The Exciting Story behind World Tester’s Day – 9th September

    “Tester’s don’t like to break things; they like to dispel the illusion that things work.” – Kaner, Bach, Pettichord

    When is World Tester’s Day celebrated?

    The World Tester’s Day is recognised on the 9th of September every year to mark the discovery of the first ever bug that in 1947.

    The story behind World Tester’s Day

    It’s been around 75 years since the first bug was found. On September 9, 1947, Grace Hopper, a computer scientist at Harvard University was testing the Mark II Calculator (designed by Howard Aiken), when she founded a genuine little moth between the contacts of the electromechanical relay, Hopper removed the squashed bug and taped it to the project’s logbook with the notation: “first actual case of bug being found.” Hopper had carried out the first “debugging” and coined  the term that would become synonymous with the identification and elimination of the frustrating glitches that cause computers to malfunction.

    Grace Hopper - World Tester's Day, Photo from
                      Grace Hopper

    At that time, the tests were focused on the hardware because it was not as developed as today and its reliability was essential for the proper functioning of the software.

    The term debugging was associated with the application of a patch for a particular bug as a phase within the stage of software development, and that is why the tests that were performed were only of a corrective nature by taking certain measures in order to make the program work and it was in 1949 when Alan Turing wrote his first article about carrying out checks on a program and then in 1950, in the article “Turing test”, he explains the situation of how a software must adapt to the requirements of a project and the behavior of a machine or a reference system must be indistinguishable.

    First Bug Report - Tester's Day
    First Bug Report – World Tester’s Day

    However, according to the Yale Book of Quotations, the American inventor Thomas Alva Edison used the term ‘bug’ in a letter to Theodore Puskas in 1878 to describe a flaw in a system.

    According to other sources the term bug was commonly used to describe faults in the system during Edison’s time and according to some reports this wasn’t even the first ever computer bug – “It was reported as the first bug in jest, as it was an insect. The term bug had been used as a label for problems in computers and other electrical systems for a long time before this. Grace Hopper did not find the bug. Bill Burke found the bug. Grace Hopper was the team lead and often told the story of it’s discovery.” 

    Though people have different assumptions for this day, it is important to visualize how the software testing stage has evolved and emerged from its absence to its continuous presence throughout the life cycle. Nowadays that has grown to a pretty big profession. Now there are Test Analysts, Test Engineers, Quality Analysts, Integration Test Engineers, Software Testers, Systems Integration Testers, Quality Assurance Analysts, Technical Test Specialist and so on. The interesting fact is that all these designations have risen from a single BUG.

    Surely, every day is a Tester’s Day, however, it’s acceptable to have an exceptional day that makes testers around the globe share and team up and feel proud to be one. Congratulations to all the Software Testers around the world who test, who battle with different bugs and errors, know where the bugs are from and this definitely is not an easy job and every one of you deserves this day and should be proud of what you do.
    Happy Tester’s Day to all! World Tester’s Day

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