Survival is important, but thriving is elegant – Maya Angelou.
In any discipline surviving is important. You put in your hard work at a certain job to survive and this is important to sustain oneself. But if we were to pause for a second and think about what it takes to not merely survive, but move to the next level and thrive, we can draw the distinction between someone who is performing average on his/her job and someone who is excelling. Are you not excited to understand what it takes to thrive, and see how many of these you are already doing, what the gaps are and fill them to take you to such a thriving status? Lloyd Roden, an eminent speaker in the discipline of software testing, has been talking about this topic lately and his points are a good list to keep track of, to see where one stands and how to equip oneself with the remaining aspects too, to make that difference in one’s career as a software tester. The full set outlined by Lloyd, captured by blogger Beth Romanik is available here . If I were to summarize them into a few buckets to cover them all, I see the following categories emerge:
1. Look inward and act on differentiating yourself
a. As a tester you have been working on ensuring product quality for years now. What next? Quality is at an interesting cross road where it is moving from the world of assurance to confirmation. Now is the time to introspect your skill set, see how you can do things differently and set yourself to become a pioneer. Take on the right training and prepare yourself for the right practical experiences to support you along this path to differentiation. Above all, build self-confidence. Unless you believe in yourself, you will not be able to establish your differentiation and you may just be sailing along as a survivor although you deserve to be thriving
2. Equip yourself with the right tools
a. Whether infrastructure, test environment, documentation tools or test life cycle tools, ensure you are in touch with the latest happening in the industry, even if it means that your team has not thought about it. Be a trend setter here in making such recommendations to your team, for which, inculcate the habit of reading or following specific testing gurus, technical forums and blogs
3. Re-define your processes and thought process
a. Processes are often carried over from team to team, project to project with a lot of resistance to change. Make that difference by revisiting current processes and looking for ways to improve. For example, if you are not reviewing your tests cases, now is the time to start doing it to understand its value and look for test optimizations. Define a channel where you can communicate with your management team including questioning them on decisions you do not agree with. Develop a process and mind set to be analytical and take back those analytical findings to the relevant people on the team to ease decision making and determine the next course of actions
Given how fast paced software development has gotten to be, it is in your own best interest that you pause to see where you fit in and where you want to be in the next few years. Once you position yourself to thrive, the success is contagious. It will inspire your team members, positively impact your product and bring in a culture of thriving to the team as a whole. Try these out to see the difference yourself!