We are just doing it differently
This blog has taken me for ever to write!!! I would write a paragraph out and then tear it apart. The thing is I hate my writing style I was never very good at English and after leaving school at 16 my writing slowly got worse. It wasn’t until I got into testing that I started to try and improve my writing. Why am I telling you all this, well I think what I am trying to say is very important from my view point and I would like you all to not agree but at least think about it and hopefully understand where I am coming from.
We are not all at the same point in our testing careers and the companies we may work for are not all at the same point in there testing maturity. Does this mean that a tester that is still in a waterfall environment, because their company is, is a bad tester? I don’t believe so. I have attended webinars, conferences and I read all the material I can get my hands on and pretty much all the people I listen to or whose material I read are in much more advance state of their testing maturity. This can leave me feeling a little bit worried or insecure even about where I am in my testing maturity.
A previous blog written by Simon Prior found at priorsworld . Mentions a similar thing. At first, I completely agreed with everything Simon said but after thinking about it for a while and after asking myself some questions I changed my view point slightly. I firstly asked myself why I attend webinars or conferences no one forces me to go? The answer I am sure is the same everywhere it’s primarily to learn.
If I go to learn is it a bad thing that I might feel a bit worried about where I am in my testing maturity? This is a tricky question, if you become so worried or insecure about it you start to shut down or shy away from conferences or testing altogether then yes clearly it is. If, however you can use that worry in a positive way and use it to move you forward then no in fact it can be a good thing.
How can you do this though?
For me, and this is from a personal point of view, I let the information soak for a while. I let it flow through me until I am fully aware of what they are saying and the learning points I should take away from it. I then think about it critically I ask myself how does this fit in with where I am now? How does it fit in with where the company is now? Once I have figured this out I prioritise it. This is simply saying to myself is this something I want to pursue now or should I wait until the company and myself are ready for it, is there other things I should implement first to get both of us ready?
Just like my testing I look at all the information being presented and within the current context decide which route to take (and then pray I have it right!!!). I think what you should be aware of is group thinking and its negative effects. Group thinking is where a group of people in similar circumstances and similar ideas start to think the same and stop being able to look at what they are doing critically. This is better explained in The Knowledge illusion: Why We Never Think Alone by Steven Sloman and Philip Fernbach. You need to be able to still critically think about what you are doing and the how you are doing it.
In summary while I agree with Simon that people do get worried when they hear about new ideas, I have slightly changed my view in that people should talk about them with the passion that makes it sound like everyone is doing it. I now think we should be listening to new ideas and thinking does that fit in with where the company is and where I am now or not and then deciding if that is the way we should go. In no way does going down a different route due to a different context make you a inferior tester.
Thank you for getting to the bottom of this blog hopefully it has made you think about things and see things in a different light. With that may I suggest two resources to help with your testing. The first is a book recommended to me by the wise and knowledgeable Michael Bolton, Qualitative Research Design: An Interactive Approach by Jospeh A. Maxwell. A fantastic book that has really helped in my understanding of testing. Also, since I have already mentioned Michael if you haven’t done so already visit his website at www.developsense.com as it has loads of useful resources and blogs. Lastly, I have already mentioned it but a must read is also The Knowledge illusion: Why We Never Think Alone by Steven Sloman and Philip Fernbach. It’s a great resource and if everyone read it maybe we could stop talking about AI as if it was a real thing!!!