The ones who never stop learning new stuff

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.

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.

With fast professional and methodological support, you can make the most of your time and release products quickly and successfully to meet your user’s needs.

2 Responses to The ones who never stop learning new stuff

  1. Rachel Schwartz October 11, 2009 at 10:26 am #

    It’s also true for non-testers (developers, marketing, sale-people, etc): those guys who never stops learning, are the ones that are the asset to the company.

  2. Yvette Francino October 16, 2009 at 1:37 pm #

    Nice post! Yes, I think it applies to everyone! There’s such a wealth of knowledge available to us via the Web, that it can be absolutely incredible and overwhelming at the same time. My trouble is that there is so much I want to learn that I spend more time with “Laptop Guy” (my affectionate name for my Laptop) than anyone else in my life!

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