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    Presenter: Stuart Reid
    View the webinar & Slides Here

    At 2pm BST today Stuart Reid held a webinar on Tester Motivations in which he presented the results of a survey involving 600 testers.

    The study separated respondents into six distinct testing roles: Developer/Tester, Test Analyst, Test Lead, Test Manager, Test Consultant and Head of Testing. Stuart also discussed the factors and job characteristics that affect testers in each of the roles and how they differ.

    We want to know what motivates you in your role as a tester? Do you agree with Stuart’s findings?


    Question from Michael Corum:

    “Did you see any significant correlation between the survey results and geographic location?”


    Hi Michael,

    I did a detailed comparison between Asian and non-Asian testers. There are significant differences if you look at the detailed level of individual factors. If you plug all the factors together into the MPS formula you find the differences tend to cancel each other out.

    In general the following factors are most motivating for ALL testers: MASTERY + ENVIRONMENT + VARIETY + FEEDBACK + AUTONOMY.

    For Asian testers specifically, IDENTITY + VARIETY + FEEDBACK would be the most effective areas to focus on.

    I have not done a comparison between European and Australian/NZ testers (the two largest groups) as I hypothesized they would be similar (and I have not had time to do that level of detailed comparison).

    I hope that helps,


    Question from Diana Gomez:

    “Do you think that the is a general perception that software testing certifications are the path for testers to develop a career?”


    Hi Diana,

    I am not sure what you mean by ‘general’ perception. I think employers’ perception is quite different from testers’ perception and I think perception about certifications changes quite dramatically depending on geographical region.

    Of the respondents, 34% had NO certifications, while 66% had one or more certifications.

    66% of those with NO certifications agreed they were motivated or highly motivated, while 74% of those WITH certifications agreed they were motivated or highly motivated. So, for this sample, those with certifications felt they were slightly more motivated.

    I think having a certification demonstrates a level of commitment to a career, and I think certifications can be a useful small, early part of a long career path for some testers.

    Personally I have no certifications, but am quite happy with my career so far.

    Best regards,


    Hi Daragh amd Stuart.

    I found this really useful and I could relate to the various discussions around Tester Motivation and what drives me in my career. I have been a Tester for 11 years in the financial industry testing bespoke and Web sites covering various different software and hardware tools.

    A lot of what was said was very true and in regards to the above discussion to whether certification promotes motivation, I believe it gives you a basis of a test career but its the experiences and challenges which motivate most Testers. I know what makes me demotivated and what drives me in my motivation and these findings have confirmed which path I should look to take.

    Very useful, thank you



    Hey Stuart!

    Thanks for sharing your work. I really enjoyed your presentation and it was definitely helpful.

    I have two questions:
    1) Did you see any difference between men and women motivation/demotivation?
    2) Was there also any difference between people from different age groups? (example: motivation difference between 25 year old and 55 year old test consultant etc.)



    Hi Jayne,

    Thanks for the feedback.

    I agree that the relationship between certification and motivation is not causal – perhaps other than that brief period when you get the results I can’t see certification motivating most people. However, I have seen situations where the certification courses have made attendees more aware of testing as a discipline and provided an impetus to do more reading into it, which has led to a improved confidence – and hopefully motivation.

    I think it is most likely that those who are more motivated are also more likely to make the extra effort to get certification, hence the slight difference in motivation scores for those with certification.

    Best regards,


    Hi Kristel,

    Good question – I wish we had now included a question on the sex of the respondents as I get this question a lot. We thought about it, but I think it was me who thought it might be a bit too controversial to compare motivation by sex. We could go back through the responses and assign them a sex – I have just looked at the raw data and we have the names – I can see that we could assign a sex to over 90% of them really easily. Perhaps this is an area I will look at in the future.

    I’m afraid we did not collect people’s ages, but we did collect their years of experience in testing, which I expect will have a reasonably strong correlation with their age. When you first look at the data (it is on one of the later slides) a slight dip in motivation can be seen for those with 1 to 3 years experience, which then recovers for those with more experience. According to a statistical analysis of this data there is no statistical difference (above 5%) in motivation for the different experience levels.

    Best regards,


    Hi Stuart.

    I agree that it is most likely that those who are more motivated are also more likely to make the extra effort to get certification. Myself as a Tester have continually increased my skills in lots of different areas to gain a knowledge base (not necessarily all on testing I may add). I am currently looking to get advanced skills qualifications for Testing. It provides an understanding of the requirements and a base for testing whilst actually gaining the hands on experience I believe is the additional training for this, if you don’t use the information from the qualification, it can easily be forgotten.

    What came out of the survey interested me because it recognises that no matter what organisation you are in, whether large or small, motivation is the same across the different test roles and it highlighted the key motivational and de-motivational aspects of being a Tester.

    It also highlighted the different motivational tools that can be used to improve motivation within the testing community which is definitely a win win. It has helped me identify my key learning skills and which direction I want to go in.

    Best Regards


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