Wednesday, April 2, 2014

TestBash Retrospective #3 - Inspiring Testers

Inspiring Testers - Stephen Blower

This was an amazing talk. An interesting story of a journey from factory to context-driven. A story of empowerment (a common theme at this TestBash, it seems) and by the end there were plenty of inspired questions being asked. The story rotated around being bored and uninspired at work - something I'm very familiar with from past jobs where scripting was the order of the day and I didn't know enough to challenge it - and moving from place to place until inspired by Michael Bolton's work. We've all been there! For me it was a lecture on YouTube by James Bach. 

Some of the points raised included:

Have Integrity - Stand by your principles, be prepared to defend your actions, be open, honest and truthful
Pragmatism - Be prepared to negotiate a solution. Be pragmatic and understanding.
Use Facts - Not assumptions
Use Paired Testing - Dev/Tester and Tester/Tester. Swap who drives and allow people to learn.
Don't Say Pass/Fail - Use problem known/no problem known

There were more, but I won't go into too much detail. I loved a little tip that was mentioned for dealing with infuriatingly named "Pass" button in JIRA - that it means to "pass it along". Some people audibly smiled.

The thing that really hit me hard, mainly because it's so blindingly obvious whilst being a vital reminder for me, is to stop complaining and take action. Provide solutions. Get up and do a good job, rather than sit around complaining about it. I need to do this more - I do tend to whine when I should be doing something about the problem, and that is born, basically, from fear. As a few people said at TestBash (I think including Mr Blower himself) "I don't need anyone's permission to do a good job".

How's this working for y'all? It's pretty rough first-draft reporting but it's actually satisfying (instead of my usual state of unease) when I hit "publish".

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