newborn! With the few minutes that are starting to creep back into our lives, I realize how much my day-to-day work has really helped prepare me for life at home with a newborn. Who knew that raising a newborn and testing in the dev world would have so much in common?!

I am sure there are many more ways, but here are four that stood out to me:

1. The “Dev” Environment

The dev site can sometimes be a bit like the wild wild west. Every time you head in there, you never know what you are going to get. Kind of like changing those first few diapers; you open it up and have to be ready for whatever you may find. Most likely, it will not be what you were expecting!

2. Setting up the Perfect Plan

You feel confident that everything is ready to go, right? We do everything we can to get every detail into our stories, so the developers and testers are prepared to do what they do best. Before a baby is born, especially with your first, there is a ton of prep that happens with setting up the house, reading books, etc. Luckily at the hospital, there are plenty of people to help guide you those first few days, but all of a sudden, they are like, “See you later and good luck” Wait…what do I do now?!? Your planning will help those first few days, but then you really have to embrace going with the flow as you navigate this new adventure.

3. Creativity and Adaptability

Automated Testing is used frequently to help us out, and these tests are great as they test exactly what you want. However, can you really cover everything with those tests?!? Very quickly, as a new parent, you learn that if your newborn is upset, you need to change their diapers, feed them, snuggle them, or rock or walk them. All part of that initial plan. After all that, they still keep crying. Now what?!? Just like our automated testing, it is great to help you get started, but in the end, you still need to get creative and adapt on the fly to make when the initial plan only gets you so far!

4. Time

As consistent as time is, your perception of time will change very quickly with a newborn. By the time you get them up, feed them, change them, spend some quality time with them, and finally get them down for a nap, you will wonder what happened to half of your day! Looking at the clock, it is already noon, and now you must repeat that whole cycle 10 minutes from now. The same applies to both developers and testers. You can get laser-focused on bug reproduction or troubleshooting a story; the next thing you know, the entire day is gone. In the end, 8 hours is still 8 hours, but when working with a newborn or in development, that 8 hours can go by quickly!

Always Sunny in Philadelphia
…or trying to reproduce that bug!

It’s amazing how you can start to see your work in everyday tasks and everyday tasks in your work. The type of passion that influences your day-to-day much more than a paycheck. Passion is a trait that has always fit in well here at BizStream. As a tester, we try to control and standardize the development environment as much as we can with testing environments, automated testing, test plans, and test cases. Kids can come into your life and change how everything works in a good way, whether you like it or not! In the end, with kids or in the world of development, you have to adapt and master the fine art of “going with the flow.”

About the Author

Josh Trench

Josh hails from the early days of BizStream. Josh was brought back to drive developers crazy with endless screen captures and loads of constructive criticism. When he’s not finding software bugs, you will most likely find him running around, making sure our building is in prime condition. Outside of work, Josh can be found, exploring the Grand Rapids scene with his wife, Rori. He also enjoys backpacking, restoring estate pipes, practicing surfing, and finessing his mountaineering skills.

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