Finding Your “Testing Spark”
The following information is good for:
- New testers
- Managers thinking about helping their staff to improve
- Testers feeling burn out and needing to find their Testing Spark
Testers need to feel of value. How does this occur?
- Helping to make the projects they work on better for users
- Feeling a sense of purpose
- Feeling they can make a difference
- Being able to learn and develop skills
- Feeling challenged, be able to user their brain
- Being able to teach, give back to others.
- Achieving goals
- Enjoying teamwork with coworkers
If some of these needs are not being over an extended period of time…
- Burnout may occur
- Less satisfaction
Question to think about?
- Is your career going the way you want it to?
- What makes you tick?
- Examine why do you like to do testing?
- What do you like about the profession?
- What interests you?
- What are your goals?
What are some things you can do to shake things up?
- To get out of a rut
- To start your career out successfully?
Focus on being a craftsman in your profession!
- Learning and expanding skills
- Be active & contribute
1. Individual Pursuits
Great source of Software Testing Readings. Highly recommend in the testing community:
However, you don’t have to stop just on software testing, read areas that are closely related (dev, ui/ux, scrum master) or those on other subjects like human factors, psychology, critical thinking, decision making, communication, note taking, etc.
CAST 2015 reading list.
Check out not just Amazon, if you are an avid reader with a book budget, consider Safari Online
Consider checking out LeanPub as books are being developed, you can get some good deals.
Check out publications by Gerald Weinberg – Testers Series
Better Software Magazine – http://www.stickyminds.com/
Logigear Magazine – http://www.logigear.com/magazine/
NZTester – http://www.nztester.co.nz/Welcome.html
OZTester – http://www.nztester.co.nz/oztester.html
Professional Tester – http://www.professionaltester.com
Software Test & Quality Assurance – http://www.softwaretestpro.com/
Tea Time With Testers – http://www.teatimewithtesters.com/
TEST Magazine – http://www.testmagazine.co.uk/
Testing Circus – http://www.testingcircus.com/
Testing Experience – http://www.testingexperience.com/
Testing Trapeze – https://www.testingcircus.com/category/testing-trapeze/
Women tester’s magazine – http://www.womentesters.com/
Such a variety of blogs out there that can be reviewed. If you have an interest, it’s most likely being covered.
- From extremely technical blogs to straight up testing techniques
- Get a perspective on the testing community, how things are changing
- How people are approaching challenges
- Calling out webinars, seminars, experience reports on conferences, etc.
- Links to podcasts
TestingCurator.com can help you find new resources to check out on a weekly basis. Tracking over 500 blogs currently
Start your own blog
Self Directed Education Opportunities
uDemy – https://www.udemy.com/
Course range in a wide variety of prices. You can find sales. At the first of the year, I was able to get any course for 10.00
uTest (Hands On) – It’s free – https://www.utest.com/
Articles, Forums, uTest University, Paid Projects
You Tube Videos – Search for your favorite subject, have fun! – https://www.youtube.com/
Whiteboard Testing (new in the last 2 months) – Trying to get a repository of quick videos w/out having to try to search through YouTube – https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC0QZWhi0ojqNte3ey7RD0qQ
The Dojo – Ministry of Testing – https://dojo.ministryoftesting.com/
LinkedIn Groups – https://www.linkedin.com/groups/
Software Testing Club – http://www.softwaretestingclub.com/
SQAForums – http://www.sqaforums.com/forums/forum.php
uTest – https://www.utest.com/
2. Getting “Social”
Advantages of Meetups
- You get to meet a group of like minded individuals
- You make new contacts – both one-on-one and as a team
- It will help you focus on what you are looking to achieve
- Get new ideas, inspiration and motivation
- You can be empowered and re-energized
- You may learn new things very quickly and without research
- You may find support to take your projects forward
- Might find a new career opportunity
- QAI – COQAA – http://coqaa.org/
- Software QA & Testing Meetup (this one) – http://www.meetup.com/Software-QA-Testing-Meetup/
- ATDD – http://www.meetup.com/techlifecolumbus/events/227858276/
Travelling? (Check out a list of global software testing meetings listed on meetup.com)
Make your own if you don’t like what you see or your needs are not being met.
Engage in other meetups related to software development/critical thinking/psych – TechLife Columbus – http://www.meetup.com/techlifecolumbus/
Hard to get out? Try out the Weekend Testing sessions over Skype – http://weekendtesting.com/
Weekend Testing (Americas)
Weekend Testing (Europe)
Weekend Testing (Australia/NZ)
Software Delivery 24/7 – http://xndev.com/2014/08/announcing-software-delivery-247/
- QA or the Highway 2016
- STPCon Spring
- STPCon Fall
Go to learn
Go to network
Go to give back something to the community, fill out request for speaker invites (locally, regionally, internationally)
Meet some people, start going out to lunch
Can’t make it in person, don’t forget about the virtual conferences, there are several a year.
Real time updates
So, who to follow?
One way to start:
Mine through my followers and who I am following
Find the “big names in testing” and drill down
Compile a list of local testers to connect
Read their stuff
Find out who is in your community to connect with
Check out Interests
Find some folks.
Benefits of Mentoring are numerous
For the Mentor
1. Allows the mentor to “give back” — to both the organization and the mentoree
2. Reminds the mentor how to listen actively rather than passively
3. Encourages the mentor to share knowledge, which helps increase the mentor’s sense of self-worth
4. Strengthens the mentor’s interpersonal relationship skills
5. Teaches the mentor about other areas/departments within the organization
6. Helps re-energize the mentor’s career
7. Leads to more personal satisfaction on the mentor’s behalf
For the Mentoree
1. Increases the mentoree’s self-confidence
2. Helps the mentoree learn to take better control of his or her career
3. Teaches the mentoree how to speak up and be heard
4. Educates the mentoree on how to accept feedback in important areas, such as communications, technical abilities, change management, and leadership skills
5. Improves the mentoree’s interpersonal relationship skills
6. Provides an important networking contact for the mentoree
7. Helps the mentoree better understand the organization’s culture and unspoken rules, both of which can be critical for succes
3. Pursuits @ Work
Take what you are learning, innovate, share
- Start a brown bag at work
- Get co-workers together to talk
- Create an Inhouse Discussion Area
- Start an Inhouse meetup
- Start an Inhouse conference
- Teach a skills
- Peer Testing Events
- Software Testing Events
- Show a videos, conferences, interviews, etc
- Start a Book Club
- Tester Games (Fluxx, Mastermind, Set, Cubu, The Dice Game, Zendo, start Tester Challenges) – Erik Davis
4. Wrapping It Up
Great, but I don’t have time for this stuff at work?
You’re right, you may not.
You need to own your career, you can’t rely on others
Focus on being the best testing craftsman you can be
If your current working environment doesn’t have what you need…it may be time to look elsewhere
Own your career, go where you want to go
What can I do today?
Where do I want to go?