I recently received a comment on a previous article. The article was about testers being immune to the current financial crisis and the comment re-inforced that testing is a good career to have in hard times, but that even some testers have had to look for work when their projects finished.
I think this is the first sign of the turn-around toward employment growth.
Economic and political primer to understand this complex economic theory
In Australia, we have had several “sugar fixes” of money being provided in “Economic stimulus” packages to boost spending and employment. This is based on the economic theory of sugar fixes, which states that
If people run out of money they willborrow more to get a spending fix. But when they run out of credit, there will be a financial crisis. The best way to fix this is therefore to have the government borrow money instead and give everyone some cash to provide them with a spending fix. This will work really well because governments never run out of money and if they did they could just print some more (like the UK and US are doing).
However the Australian Federal opposition dispute this theory as being one implemented by the government in power and thus to be ridiculed at all cost. Rather, they believe that we should pay employees in used potato chip packets.
According to the used chip wrapper theory of economic growth
Polititions and bosses need to be paid in real money, but the less we pay everyone else the more productive we become. THis in turn leads to bosses and politions having heaps of money to spend and cheap labour meaning they can afford butlers again. So the country as a whole becomes really well off.
These theories can be clearly seen to have merit. Both involve an acceptance that there is a problem and that we should probably come up with a clever solution. Both seem slightly flawed in two ways though. Firstly, they rely on polititions to fix things and that is not really their core strength. Secondly, they do not provide a long term solution for the population as a whole.
The new economic theory
Fortunatly there is a new theory. Apparently if we create employment growth and build a lot of infrastructure then we will be able to launch ourselves into the next boom.
So what does this have to do with testers? The answer to this question should give you great hope for Australia and the world economy.
Firstly, many projects (I have heard of some first or second hand) are currently saving money by cutting back on testing, and on the use of experienced testers. The good news here is that this will directly lead to employment growth.
Every projec that skips the annoying testing stage (or defers it to later in the project to save time and money now) creates work for future generations of both IT and business people.
Thus, every project that is skipping on testers at the moment is really saying “wait 6 months and send me your resume, plus the resume of everyone you know … we will need a lot of help in the future”.
The next benefit is related to infrastructure. Since we know rich countries have good infrastructure and poor countries have bad infrastructure then we can deduce that good infrastructure leads to wealth.
So, again our lack of testing will help.
Some projects are currently rolling out too much infrastructure due to not actually evaluating (testing) what they need. This excess infrastructure should according to our theories then end up hanging around creating extra wealth.
Even better though, some projects are saving even more money by not rolling out enough infrastructure and not evaluating what they need. This “double stimulus” should lead to both needing more infrastructure in a panic in the future (meaning excess infrasture again) and the old infrastructure being redundant, allowing it to wander off and create wealth.
So projects are denfinitely doing their bit to create future. But this is also where the government could help more.
By paying a tester holiday stimulus bonus, we can encourage testers to go away on holidays. They will then spend money on tourism and retail, generating more money.
They will also descend on our unsuspecting tourism industry while other tourists are lacking .. and being testers they will harrass they s**t out of people to improve the quality of our resorts so they are beeter prepared for and more appreciative of normal tourists.
And finally, the lack of good testers on our projects is guaranteed to lead to substantial future work for large numbers of IT people.