Tester’s New Year Resolution – 2014
“Resolutions are more sustainable when shared, both in terms of with whom you share the benefits of your resolution, and with whom you share the path of maintaining your resolution. Peer-support makes a difference in success rate with new year’s resolutions.”
– Frank Ra, author of “A Course in Happiness”
We asked few testers to share their New Year resolutions or recommend resolutions for testers to take this year. The following are what they shared with Testing Circus team. We are sure this will inspire the testers to achieve their resolutions in 2014. Happy New Year.
1. I will do more to communicate with my programmers and product owners. Institute the idea of three amigos” if you do not do so already, and if you are already doing it, try to find ways to be more proactive with working with them.
2. Come to the party earlier and get up to speed on what a story needs. Try to do all you can to start testing as soon as possible, not just when the programmer has completed the coding. Test requirements, ask questions, provoke responses and thought from your team mates.
3. Try to get a mix of both feature stories and technical stories. If you have the option to work on infrastructure, take the time to work on stories that let you learn more about the underpinnings of your product. Learn the moving parts of your application more thoroughly.
4. READ, READ, READ. Follow other testers on Twitter, read their blogs, ask them about their favorite books, examine ideas that are outside of your own. Look for books that can inform your testing but may not specifically be about testing (philosophy, mechanics, business, production, marketing, etc.).
5. PRACTICE, PRACTICE, PRACTICE. Find testers to collaborate with. Join in on Weekend Testing events. Seek to be mentored by other testers, or look for chances to be mentored. Focus on software testing classes that emphasize real skills and practicing those skills. Give talks at local user group meetings, workshops or conferences. Practice giving those talks and really absorb and consider the feedback that you receive.
One more for good measure, write down your ideas as to how you can incorporate what you are doing and how you can apply it to your testing and make it better. Then share it with others.
Bernice Niel Ruhland
1. Develop your leadership skills
2. Read a book that is not related to software testing
3. Further develop your understanding and application of a testing technique
4. Dedicate time to enjoy an activity / hobby / time with family
5. Determine how you can contribute to the testing community such as mentoring someone new to software testing
1. Find time to experiment. There are so many ideas out there to try new directions and shake up what we do. Often we find ourselves rejecting them for a number of reasons. We’re testers after all, and see the glass that way. But have a go, try and work out if your initial concerns were justified.
2. Find time to learn. This goes hand in hand with experimenting, but find time to read what others are doing in testing, and try to read with an open (though not uncritical) mind. Magazines and blogs are good for general testing knowledge, but books help with mastery.
3. Find time to reflect. Sounds like learning? Well yes, but reflection is looking back at things you yourself have done, like an internal retrospective, looking for better ways of doing things.
4. Find time to educate. From juniors to managers and developers. Find ways to teach the ideas of testing to those you work with without patronizing them. Testing is much misunderstood, and one method for this is testers need to become more vocal.
5. Find time to network. Whatever your challenges, you aren’t likely to be alone. Find out others to share your war stories and learnings with
1. I would learn programming, with focus on solving testing problems, while looking into the design aspects carefully.
2. I would read at least one book on software testing apart from the ones I have read already, and apply the new concepts that I learn.
3. I would do critical analysis of what I hear and read. I would not be someone’s zombie.
4. I would explore at least one testing area that I haven’t so far.
5. I would strive to be efficient and effective in what I do.
1. Cloud is going mainstream. And Testing in Cloud will become critical. My first resolution would be to read and learn about strategies and methods for cloud testing.
2. Increase the confidence and competence. Quoting Michael Hoffman, president of Igniting Performance the two most important factors in a testing professional’s disposition are confidence and competence. “People who are both competent and confident push the boundaries of what’s possible,” he said. This is an essential skill for testers – the ability to carry out tasks in the right manner and the belief that what we are doing is right.
3. Improve metrics collection and analysis. One of the key findings of the world Quality report for 2013-14 is that “QA organizations are still mostly capturing IT based, reactive performance metrics with Number of Defects Found being tracked by 73% of the organizations surveyed”. The recommendation is to “Improve reporting of business-oriented metrics to demonstrate the value of QA”. Each tester should strive to provide such data which would eventually elevate the value of a tester.
