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How have Testers been affected by COVID? The positive and the negative.

Written by Erin Donnelly
02/07/20 - 14:15

Now before you read this, a quick disclaimer – the stats below come not from me, but from Beth, a Senior Test Engineer based in Leeds who created an amazing survey asking Testers about their experiences with COVID/lockdown.

And these were the results…

** Around 25% of Testers had either been made redundant or furloughed.

** A further 15% of Testers who had completed the survey had reduced hours and/or reduced pay.

** Over 50% of Testers knew someone who had been made redundant or furloughed.

** 70% of Testers loved working from home.

** Very few people suggested jobs being rescinded was a big issue.

So what does that mean?

Furlough rates across the UK is between 25 – 30% on average, so although this is a fairly small case study and won’t show us the whole picture, we can take the good news that furlough is not as high in tech/testing as it is in other industries.

Another positive was working from home, with everyone having something to say about it and a huge 70% loving it – with flexibility, trust and more time to get involved in testing community events being flagged. Some people disliked not being able to nip over and chat with colleagues, and juggling childcare was a concern too.

Concerns were also raised about the general impact on testing as well – with worries that in order to get products out quickly, companies had a higher risk appetite, taking away the focus on quality and testing. To me this seems reasonable in the short term with a lot of companies quickly creating products or applications that are helping us cope with COVID, but will there be a negative impact long term?

Amount of work wise, there seemed to be a mixture of responses.

Less work in general for some Testers was also a concern – and the knock-on effect that Software Developers were taking on testing responsibilities, taking away from their main priority, and also removing the need for dedicated Testers.

However, a fair amount of Testers felt that the amount of work they had to do had increased – whether it was companies pivoting their products, or because of taking on other work, or having take on someone else’s workload too. More work seems to be good news short term, but long term what does that mean? Will this affect mental health? Will companies look to hire more Testers to deal with the backlog of work?

I’d love to hear your thoughts – and if the responses to this survey match up to your experiences or not