Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Testers see things and should speak up!

I've been a tester and a software catalyst for two decades. A lot of time the discussion around my kind goes around feedback, and a particular kind of feedback is bugs. By finding out about them, we react to them and make the world together a better place for our end users and customers.

There was a particular lesson through that I took at heart quite a while ago, long enough that I think of it as common sense. When all that comes out of you is bugs and problems, there's a dire need of balance. Don't just share the bad, share the good too.

Remember to say out loud when you're positively surprised. It could be that you did not find as many bugs or any, or that the ones you had to find were different in profile than what you would expect. It could be that you notice that things change and improve. Recognize, acknowledge and share the positive things you see.

I try to live to this in my at-office life and in my online life on twitter: say thanks, share excitement, promote others. The latter has been a learning route for me but we all do better when we all do better.

Early this year, I learned about yet another way of showing appreciation in a very public way. There's a new competition in Finland around promoting the good we do in software, in 7 categories called Blue Arrow Awards. Think of this as the Oscars of IT. The moment I learned of it, I asked for the 150 euros to submit my team into the competition - still struggling with the day of writing though, but committed to doing the service for my team.

For me, the acknowledgement did not stop there. This is me: 
I'm proud of my first candidate, one that would be unlikely to have been recognized regardless of his significant contributions in community. While he should win, my main hope is that his work gets a little more recognition. Winning is not the point, showing appreciation is.

Everyone needs someone to run the rounds for them. Will you do it for your team and your candidate? I'm happy to help. The good stuff needs to come out!