Why You Need to be a Testing Evangelist!

Have you ever been told the annoying phrase:

You're preaching to the choir“You’re preaching to the choir.”

I’ve been on the receiving end of it a number of times, and it is always a source of frustration.

Why so?

Because most times it just indicates that there is something important (maybe even logical) that should be done, and for some reason not enough people are doing it.  Then, on top of that, we go out and complaint to the people who are actually doing it, asking them how come others are not doing the same…

In one word: Frustrating.

Do you want it in two words?
OK, Extremely Frustrating!!!

But if you think about it, sometimes it actually makes sense to preach to the choir.

Sometimes, we need the choir to go outside and help spread the teachings they have been hearing.

Sometimes, this is the best way to get more people to know what has been going on inside, and to have a larger audience in attendance – and maybe even a larger choir!

Then again, why are we talking about Preaching and Choirs and not about Testing?

Actually, we have been talking about Testing and the Testing Community all along!!!

As part of the online testing community, I have been in countless discussions (both virtual and in person) where we ask ourselves what can be done in order to reach the other 80%-90% of testers worldwide who are not part of the online forums, blogs, sessions, tweets, etc.

Time and time again we talk about making the forums more accessible, we bring up topics that may be interesting to more readers, we come up with plans on how to publish on different channels and media.

But even when all these efforts manage to increase the number of people taking part on the online discussions and on the virtual-testingsphere, the truth is that most of the testing professionals out there are still not part of this important community.

And so the question remains:  What can we do in order to bring more people to be part of the online testing community?

Here’s an idea!

Why not telling them about the things they are missing?

Go ahead, become a Proselytist Virtual Testing Evangelist!

My apologies if you had to look-up some of the words, but I am sure you now understand what I meant 🙂 .

become a Virtual Testing EvangelistThe best way to have more people join our testing forums and online communities might be simply to talk to them about the actual knowledge, support and opportunities out there.  To give them concrete examples on how easy it is to reach all of this and how much they can gain (and even enjoy!) from being an active part of it.

If you don’t work in your pajamas from home and if you have testing peers in your office, go ahead and talk to them about this parallel virtual world that links us all together (regardless of our nationality, timezone, color, or development methodology).

Make a small presentation during one of your QA Update Meetings and show some links to the blogs and the forums you like.  Talk to them about the stuff going on on Twitter, FB and LinkedIn.  Help them understand how much there is to learn from attending webinars and virtual conferences.

In a sentence, go ahead and work on bringing more people to join our choir.

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  • Kobi Halperin

    As one who feels right now you Have spoken to the Choir (you know Me so you know why… 🙂 ), I think we already do most of the mentioned things for quite a few years, from building communities, writing blog posts and in magazines, up to trying to make our colleagues budge a bit to the right direction…
    I believe one of the reasons we do not succeed (in that and in making the crowd know more about testing), as that we haven’t invested in an appealing and viral methods.
    We do not have short movies & prezi like presentations and GIFs – about our Tools, nor about “A Day in a Tester’s life”, nor about what they can find in our blog, or Facebook community, or our Magazine – in other words, I’m afraid I have to say – we are quite Dull !!!
    We need some Innovation and Ingenuity rather than doing same-old, same-old approach.

  • joelmonte

    Sorry Kobi but apparently you missed my whole point here. What I am saying is that if we build it they won’t necessarily come, regardless of how nice and shiny you build it.

    We need to go and personally tell people about what they are missing, and we cannot make posts about this since they obviously do not read them (Duh!).

    I think that it may be as simple as talking to people and showing them a couple of the things they could be gaining. Forwarding articles, even invitations to events that don’t require any action from them. etc

    I am sure this won’t bring EVERYBODY, but I am sure there are many people who are not even aware what is out there and how easy it is to gain by simply reading – and don’t ask them to participate since people feel they are already too busy with what they need to do in order to have to be active in a community.

    I also agree, if the content is not dull it will help, but I also think there is enough value right now so that we don’t need to go as far as having cute kiddies testing software (at least yet).

  • Kobi Halperin

    There is a limit to amount of people we can reach personally – Even if each of our readers will go out and do it we may only reach a fraction of the community (and as you know its just a fraction of our readers which takes action so its much worse)
    If we want to reach majority of the community – its where they come on daily basis:
    Facebook, Bug Trackers and ALMs, Automation frameworks.
    Through these we can pass the word to majority of the community (FB is there – but we need to encourage tool makers to add ability to present community tips and notifications)
    Yes – content is there – but Not the content which explains why they should participate and learn more.
    And it won’t reach them till we learn to make it Eye-Catching and Viral.

  • Kobi Halperin

    Another issue which came to my mind while I was answering Ayal Z. on FB on this post is that:
    People are not built to act on advice – Humans learn best by *Try and Error* (think how many advice by your parents and friends you ignored – just to try and fail by yourself)
    If we can find ways for proofing our point via short exercises – we may catch their attention.

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