"Getting Back" to Software Testing

When I decided I wanted to move on from my role in Ministry of Testing and started interviewing, the burning question on everyone’s lips was “Why do you want to go back to testing?” I heard this question so much that I started to use the phrase myself, I even wrote a blog post talking about getting back to testing.

The Interviews

I had interviews where people asked me incredibly basic questions as if I had never heard of software testing before. As if they had never read my CV….maybe they hadn’t.

I had interviews where it seemed that the interviewer was set on intentionally tripping me up, asking me about incredibly complex automation scenarios. They cut in before I could finish a sentence or, worse, told me I couldn’t ask questions.

I had interviews where I genuinely thought I had done a great interview only to be rejected in the final round because “You couldn’t hit the ground running”. When I asked them to elaborate, I was told “You’ve been out of the industry too long and we don’t think you could make an impact in your first week. We need someone who can do that.”

And, perhaps the most jarring of all, I had the naysayers when I eventually landed my role at Glofox. The people who said I only got the role because I knew Hugh (my manager) and Rob (Director of Engineering). In a way I want to thank those people for their honesty because they made me even more determined to prove every single one of them wrong.

The truth is, I never left the software testing industry. I know that now and I look back at my past self wondering how I let her believe that I ever had. I’m writing this post as a note to that Heather.

The Wins

I’ve been keeping track of every single success and win on my journey. There are a lot, humble brag, so let’s look at the first 3 months to get started.

Bug Bash

In the first two weeks of my new role, I ran my first ever bug bash. I wrote a whole blog series about it. The TLDR is: it was a huge success!

Joining Meetings

I invited myself to other teams feature calls and discovered work that would have a knock on impact to my team. I let the whole team know, facilitated discussions around it and was invited to work across teams to explore solutions.


Regular pairing sessions with developers are my jam. I pair as much as possible with the developers on end to end and unit tests. With our combined domain knowledge, my newly established relationships with other teams and their excellent coding skills, we’re a brilliant team!

Bug Backlog

Another mammoth success was initiating discussions about the huge bug backlog the team had (more on that in another post). I worked through every single bug and CI in the backlog trying to recreate, close, get further information and prioritise some for fixes.

I’ve speared conversations with the team about our process for addressing bugs and we now have a weekly call working through any that come in, sharing ideas from bugs that could go into feature development and even finding more bugs while investigating bugs!

If you want a metric, we had over 70 assigned to the team when I started, that was down to 25 in the first 3 months with this new process.

Feature Development

The team had good processes for feature development but good processes can always be improved. When I started, I didn’t have the same domain and product knowledge as the rest of the team, so I pushed for clearer acceptance criteria in the user stories. This resulted in far less changes happening after story writing or development had taken place.


My team lead loves analytics and data. He introduced me to all of the tools we use to collect all of this and I leverage that information to prioritise testing. It helps me to choose what devices and versions we should test on. It helps me decide on the risk priorities for bugs that come in from customers - how many more customers could this possibly impact (sorry to that one person using a Samsung S9).


Finally, my passion project, I got the team to agree to an experiment to build accessibility into our app. I was nervous about not knowing enough, not knowing where to start and maybe not being able to guide the team but strengthened by all of the wins above, I decided to try it. The team was absolutely amazing in embracing the project! I’m excited to share more wins about this in future updates.

Wrapping Up

To all of the naysayers and interview rejections, I got this job on merit, my amazing talent and the recognition from this entire company that I am good at what I do and can and do make an impact here.

To my past self and my future self, if you’re ever in doubt about your abilities, you achieved all of this in three months. You’re a bit of a legend you know.