If students don’t have fun in John Beswetherick’s classes, it’s because they haven’t been coming to class. Beswetherick’s students perform sprints, tell user stories and compete to be on feature crews – all in the process of learning to be a software tester.
His students must develop mental agility which could be why the central methodology used in software development and testing is known as Agile.
Agile is a philosophy that breaks a software development project into small pieces that become the tasks of smaller teams known as feature crews. Eventually the small pieces are used to create a large mosaic that makes up the entire project. Testers may perform a number of different tasks in this process.
Beswetherick invoked Roman mythology when he compared what a software tester does to the Roman god Janus – the god of beginnings and transitions.
“Testers are a lot like Janus,” he said. “It’s multi-faceted testing. It’s not just coding. We teach you how to work in the software development life cycle.
It’s not just all about testing,” he added. “It’s not just a two-headed Janus. You might have a ten-headed Janus because you might be writing a spec or you might be working with a customer. It really depends on where you are within that feature crew on that cycle.”
He also makes sure his classes include, among other things, professional testing methods, Structured Query Language (SQL) and fun. “It’s a lot of fun,” he said. “I like to tell the students that if you’re ever bored when you’re a tester, you’re doing something wrong because there’s a lot of different ways to solve the problem. If you find you’re doing something in a rote, boring manner you’re probably not doing it in the most efficient way.”
Beswetherick holds an engineering Associates degree from West Valley College in California, a Bachelor’s degree in economics from San Jose State as well as an MBA. He is working on a PhD in information technology from Stanford at Berkeley Capella University online.
His community activities include serving on the board of Helping Hands for the Disabled.
When not in the classroom Beswetherick plays sports and restores vintage cars with his two sons.
He encourages students to consider the software testing profession.
“There’s a lot of creativity in solving problems. Creativity equals fun. You get to break things. Some people might call that fun.”
In talking about how students break things in order to learn how to fix them his inner techno-enthusiast appeared.
“You get to use the newest, latest, greatest software. That’s fun. You get to work with dynamic people of multiple disciplines. That’s pretty cool.”
He made another point. “You usually don’t have to wear a suit and tie. What is also very cool about being a tester is you get to work with people from around the world.”
Software testing is one of the careers most in demand in this area. Employers in this area seek testers who have up to date knowledge of testing processes. The Software Testing Certification does just that. It gives students critical skills that are required for the job market.