Hello Testers of the Free World 🙂
I am still trying to catch my breath after spending the past few weeks in “travel mode”, but I wanted to sit down and share a cool observation from my interaction with a large number of testing teams we visited and some individual testers I talked to from the Meetups we attended.
Traveling to meet testers
I’ve been “on tour” these past few weeks visiting some of the cool testing teams using PractiTest
Just to give you an idea, in the last month I’ve been to the UK, Ireland, Sweden, Norway and Finland.
Along the way I also presented on two local Meetups for software testers in Reading (UK) and Helsinki (Finland) – a big shout out and thanks to everyone who showed up, and specially to Sylvia and Rasmus who organized the sessions – where I presented my current “running show” about communication skills for testers.
There is obviously an agenda when you sit to talk to a customer using your product, you want to talk about the functionality and how they are using it, but there are always the side conversations that shed light on the more testing-related aspects of their professional lives, and many times these conversations are even more interesting than the main topics themselves.
For example, it is always cool to realize that the path many of us took to become testers was not a straight one, nor one where we knew where we were headed all the time, but in the end all of us stayed because of a shared reason – we all like testing as it suites our own personalities 🙂
Another commonality was about the challenges we tend to face as part of the organization’s QA team.
What are these shared challenges you ask?
Here a a few of the examples people brought up:
- We don’t have enough time or resources to test everything we are expected to test
- Development expects QA to find all the issues the moment they deliver the product
- As usual, QA is the one responsible for delaying the release
- There is no budget for the projects we want to invest in to improve our testing
And the list goes on…
Do any of these feel familiar? I am sure they do!
But isn’t it nice to know you are not alone?
In fact, and I may be jumping the gun here a bit, many of these challenges also came up in the latest 2017 State of Testing report (soon to be released), which is the survey we conduct every year together with TeaTime with Testers, and answered by a great variety of QA professional world wide. So, yeah these challenges are in fact global issues the testing community faces everywhere.
That is why I am such a huge fan and advocate of improving our communication skills as testers, and why I always highlight that we as testers are not meant just to “find bug” but provide value.
Here are some examples from past posts:
- Are you the Signal or the Noise?
- Communication lessons to learn from Monty Python
- Stop testing and start doing your job!
So what’s my point?
By improving our skills to communicate the value of our work, we will improve the perception of the value of our profession, and shed light on the actual value we bring to the product and to the application development process.
We should also learn not only from our experience, but also reach out to other testers who are near us and try to get as much as we can from them. Being that advice, companionship, or simply someone we can talk to and air our frustrations and concerns.
So, that is my big takeaway from my recent journeys – we all suffer the same. But there is so much we can do together and individually to improve.
Go NOW and see if there is a meetup or a testers gathering taking place in your area in the coming weeks and sign up to it. If not, go and create a meetup group! Unless you are testing alone in Antarctica I am sure there are other testers around you who will be happy to meet up and share their minds.