Some of the most impressive testers (and some of the greatest developers) I’ve worked with have one personal attribute that sets them apart from the rest of the team: They are always learning new things to apply to their work.
Take a look around your work-place and think about one or two members of your team who fit this criteria. These guys always know about the new methodologies, tools and practices making waves; and they are the ones who introduce these things to the rest of the team. Their opinion is respected since they are a reliable sources of knowledge. And maybe most importantly they are valued because of the way they improve the work of the organization.
How do they do it?
You can go and ask the guys sitting close to you, but from my experience it is really straight-forward:
1. Make a list of sites and blogs that regularly post the important stuff, if possible subscribe to their daily letter or news feed.
2. Whenever you have some free time, or when you need a break of what you are doing, go over these sites and mails making notes of the stuff that sounds interesting or important.
3. Set time aside and instead of surfing through facebook or playing solitaire review the articles, download and play with the new software, or simply think about how you can use the information you just read in your day-to-day work.
Once you start doing this you will see that not everything you read or “play with” will be worth using, many times it will be as little as 10%, but with time and experience you start differentiating gold from dust quickly enough. And even when you learn and try something that is not good enough, the experience will help you to tell your company why not to use this when someone brings it up in a meeting 3 or 4 months from now.
I invite you to join one of my Webinars and see if you find them useful.
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