Does Asperger’s Make You The Ideal Software Tester?

Does Asperger’s Make You The Ideal Software Tester?
March 07 12:30 2011 Print This Article

If you had to describe the qualities of a great software tester, you would be likely to use at least some of the following phrases:

  • Ability to focus
  • Good memory
  • High intelligence
  • Strong technical skills
  • Detail orientated

As it happens, these are also some of the characteristics associated with Asperger’s syndrome. Have you made the connection yet? Brenda Weitzberg did. As the founder of Aspiritech – a Chicago non-profit firm – Weitzberg and her staff only hire people with Asperger’s for positions in software testing.

ZDNet published a nice article on the subject a few days ago, citing some of the research and background that helped Weitzberg arrive at this unique conclusion:

Aspiritech, a non-profit software testing firm hires people with Asperger’s syndrome exclusively, then trains and employs them as software testers. Though a non-profit, Aspiritech performs for-profit work for Websites, software developers and application designers. The company performs compatibility testing, functional testing, regression testing and test-case & test-script development.

Aspritech founder Brenda Weitzberg, told ERE’s Todd Raphael that employees with Asperger’s syndrome are the perfect software testers.

The proof of concept came from Danish company and recent research from Harvard Business School and others showed that the strengths of people with Aspergers and high-functioning autism actually make them superior at software testing. They’re ability to focus, good memory, their high intelligence, their strong technical skills, their ability to detect details and also to stay focused over lengthy periods, really makes them ideal for software testing work. People w/ Aspergers can become ideal software testers.

Researchers have speculated that some of the qualities and behaviors associated with Asperger’s syndrome can be benefits to have as a software developer. High intelligence, a strong memory, attention to detail and extreme focus are good traits to possess in the trade. And characteristics of a life studying and working in technology are appealing to those with Asperger’s.

Of course, the ideal testing traits mentioned above are not exclusive to those with Asperger’s syndrome and even if one has been diagnosed with the condition, there’s still a lot they need to learn about the ins and outs of software testing. Nevertheless, a pretty interesting concept being employed by Weitzberg.

What do you think? Do you know any software testers or engineers who have been diagnosed with the condition? We’d be interested to hear their story.


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Nataliia Vasylyna
Nataliia Vasylyna

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