Wednesday, November 26, 2014

What should testers do differently?

I had the awesome pleasure of hanging out some with Peter Walen at Agile Testing Days.  Peter is a tester that really seems to enjoy life and is always willing to share experiences.  I learned that he has many experiences outside of testing that are wonderful to hear and ponder.  You can enjoy his work by reading his blog - "Rhythm of Testing".  Every tester should have a pint of beer with Mr. Walen, so if you get a chance introduce yourself.

At some point in the conference Peter asked me a question - "What is the one thing testers should do differently in the future?"  I almost spit out the first thing that came to mind; however, I suspected a trap.  If you get a chance ask Peter about the Super Ball test.  For some reason I asked for more time to think about the question.

Seriously I knew Peter was not setting me up.  He was asking me a genuine question.  In hind sight the conference was about the future of testing so the question really makes sense.  So I have had quite a bit of time to think about this topic.  I honestly have gone all over the place with my thoughts.

I think I have boiled my answer down to this.  Testers must earn the respect of their peers.  My definition of peers would be anyone you encounter in the field of software testing or in life.

Earning respect can take on many forms such as being a team player, learning to code, better yet always be willing to learn, or demonstrate your skills.  I believe once you have earned the respect of your peers you have gained trust and trust is the key to doing some great things.  If you get a chance read the works of Christopher Avery.

Respect and trust are hard to earn.  Once earned they are hard to keep. The rewards of earning respect are plentiful.  We learn from our mistakes.  Making mistakes together as a group and learning from those mistakes can be even more powerful.

I will conclude this post by saying "Thank you Mr. Peter Walen" for asking the question.  I cannot wait to here his thoughts around the question.  I also want to thank him for reminding me that we should have fun in what we do and it is really important to have fun together.

Anyone have a different answer?

Happy Thanksgiving testers!

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