Why wont recruiters listen?

I have a pram and I have some toys. The toys are going to be thrown out of the aforementioned pram, right about…..now!.

Probably due to the fact that I publicise any roles I am recruiting for on Linked-in, I seem to have hit the radar big time for software recruiters. I get a number of calls each week, all telling me that they are speaking to wonderful candidates, and asking me if I am recruiting.

I have no idea how they get my direct phone number as I do not publicise that, and I also am very careful to put ‘No Agencies Please’ on all my job postings.

The calls usually involve me listening to a lot of blurb, then trying to get a word in edge-ways to explain that we have a preferred supplier list. If the agency is not on it, then I am not going to talk to them. For some odd reason, it is difficult for people to understand that basic concept, so let me explain using Cucumber language (it’s something we testers use well):

Given we have a preferred supplier list,
When a recruiter makes an unsolicited telephone call to me who is NOT on that list
Then I will not tell them that we do deal with them,
And that is the end of the conversation.

It is simple and easy to understand.

I understand that everyone has a job to do, and recruiters need to earn their salaries as much as I do, but here is an important point I need to make, and if you read this as a recruiter then you need to understand this:

“If you do not listen to me when I am trying to explain the situation, and you try to but-in and do an aggressive sales pitch, then I have no confidence in your ability to properly listen to my requirements, and I will not recommend that you be added to a preferred supplier list”. Why would i?

Prove that you can listen and respect my reply when I say ‘No thank you’, and one day I might remember that you did, and be willing to work with you.


Exploratory testing isn’t just playing!

Exploratory testing is something that has been discussed, put on CV’s, and probably put in the syllabus of testing exams, but I wonder if we really understand what it is.

I’ve heard it described as ‘playing’, ‘random testing’, ‘unstructured testing’, and ‘the tests you fit in before you look at a user story’.

Out of those, the only one that gets close is ‘unstructured testing’. The point of performing exploratory testing is to step away from the user story confirmations and acceptance criteria, and as a tester allow your mind to really think about what is being delivered.

The questions we need to ask ourselves are:

  • Does the story make sense on its own.
  • Does the story offer functionality that fits in with the rest of the application. There is no point it working but then not making any sense when added to the application!
  • Are there any provisions for the edge cases that users will do:
    • hitting F5,
    • accidentally pressing the Back button,
    • right mouse clicking,
    • accidentally clicking on a link and going back to the page,
    • trying to by-pass a process to save time,
    • pasting text into a text or search box rather than typing it in.
    • etc

You get the idea from the above list.

We don’t often have time to think much about what we do – there are always time pressures, so it makes sense to put aside even just 15 to 20 minutes to step back, and allow your mind to come up with other scenarios that are not part of the acceptance criteria, because no-one can possibly think of everything before the code exists. There will always be something that you spot once the code is delivered and there is something tangible to navigate through.

Based on my own experience, exploratory testing has real benefits and should be actively encouraged within teams.

So, after reading that, do you agree or disagree with my view of what exploratory testing is and whether it is a benefit or not? Feel free to comment, thank you.