Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Know Your Ground

There's this feeling when you join a new company that says you want to fit in. You want to please. You want to figure out what they do and how they do it, and not rock the boat too much.

It's not that you're afraid for your work. You're afraid for your ignorance. There's things you just can't know.

But then there comes these moments, where you need to not please but stand your ground. Bring in what you're about. I've had a couple of those moments already.

A senior team member assigned responsibility over the team suggests I could include all my ideas and comments and tasks in writing in Jira tasks. It very soon became obvious that my idea of testing (exploratory testing) and their idea of testing (test cases) are not an exact match. I suggested we experiment with what will end up in Jira. The contortion to the good testing I do to make it appear pre-planned (over continuously learning) and linear (over visual connections) just isn't something I volunteer to do even when asked.

A senior colleague advised on how to improve things and get to where I've taken my previous team: daily releases. I respectfully disagreed on the ideas, and suggested small changes regularly, almost continuously to assess if a direction we believe in would be the right way to go.

I look around, and I see too many people who step down and do what is asked. The ask was clear, why wouldn't the action be?

As a tester, I'm supposed to know how I do good testing. If something asked of me takes me away from that or makes me partially  go away from that, I shouldn't stand down without a good discussion.

I know my ground. I stand my ground. I negotiate and experiment, and move. But the starting point is that I know where I'm coming from and where I'm going. I believe this is a big part of why I love my work as much as I do. I'm not a victim, I'm an active player.