Raw data & R code analysis of a survey of software testers
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This repo holds the raw data and analysis from research I conducted into software testers and the issues faced by software testers in the workplace. The following text was displayed on the first page of the landing page.

This survey has been designed to discover how testers feel about their job roles and identify the most common issues that testers face in the workplace. This survey attempts to assess some of the factors that influence testers changing roles with the industry and investigates the varied backgrounds of testers, including what brought them to testing. Questions are also asked about levels of job satisfaction at work. This survey does not ask for any personal information which could uniquely identify any individual. All answers are presented as multiple choice / multiple option. Responses to this survey are completely anonymous. It is the intention to use the results of this survey to create one or more factual blog posts on the topic of testers in the workplace which will be published and shared with the software testing community. It is also intended to make the raw statistical data from this survey openly available to allow others to perform their own independent analysis of the data discovered. This survey should take less than 5 minutes to complete.

The survey was open from the 4th of May 2016 until the 20th May 2016 and received 187 responses.

The survey questions and choices were as follows:

#Section 1 of 9 Software Testing Survey

Do you currently work in software testing?

  • Yes - Go to section 4
  • No - Go to section 2

#Section 2 of 9

Have you previously worked in software testing?

  • Yes - Go to section 3 (About your most recent testing job)
  • No - (Submit form)

#Section 3 of 9

Since leaving testing, do you still work in an Information Technology / Computing based role?

Some examples of IT / Computing roles are job titles such as Administrator, Analyst, Architect, Consultant, Designer, Developer, Engineer, Programmer, Statistician, Support, Technician with roles with Computer Hardware, Computer Software, Computer Networking, Systems Administration, IT Support

  • Yes I still work in Information Technology / Computing
  • I no longer work in Information Technology / Computing

Why did you leave testing?

Select all that apply

  • Stress
  • Salary
  • Relocation
  • Family reasons
  • Health reasons
  • Ethical reasons
  • Redundancy
  • Change in personal circumstances
  • Relationship with boss
  • Relationship with co-workers
  • Bored and unchallenged
  • No opportunity for promotion or progression
  • Concern over company stability
  • Company culture
  • Lack of performance recognition
  • No job satisfaction
  • Career change
  • Poor work / life balance
  • Disagreed with company practices
  • Other...

Were you happy in your most recent testing job?

  • Yes
  • No

Would you work in testing again?

  • Yes
  • No

Go to section 5

#Section 4 of 9

Are you happy in your CURRENT testing job?

  • Yes
  • No

How likely are you to look for a new testing job within the next 12 months?

  • Very unlikely
  • Unlikely
  • Not sure
  • Likely
  • Very Likely

How likely are you to look for job outside of testing within the next 12 months?

  • Very unlikely
  • Unlikely
  • Not sure
  • Likely
  • Very Likely

Continue to next Section

#Section 5 of 9

What do you enjoy about software testing?

Select all that apply

  • Overcoming challenges
  • Improving software quality
  • Asking questions
  • Finding defects
  • Learning new things
  • Prioritising tasks
  • Thinking critically
  • Solving problems
  • Identifying new problems
  • Assessing and managing risks
  • Working in a team
  • Engaging with other testers
  • Generating new ideas
  • Gaining expert knowledge of a product
  • Helping people
  • Seeing the big picture
  • Working on a variety of different tasks
  • Preventing disaster
  • Persuading people
  • Repetitive tasks
  • None of the above
  • Other...

What made you apply for your FIRST testing job?

Select all that apply

  • I wanted a new challenge
  • I wanted to work with technology and computers
  • I was unemployed and needed a job
  • Testing paid a higher salary than my previous job
  • It seemed interesting
  • I did not like my previous job
  • I applied so I could relocate
  • I wanted to work in software development but did not know how to code
  • Knew how to code but I did not want to work as a developer
  • I knew other testers which recommended testing to me
  • Someone who was not a tester recommended testing to me
  • I thought testing would be fun
  • I thought testing would be easy
  • I thought testing would be better than my previous job
  • I thought testing had good career prospects and progression
  • I saw lots of testing jobs advertised
  • I applied because the job advert stated no experience necessary
  • My company was trying to hire testers and I wanted to change my role
  • I decided to apply for a testing job after attending a careers or jobs fair
  • I decided to apply after receiving careers advice while I was in education
  • I wanted to work at a specific company and this company advertised testing as an entry level position
  • I studied computing and saw testing as a way to use this knowledge

How likely are you to recommend testing as a career to others?