Rob van Steenbergen
1. Pair Testing with developers
2. Attend at least 2 test conferences this year
3. Experiment with creating my test plan in a mind map instead of a big MS Word document
4. Write something about testing every day and read something about testing for at least 30 minutes every day
5. Do Exploratory Testing at least 50 percent of my time in testing
6. Write an article for the Testing Circus
Vivek V Dwivedi
Often New Year and Resolutions complement each other. While everyone makes a few, it’s real hard to make sure that you work according to your resolutions. So before moving forward, I would wish you a Happy New Year and may God give you strength and dedication to fulfil your promises, to society and yourself. As a part of my resolutions, I am going to share my 5 resolutions as a tester this year. If you already have your resolutions, you can directly skip to other articles. No really! You don’t need me anymore. Go ahead.
If you are still reading, you are among my true friends, not like those traitors who moved to other sections. We will have our own hangout and discuss the effect of resolutions later. And yeah! They won’t be invited, they skipped this. Now go ahead, have a look at my resolution sheet.
1. I will report everything.
Too small to look like a resolution? Well, it’s not. Whatever I do as a tester is intended to improve the quality of my firm’s software. This is a good time to realize that judgement can’t be passed without thorough knowledge. Some problem which I don’t consider important might be a blocker issue. So, the best thing to do is to report everything I find. And no matter how stupid it may sound, if it is not according to the requirement, it must be reported, Period.
2. I will attend at least one testing conference
Conferences are great place to learn and develop a network. It’s way better than blind requests on linkedIn or other social networks. There are industry leaders, innovators and lots of fellow testers in such conferences, and I will go on to attend a minimum of one conference. Not only will I attend the conference, I will also invite my friends and fellow testers to a meeting/webinar/lunch party and tell them about things I learned in conference. Since learning is not the only target, I will also make acquaintances with as many people I can meet. And it won’t stop there; I will try to follow up with them after the conference is over.
3. I will blog about my work challenges and the solutions
Blogging makes you go over the things you know. While you write the article, it gives a recap of what all you know and lets you revise the concepts. Also when you are writing, there is no scope for false information, shady data or assumptions. Blogging, for the most part, improves your own knowledge about subject. Keeping this in mind, I promise myself that I will blog more often this year. I will blog about the challenges that I faced testing my application at work, and how I tried to solve the problem. I will blog about new things I learn, new good practices that come to my notice and new testing tools I learn about.
4. I will learn a new term every week, and by learn I mean really learn
It’s easy to get lost in between industry terms and Jargons. People use them all the time and if you don’t know about it, you are lost there. It’s over for you my friend. You can’t be nodding without knowing what agile means or what SDLC is being discussed, or what a smoke testing means. Even though we can’t count the number of such terms, I am pretty sure that the number doesn’t go beyond a hundred relevant terms. I will make a habit of learning one new term every week. Thursday – Friday is the period to pick up a term, weekend is there to learn and the whole next week to implement in conversation. And I will make sure that I really learned the term, not just mugged up the definition or expanded form for the term, No.
5. I will not work extended hours, never
Being someone who is supposed to catch the mistakes and loopholes, there is no scope of even momentary loss of attention. As humans, there are a fixed number of hours till we can operate with complete care. Consider it to be close to office hours, give or take an hour or so. I will make this a habit to complete my job in assigned hours and no more. Late night work only spoils the results, and half of the coming day is taken to fix the late night mistakes. So I won’t be working late. If something is not completed, I will report it and carry on next day.
So you read till the end. I guess you are a real good friend of mine. And I am always willing to give something extra for my true friends. I will spawn a number six for you.
6. I will share Testing Circus with at least 25 friends
Yes, I will share Testing Circus with my true friends and let them know about this. I promise that I will get them out from all the Facebook games and introduce them to Testing Circus.
So now we are done with the resolutions. It’s high time that we go ahead and implement what we decided. I will be awaiting your tweets and responses. Happy New year!
