A well-known friend from the world of testing who was also a frequent blogger told me that Lisa Crispin wrote an article on last month’s edition where she meant “Facebook is everything”; that set me thinking and in a few minutes, I found myself going back to Feb edition of Testing Circus. Well, she had written about “Face Time being everything”. That set me thinking. Giving so much of gyan to others on needing to have “an eye for detail” while testing, we also tend to make the same mistakes. Would we being faulty make us less qualified to impart the same gyan to others? Well, I guess this is sounding more like the editorial and hence, I am stopping this thought trend here and going back to my mis-adventures.

Last month’s topic was the various ways in which you get bull**** during the appraisal season… or at any time of the year when you tend to negotiate for a higher pay or position or more responsibilities or onsite trips at your company. As an employee, there are really multiple ways in which you can avoid that kind of bull**** from your management. Here are some ways that I came up with…

Standard Misclaimer 1 – I’ve used the word “he” to refer to your manager; this is only a term for usage for convenience and you are free to substitute the “he” with a “she” if need be in this column!

Mentoring & Managing your Manager When two individuals work closely, one of them always tends to manage the other; however, it is notone-way traffic always. If you keep this in mind, you would know that you would get multiple instances where you can actually manage your manager. You can provide him the right data and ensure that he can make a very easy decision; you can create documents of risk and mitigation plans so that he starts to behave in a more delegate and less directive manner with you. A simple example of this trend is when he asks you about the health of a project only once a day instead of every hour. Try to work closely with your manager and create an element of trust in him. When you have created trust in him, he will definitely trust you with higher responsibilities. This cannot be done overnight, but can be done only over a time period and ensure that you have periodic checkpoints to observe his behavioral patterns against what you do to ensure that you get these parameters right.

Getting on the right side of your manager There are two ways to do this; the 1st way is by direct boot-licking and the 2nd way is to do things right. It is possible that your office has multiple camps and office politics that you might be drawn towards, but the best things to be done in such situations is to mingle with everyone, refuse to talk office politics and stay away from discussions pertaining to anything related to the office during lunch time. Refuse to take sides and try to network with only the talented people; talk to people to understand the ways that they test, how the design works and try to spread your knowledge. With your manager seeing that you are spreading around your knowledge, it would usually result in a good result. In addition to this, see if you can take away some of the work of your manager; this can be as trivial as collating timesheets, creating small reports, or as more technical as writing complex test plan documents, or talking periodically to the clients or by learning an automation tool or scripting language to solve a problem. Demonstrate all your knowledge in periodic open forums and refuse to participate in office politics would, over time, land you in the right side of your management. How to say no in the right way You cannot be “yes-bossing” your bosses always; there are multiple ways to say NO. And none of them can be generalized; there are some people who hate to hear no in open forums, some people who hate to hear a NO over emails. Learn to say NO to your boss in the right way if you think he’s doing a mistake. Some situations where you would have to say NO is when he goes against your personal ethics to bill a client and asks you to work overtime, or if he’s giving you wrong guidance, or if he tells you to do something against a competitor product or such; feel free to create your own testing ethics and office-place ethics while you begin your journey and stick to those ethics. If your manager does not want to be disagreed with in public, disagree with him in private. Be the person who said “NO BOSS” and got away with it.

Getting in the right side of the bell curve A bell curve is the only curve that decides your fate in your company; meaning it can kill your passion or quest for knowledge as long as you work with this company. So what you would need to do is that you would need to understand the key decision makers; it can be other managers, senior professionals, client contacts and your skip level manager. Ensure that you reach out to them periodically and avoid bad blood with all of them. Avoiding bad blood would automatically ensure that you would be in the right side of the bell curve. At the same time, ensure that you establish a good relationship with them.

Managing your feedback document Irrespective of your rating, you need to manage your feedback document content; this is important because that becomes the single reference point for your feedback as long as you are in that company. For background checks, your feedback documents would be referred to (if required) for references. Ensure that you reach out to your management to get the right data in your feedback document; ensure that you avoid any strong references to lack of skill, competency, etc. in your feedback documentation.

Standard Misclaimer 2 – And before I sign off, all of the above never ever really worked for me…. My review document this year from my manager “Delspe” (“delegation specialist”) contained stuff about “visibility”, “being more proactive than reactive”, “needing to be more assertive and less aggressive” and so on; it never really did work for me, you know. Maybe you can try and let me know if it worked for you……

Fake Software TesterA Fake Tester's DiaryFake Tester,Fake Tester's DiaryA well-known friend from the world of testing who was also a frequent blogger told me that Lisa Crispin wrote an article on last month's edition where she meant 'Facebook is everything'; that set me thinking and in a few minutes, I found myself going back to Feb edition...
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Fake Software Tester

What has this author achieved in testing? This author has tested more than a million lines of code and has logged more than a billion defects; He has reviewed other test cases and found at least a trillion missing test cases and has coached his peers to log more than a quadrillion bugs; He has talked more than a Quintillion words while participating in triage meetings and he has been a part of sextillion arguments convincing the developer of the bugs. He has done good researching on septillion testing conferences; every day, he has Octillion thoughts that come to his mind on the problems that plague the world of software testing. He has selected Nonillion testers from his Decillion testing interviews and has unsuccessfully attempted to coach Undecillion testers about testing. His writings are followed by DuoDecillion readers and the comments on his blog are more than Tredecillion; he has answered Quattuordecillion questions on testing in various forums. And by the way, like the monthly columns, the above contains Quindecillion amounts of exaggeration on what I have done so far in my life.

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