  • Very unlikely
  • Unlikely
  • Not sure
  • Likely
  • Very Likely

How much testing experience do you have?

  • less than a year
  • 1 - 2 years
  • 2 - 5 years
  • 5 - 10 years
  • 10 - 20 years
  • More than 20 years

Which industries have you tested in?

Select all that apply

  • Aerospace
  • Automotive
  • Business
  • Communications
  • Electronics
  • Energy
  • Finance
  • Games
  • Government
  • Health
  • Insurance
  • Intelligence
  • Legal
  • Military
  • Pharmaceutical
  • Sales
  • Scientific
  • Social Media
  • Other...

Did you have a different job before you started testing?

  • Yes, I had a different job before I started testing

  • No, my very first job was a testing job.

Continue to next section

#Section 6 of 9


What is your highest qualification?

  • None - Go to section 8 (Training Courses)
  • GCSEs or equivalent - Continue to next section
  • A-Levels or equivalent - Continue to next section
  • Foundation course - Continue to next section
  • Bachelors degree - Continue to next section
  • Masters degree - Continue to next section
  • Doctorate - Continue to next section

#Section 7 of 9

Did you study Computing, Computer Science or a computer related subject?

  • Yes
  • No

While you were studying did you know you wanted to work in testing?

  • Yes
  • No

Continue to next section

Section 8 of 9

Training courses

On a scale of 0 to 5 where: 0=Never attended, 1=Very ineffective, 2=Ineffective, 3=Average, 4=Effective, and 5=Very effective, please rate the following training courses:

Have you attended any of the following training courses and if so how were they?

  • Row 1 - Rapid Software Testing

  • Row 2 - AST BBST Foundations

  • Row 3 - AST BBST Bug Advocacy

  • Row 4 - AST BBST Test Design

  • Row 5 - ISEB/ISTQB Foundation

  • Row 6 - ISEB/ISTQB Advanced

  • Row 7 - ISEB/ISTQB Expert

  • Column 1 - 0

  • Column 2 - 1

  • Column 3 - 2

  • Column 4 - 3

  • Column 5 - 4

  • Column 6 - 5

In your current (or most recent) testing job, how long did it take you to "get up to speed"?

Our definition of "get up to speed" is becoming familiar enough with the product, infrastructure, tools and process that you felt comfortable testing without support from others.

  • 1 month
  • 3 months
  • 6 months
  • 1 year
  • 2 years
  • 2+ years

Do you believe other testing jobs are better than your current (or most recent) testing job?

  • Yes
  • No

Would the thought of having to "get up to speed" at a new company put you off applying for another testing job?

  • Yes
  • No

Continue to next section

#Section 9 of 9

About your current (or most recent) testing job

This is the final section of the survey and you have nearly completed all the questions. Please compare each of the following statements against your current or most recent software testing job and answer if the statement is True or False.

The testing expectations placed upon me are achievable.

  • True
  • False

I feel like part of the team.

  • True
  • False

I am usually excluded when decisions are made.

  • True
  • False

Absolutely everyone I work with cares about quality.

  • True
  • False

There is no automated testing.

  • True
  • False

My performance is measured using metrics (like total bug count).

  • True
  • False

I have access to all the tools and resources I require to perform effectively.

  • True
  • False

I feel my employer values my technical skills.

  • True
  • False

People don't share important information with me and I am kept in the dark.

  • True
  • False

I get to work collaboratively with others.

  • True
  • False

Technical debt is taken seriously and addressed in a timely manner.

  • True
  • False

I feel there are opportunities for me to progress and take on more responsibility.

  • True
  • False

In my current workplace I feel people do not appreciate the role testing plays in development.

  • True
  • False

There are high levels of staff retention and everyone is very loyal to the company.

  • True
  • False

When I make a decision, I feel my judgment is trusted.

  • True
  • False

Code frequently breaks in the production environment and need to be fixed or patched.

  • True
  • False

It is expected that I will work unpaid over-time.

  • True
  • False

Developers are seen as superior to testers within my organisation

  • True
  • False

I am forced to sign disclaimers stating software contains no bugs.

  • True
  • False

My company supports me to attend training courses, workshops or conferences.

  • True
  • False

I feel like I am making a positive difference.

  • True
  • False

Management lacks understanding of my role and frequently has unrealistic expectations.

  • True
  • False

There is not enough time test things to my satisfaction.

  • True
  • False

I am blamed for missed bugs.

  • True
  • False