Saturday, July 9, 2016

Improving our features

The core premise of skilled testing, I feel, is to recognize that the smart individuals doing the work are in the center of the whole thing. Every day we do the best we can with what we know at that point, and every day is a chance of learning something more. Every day is a chance of improving our features as the core tool to great testing, extended with abilities of automation (or persuasion, when you're using developers as the friends with pickup trucks to do stuff you don't invest on personally - right now).

Throughout my career, I've felt every day at the office is a chance to know something that I did not know yesterday. The life I've lived as a tester with this attitude has given me a multitude of lessons. I've been looking at the core lessons that made me the tester I am today, and appreciating the fact that there are other brilliant testers with very different choices. I've learned that results matter, yet my way is not the only way.

Improving our features is a personal choice: what's the next thing for *me*?  The next thing you need to learn is the next thing *you* need to learn. I find that for me, it is likely to be something the others around me aren't yet bringing to the whole. I get out to meetups and conferences, and figure out ways of improving our results. I pick ideas from people I meet, talks I listen to and learn deeper through trying things out at office.

Helena Jeret-Mae made a point at a conference talk saying "Nothing happens when nothing happens" that is really insightful. If you want to develop yourself, go out and do stuff outside your own organization. When things happen elsewhere, they also feed stuff inside your organization.

There's a great conference coming up in autumn in New York - Test Master's Academy Reinventing Testers. I get to open the conference sharing my lessons learned on improving my features. My choices and lessons will give you ideas. The core is in continuous, deliberate learning in style that suits you.

We're all work in progress. We use what we have to do the best we can and stretch a little more each day. Conferences are great way of finding the things to stretch on, and I would love to meet you in the conference in end of September. Make something happen, for yourself, and show up.