One of the benefits of taking some time off is the chance it affords you to look at yourself and see what really is there without being caught up in the moment. I took the last week off, looked at myself, and discovered that I'm not really a tester. Or more precisely, I am a tester, but that's only part of what I do.
Look, for example, at the recent things I've done or been involved with:
- drafted management, monitoring, packaging and configuration requirements for a new system we're working on (I'm the one who thinks about the infrastructure stuff)
- modified and extended test infrastructure (and fixed a couple bugs along the way)
- been the general email/document reviewer for my boss and several others on some business development work we do. They call it the "grammarian" hat.
- tested software (the "I am a tester" part)
- worked with some team members to help them learn how to find trends in field and internal issues
- written a couple blog posts
What I am is what many testers are - someone who is skilled at looking at systems, breaking them down into their component pieces and then building them up to see the larger picture. This systems thinking plays across the software development life cycle, from requirements elicitation to development, deployment, and into supporting and maintaining the system.
I'm a tester, and so much more than that.