How to Deal with Software Tester Burnout

The problem of occupational burnout among people due to the lack of interest in the tasks assigned or the unevenness of the assigned load has been extremely acute these days. And the field of software testing is not an exception for this issue. This article proposes tips on how software testers can deal with burnout.

Author: Nataliia Syvynska, TestMatick, https://testmatick.com/

The World Health Organization defines occupational burnout as a syndrome resulting from chronic work-related stress. The symptoms of burnout include exhaustion resulting from work’s excessive demands as well as physical symptoms such as headaches and sleeplessness, quickness to anger, and closed thinking This article contains top-notch tips on how to deal with burnout quickly and efficiently at work, especially if you are a software tester!

Software Tester

How to Diversify Your Work and Avoid Emotional Breakdown

  • Analyze whether and how you can automate routine work.
  • Try to alternate between tasks. For example, if you are regularly busy writing test cases, it is worth periodically changing modules, alternating between bug tracking systems, and conducting regular reviews of test cases. This approach not only allows you to add variety to the performance of tasks, but also to learn something interesting.
  • In general, do not hesitate to tell the management of your QA company that you are not interested in current work tasks, that you want to learn something new and potentially useful at your work. This will be better not only for you, but for all your colleagues.

But what if there are very few interesting tasks and you want more work? What is a correct way to distribute the existing tasks effectively in order to motivate the employees around you and quench their thirst for something new?

Alternatively, you can distribute software testing tasks according to their due dates. For example, if time is very short, you can perform only those tasks that you have faced earlier, one way or another. And if there is much time, then you can take new tasks with completely new functionality, which you have not previously encountered. This allows not only performing current work tasks but also gaining new knowledge. In the future, such a strategy will increase the interchangeability of employees in case of unexpected circumstances!

Another approach for getting rid of boredom for a software tester is to introduce a new set of tools and software testing processes. In today’s realities, everything develops so rapidly that it remains only to have time to draw on new knowledge.

Dealing with Uneven Load

This problem can be dealt with in different ways, but it will be most effective to use the strategy of early testing of the planned functionality. You need to familiarize yourself with the task in advance, ask leading questions, record everything you need, set priorities, and prepare up-to-date test data. And when you get the task for verification, you should execute the established test cases. Moreover, their number directly depends on the final date of completion of work and priority.

Conclusion

Burnout is a frequent thing in any profession and the IT industry and software testing activities are by no means an exception to this issue. Software testers should try to look at old things from a different (sometimes very unusual) angle and they could get new energy to enjoy their work.

Additional References

Harvard Business Review: Burnout Is About Your Workplace, Not Your People

Mayo Clinic: Job burnout: How to spot it and take action

Burnout in Software Development – Survey Results 2021

Remote Burnout For Software Engineers: Causes, Signs And Symptoms To Fix Or Prevent Burnout

Software Developer Careers Considered Harmful