insight software testing

Are you serious?

Seriously, how serious are you about testing? Lets presume you study the craft of testing. Does that make you a serious tester?
If you answer yes to this question, congratulations. You are on your way to becoming a serious tester. Now ask yourself this question:

“Do you take yourself seriously?”

If you want to be taken seriously about testing, you need to take yourself seriously. Note the difference here. Taking yourself seriously is much larger than being a serious tester.

Taking yourself seriously means you avoid behaviour and thinking such as:

“I will put myself down in front of others to make them feel better about themselves”
“I resort to behaving childishly when placed in pressure situations”
“I hand over power in order to avoid conflict”
“I feel like a fake even though my actions demonstrate otherwise”

I know this, because its only recently I realised that I haven’t been taking myself so seriously.

When you stop speaking to yourself in such a way and start taking yourself seriously, a wonderful thing happens. You start to believe in yourself. In fact, you have to. You owe it to yourself to do so.

I’ve discovered a new strength in this self belief. It means I have courage and strength to stand up for what I want. In doing so, I give myself the respect and honour for all the hard work I have put in.

So, let me ask the question again: Do you take yourself seriously?

Expression epitomised in Rage comics following a David Silverman interview of Fox News by Bill O’Reilly 

9 replies on “Are you serious?”

Yes, i take myself seriously. That’s why most of the times a situation comes that i put myself down and hand over the things to others.
Or In a situation where my points starts creating conflicts.

These things happen generally when you start taking testing seriously. Really need to learn how to act and respond to these kind of emotional and confusing situations.

But yeah, A good lesson to learn. “Are you serious?”

Hi Anurag,
Yes, you are right, when you take testing seriously, conflicts can arise, mostly because lots of people don’t understand what testing is. I’m not sure I have any answers for how to deal with these emotional and conflicting situations.

I find that I have to look beyond how i feel and try and examine the situation in a slightly detached way. But everyone is different.

Knowing how we behave in these situations and reflecting on how we could improve are I suspect good starting points for improving.

Many thanks for commenting


Interesting post. It prompted a lot of thought from me, which is a good thing. 
“Take yourself seriously”

Before reading your blog post, I thought that “taking yourself seriously” meant being “intense, focused, and somber” (like Lieutenant Steven Hauk in the movie “Good Morning, Vietnam”) instead of “relaxed, unfocused, and lighthearted” (like Adrian Cronauer in the same movie).

Then I read your blog post. While I thought it was generally good advice (believe in yourself > discover a new strength), I had trouble reconciling some of your content and examples with my definition.

Doing some quick Googling, I was surprised to find that many folks think that “taking yourself seriously” means “thinking highly of yourself, and valuing & respecting your dignity” (like Walter Sobchak in the movie “The Big Lewbowski”) instead of “being self-conscious and weak” (like Donny Kerabatsos in the same movie).

Based on this, I assume that both definitions of “take yourself seriously’ are acceptable, provided the context.

AMC: To be honest, I hadn’t considered other forms of being serious apart from the sarcastic expression often used when people are disbelieving.

And, I was able to map the rest of your content and examples to this definition!

Finally, while I think this is all generally good advice, I also think it is highly dependent upon the person and the situation. For example, a very confident person may purposefully “put [themselves] down in front of others to make them feel better about themselves”. This is a tactic which is quite often effective in getting others to be sympathetic. Self-deprecating humor can be very powerful, indeed. Similarly, “[handing] over power in order to avoid conflict” may actually be wise in some circumstances (“lose the battle to win the war”).

AMC: I’m glad you made this point. As I hit the publish button it occurred to me that this was totally my own perspective on behaviours and value and ways I might think. I’m sure that this is not the case for everyone and many may find it hard to relate. I’m fine with that. It is a highly personal post and I suspect most people will understand that. But for those who don’t there’s a lovely comment below from you to help clarify. Many thanks! Anne-Marie

It mostly doesn’t seem like it at the time, but standing up for yourself and doing the things you believe in will bring reward and satisfaction, it just usually takes more time than most are willing to wait. You have a big advantage if you can show patience 🙂

For what it’s worth Anne-Marie, people in the software industry whose work you admire have always taken you seriously. So have the people like me who admire your work. It’s great to know you’ve joined the ranks of people who take you seriously 🙂
Now I’ll have to read this post a few more times, because I suspect I’m not taking myself seriously enough…

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