Jari Mikael Laakso
1. Honesty; I will not hide any information, no matter how hard it might be to communicate.
2. Learning; I will study various materials and use that knowledge in my domain.
3. Community; I will share my knowledge and experiences with the people who want to improve themselves.
4. Leadership; I will show an example by speaking publicly about my values and work.
5. Courage; I won’t be afraid to stand up for my values and people who need someone to help them.
1. Test less, prevent more
2. Think better, do less
3. Reflect and learn, become smarter
4. Work hard but smartly
5. Focus on value of outcomes, not just activities
1. Do attend a conference – You will get to meet and network with people with whom you share a common interest (Big data to bicycling). Might even as well learn which conferences to definitely attend and which ones to give a pass.
2. Participate in an open discussion which may/may not involve you/your case/cause either online/offline – meaning STAND UP for what you care for. Seek help if you need to. Definitely you will at least get to defend yourself and the work that you are already doing. There are other perks too – you might be doing yourself a big favor by being involved.
3. Take charge – Say at your work place if there is a block of any kind towards learning or biases around letting you go attend a testing conference. Speak up and be there while a decision is made. If you personally do not have such challenges resolve to help someone who is in a turmoil or a situation that they are finding hard to resolve without help.
4. Read – Read a lot or even if it’s just one book that you read – chew, digest and implement the lesson which is essential in it for you.
5. Help -Help someone to think and test better, host a webinar, write an article, review an article, fund someone to attend a conference, bring substance and knowledge to the table along with your presence. The testing community needs you. In general give a lift to someone who is passionate and deserves to move up.
The testing community is already doing all of this – I see Bernice Neil Ruhland share her book reading experiences with us. Jean Ann Harrison, Carsten Feilberg, Ravi Suriya, James Bach, Julian Harty lending their precious time to the deserving candidates by imparting knowledge.
Santhosh Tuppad, Keith Klain, Pradeep Soundararajan, James Bach are standing up for the rights of a tester.
It is time the young associate themselves in spreading the word about the need for how testing needs to be carried out or testing scene needs to change around them. I would not say these are the new age studies (I can already hear Keith guffawing if I said so :)). Go to satisfice.com/blog, developsense.com/blog and read/re-read the studies already done and add on to it. A brand new thought to convey the same science is all that is required.
Of course the above mentioned points aren’t new.
But yes we definitely need a cooler way of conveying these messages in an even uber cool way. Be and help someone become that torch bearer for the testing community.
And continue to pass on this torch. Wishing you all a wonderful year and happy (testing) times ahead!
1. Use the power of brain and you will never run out of test ideas.
2. Know your users and learn from your product competitors.
3. Be vocal about your findings and convince your team to listen to you.
4. Be a reliable source of information to your company and earn your credibility.
5. “Read books, Write blog, Learn testing and Share knowledge, talk to testers”, there is no shortcut.
As a Tester –
I will develop a clear and inspired testing mind-set and attempt to specialize in one area of my liking and my company’s need. For this I take following resolutions:
1. I will meet at least 100 testers from various other companies to find what and how they are testing and discuss on ideal testing mind-set
2. I will learn one new programming language like Java, Python, Ruby, etc.
3. I will research and submit one white paper on anything new in Testing that I can do in my current work.
4. I will encourage at least 5 developers and one manager in my team to understand a Testing Mind-set
5. I will write one blog in 2 months on Software testing and share it with everyone I know.
1. Instead of resolutions, create an action plan
2. Decide what you will learn that will make this year of experience new and novel for you. Don’t be afraid to think big.
3. What’s the first thing in that action plan? Make it small, so you have a shot of success. Do it.
4. Now, create several more small tasks, all towards that goal of creating a new and novel year for you, whatever that is.
5. Schedule them in your calendar.
Boom. You have an action plan. Repeat. Simple to describe. It requires personal discipline to do. But if you do, you will have a terrific year.
1. Add value to customers – Identify ways to improve each testing activity that you get involved in to bring in more value to customers.
2. Solution First, Tool Later – Do not depend on any tool. Identify the solution you want to develop first and then identify tools that can help you.
3. Learn New Technology – Learn the new technologies like Big Data, Mobile etc. Future is there.
4. Enhance your Skillsets – You are not meant to keep doing repetitive activities. Identify activities that you can automate so that you can utilize your brain in something useful. [Test case automation is not the only automation!]
