I’ve often wondered if there is such a thing as a “testing gene”. In fact, since I first started out as a tester over 7 years ago, I’ve often asked if testing is a trait that people can learn or whether it’s a knack that you are born with, that makes you feel the need to investigate and explore everything.
It wasn’t until 4 years ago that I decided that it must be a gene….
I was living in Shanghai with my partner – she managed to get offered a great job out there and I decided to up sticks and move out to the Far East with her to get some life experience. We moved into an apartment that was in a lovely leafy area in the heart of the city, and as I was unpacking I noticed a bizarre red button on the wall with a small hole underneath it. I asked my partner what she might have thought the button was for, but she simply replied “I don’t know”, with a look that indicated that she was not really bothered by it.
I, on the other hand, was filled with intrigue. It was eating away at me. What was this red button for?
About an hour later (when my partner was out), I couldn’t contain myself anymore. I was itching to press the red button, so I stepped up to it and braced myself. As I pushed it in nothing happened. No lights went on, nor was there any noise at all. Nothing…
Being slightly disappointed, I then tried to push it again, but as it was already depressed, there was no more give in the button and it would not pop back out. It was very strange. The button now seemed stuck, pressed into the wall.
I decided not to meddle with it anymore, but just at that moment there was a very loud knock on the door! I could hear some men shouting in Mandarin as they continued to knock. As I opened the door in a panic, I noticed that they were dressed in security uniforms and they rushed past me to check the rooms.
The older of the two men started shouting at me with an angry look on his face as he began pointing to the red button – Aha!! It was a panic alarm!!
As I couldn’t understand a word that he was saying, I tried to apologise and tried my hardest to say that I pressed it accidentally. It didn’t look like he (or his colleague) were able to understand me either though, but eventually he understood that there was no problem in the room. He went over to the red button and inserted a small key into the hole, turned it and the button popped back out of the wall. We said our goodbyes and off they went, un-amused.
In the end, my curiosity got the better of me, but at the end of the day, it was inevitable that I would push the button. I had to know what the red button was for, so ultimately nothing was going to stop me from pushing it to find out. But I can’t help thinking about what other people would do in this situation. I know that my partner would not have cared about it being on the wall and would have happily left it alone… Probably, most people who I know; my family and friends, would have left it alone (except for the testers that I know – most testers would have pressed the button, I’m sure!)
What do you think? Is testing in the blood?
Would you have pressed the red button??