Do not fall in love with your ideas, do it with your intentions – my lessons learned from QA&Test 2019

I was at the QA&Test conference in Bilbao this week.

qa and test logoI love this conference because of the atmosphere it has, the collaboration and chats I get to have with other interesting testers, the quality of the presentations, and even the way the organization committee makes an incredible job making everything work seamlessly.

(This is a personal recommendation to this yearly conference, in case you missed the point 😉

Two nice lessons I am taking away with me

As much as traveling and doing geek-testing-talk is fun, I always make sure to attend sessions and try to learn from them.

This year I especially enjoyed two of the sessions I was able to attend (I got in late as I had meetings in another country when the sessions were getting started, so my apologies for all the sessions I missed).

One session was imparted by José Manuel Sampayo, from Adidas Spain.  Where he talked about the way the global team he works for is constantly improving and learning from every source they manage to find.

I will not go into too many details, but I really appreciated the way they are reaching out to people from all the sides of the testing spectrum, investing in lectures, tools, onboarding programs and more.  All this to achieve their goal of providing their business teams with the resources they need to run the Adidas global brand.

The second session that left a mark was one by Shmuel Gershon, from Mobileye (and Intel) Israel.

In his very entertaining and magically illustrated talk, Shmuel talked about a methodology he uses to achieve intention in testing.

So we need to have an intention and we need to learn…  what’s the big deal?

good ideasIdeas do not come from a vacuum, not even from deep meditation, they come from other ideas that mixed with your personal experience and knowledge.

During a hallway chat, I was telling someone about the fact that many people tend to get mad at me because of a personal trait I possess.  Whenever I realize that I made a wrong decision I will not think twice before moving in a new direction.

For example, in my capacity as a chief solution architect at PractiTest I might tell someone I believe we should do something A, even when someone else told me that B would be better.  And then, after starting to do A, I realize that the other person was right and B was the best thing to do, I will have no issue whatsoever telling everyone to shift course and start doing B.

It sounds trivial and to me it is.  But for some people, especially those I had to convince to do A and not B, it can be cause for great frustration.

Sorry guys!

Why is this important???  Because all of a sudden I realized that my behavior and especially my way of thinking are perfectly explained if you mix the session Shmuel gave with the session by Jose Manuel.

I don’t fall in love with my ideas, I fall in love with my intentions!

I do not consider myself extremely intelligent, I have always been surrounded by people who are at least an order of magnitude smarter than I am.  I think that this is one of the secrets of my success, but don’t tell that to my co-workers and especially not to my wife!

This being the case, I have learned through experience that many times people will have better ideas than I do.  And whenever this happens I make sure to disregard my personal or professional ego (that little guy who shouts into your ear that you are always right and that others are those who are wrong!) and change course if the new ideas make sense.

Still, sometimes I need to make sure I have it clear in my mind (and in my heart) what my intentions are.  I try not to do things without thinking and without understanding as much as possible what I want to achieve in the end.

It is perfectly OK to be wrong, as long as you are not wrong and stupid!

it is perfectly OK to be wrongSo to summarize, I need to catch a flight soon.

I think that it is perfectly OK to be wrong.  There will always be someone smarter than you, and if you are lucky that person will help you do things better.

What is not OK is to be both wrong, for having the wrong idea, and also stupid, for not agreeing to change your course even when it is clear it is not the right thing to do.

Thanks Shmuel and Jose Manuel, I really enjoyed your sessions!

About PractiTest

Practitest is an end-to-end test management tool, that gives you control of the entire testing process - from manual testing to automated testing and CI.

Designed for testers by testers, PractiTest can be customized to your team's ever-changing needs.

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