5. Blog, Blog and Blog – You often do a lot of good things but forget to tell that to the world. You never know what others might be able to gain from it.
1. Start thinking outside of the box. Just because a test case wasn’t written for something and you know it needs to be tested, then test it.
2. Stand up for yourself and your team. If you know something is being communicated wrong stand up and say something. Don’t be scared to stand up for what you think is right.
3. Test for all browsers. Quit listening to developers and others that say you don’t have to test in one browser because it worked in another.
4. Push for mobile testing. A lot of companies assume that mobile testing isn’t needed however, we all know that applications don’t act the same on mobile devices.
5. Stop fighting the metrics. Learn what your organizations goals and objectives are. Put metrics together that you can stand behind and can tell your actual story visually.
1. Pick one skill every month and work on it.
2. Read one book every alternate month and finish it.
3. Test a new product for 30 minutes (outside office hours) every week.
4. Expand your network of testers and slowly programmers, designers, business analysts etc
5. Think about what did you learn today and what do you want to learn tomorrow.
1. Don’t have too many New Year resolutions
2. If you make a resolution be ready to do it come hell or high water
3. Resolution – I will become a better tester by reading, writing, practicing and reflecting. That also can make 4 resolutions.
4. If the previous one is too much – write a few lines capturing one good or bad thing that happened to you and if there was anything to learn from that at the end of the day.
5. I won’t wait for New Year for making the resolution. I can change the moment I want to.
1. Get Out Of The Building (GOOB heuristic) – Spend more time with people who use the products you test
2. Attend Non-Testing Conferences and Read Non-Testing Books
3. Speak at traditional organizations and ISTQB worlds – you never know how many you could inspire
4. Learn something new that scares you often and has no relation to testing
5. Pay attention to Revenue goals of the product / organization and facilitate Business Testing
6. Collaborate. Empathize. Team Up
7. Go MAD (Make A Difference)
1. Ask every other person I meet in my work: “How’s the application performance, today?”
2. Learn at least one new testing tool in 2014
3. Learn to use at least one new algorithm or graph type for performance analysis in 2014
4. Write/blog and share more with testing peers and colleagues in our community
5. Try to adopt session-based testing time management techniques for performance testing work
I was asked to write 5 resolutions for testers in 2014 but it would be better to list some resolutions I made that changed the way I live my life. (Although none of them were made based on a new year being born)
1. I will care for the community of software testers. I don’t become special if I do so, it is a moral responsibility of every tester to do so.
2. I will test to help users. If the software meets the documented requirements but violates user needs, the software sucks.
3. Finding bugs is sexy but not focusing on test coverage while finding bugs is not good enough testing.
4. I will stop complaining about bad practices and do something to show the value of good practices.
5. I am born to change the world and my success measure is based on I change the world or not.
2. Small groups for collaboration, especially local.
3. Put yourself out there to get public feedback (blog, pitch to a conference, etc).
4. Experiment (trying what you’ve read, discussed).
5. Connect through social media.
For reading: blogs, books. Or even watching videos and listening to podcasts. I know not everyone is a visual learner.
And our own “Fake Software Tester”
1. Find out that person who you think is the weakest tester that you’ve met in your life and offer your skills to mentor him; you will be surprised to see how much you learn from him.
2. Learn about a new programming language to create your own small scripts so that you can be self-sufficient
3. Find out how you want to use a testing tool to solve a business problem and identify the parameters that you would want to use to evaluate similar tools in the market
4. Find out a new testing blogger every month; this search to find new good bloggers every month will teach you new things.
5. Find a testing newsgroup forum and start contributing to a specific topic; when you start writing about something, you will have to ensure that you learn to have enough knowledge on that topic and in a year’s time, you will move towards expertise in that forum.
6. Yes; a bonus resolution too. Do continue reading the Testing Circus, ensure that at least one person you know starts to read Testing Circus every month and most important, please write to us about your testing experiences; we will be very happy to publish your stories and the real-time situations that you face in life will be a wealth of information to all our readers and so, please share your experiences with us.
WHAT IS YOUR NEW YEAR RESOLUTION?
Share your resolution in the comment section.
Ajoy Kumar Singha
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