Becoming A Kick-Ass Tester in today’s changing environment
Today’s economy is pushing the world towards technological automation. These are trends that are affecting every profession and is entering the Testing world as well…
Changes in Testing
Development practices are changing rapidly! One important example of this is the fact that with more environments needing testing, alongside the increasing demand to release faster and automation becoming a commodity, We see more uses of Big Data and AI in Testing.
Some of the ways this may affect testing are:
- Automation tools with better recognition and correction.
- Risk analysis and test planning tools.
- Analytics to recognize bug patterns
- Automatic defect analysis and prioritization.
Is Testing dying?
The answer is Not yet…But it is morphing as we see from the different tasks we are being asked to do as part of our teams:
- Training and coaching Devs to test
- Defining testing frameworks and processes
- Analyzing results and production datas
- Working closer to Customers, Executives and Other Teams on the definition of Quality for our products, etc
Becoming A Kick-Ass Tester
You cannot keep up, you need instead of keep ahead of the curve! You can do it by following a number of suggestions
- Be part of the change in the testing role
Instead of being rooted in the past, look at the needs for the future. Read, listen, ask, participate. Write, try, fail and then succeed.
- Become a π (pi) shape tester
Specialist in testing with a number of other tasks that you can still perofrm at professional levels: A great empirical tester, and a specialist in 2 or more specific fields:
- Lead and train your team in Testing
Define and maintain processes that make sense; Train your programmers on how to test: TDD, ET, Cross Testing; Make sure the tools are in place to support your testing
- Drive the development and investments in your testing infrastructure
Testing environments, Deployment processes (to testing environments), Continuous Testing on Integration and Share your development with Dev and other teams.
- Be the voice of the User or Product Owner
- Always look at the Need behind the User Story
- Define Personas for your team to work with
- “Translate” to your developers things that might be missing
- Keep an eye on non-functional requirements that might not have been defined properly (response time, UX, integration with other features, etc).
- Look for Quality outside of Testing
Look at usage patterns:Visual patterns & Analytics patterns; Review real live stats and logs for metrics; Define acceptable thresholds to raise alerts when needed
- Become a bridge to other teams
Testers are used to seeing and seeking the broader picture. Create formal and informal bridges to other teams in the organiztion. It is not uncommon for testers to take on the role of Scrum Masters and/or Product owners.
- Shift Left, Right, Up, and Deep
- Keep your eyes open and adapt
Breath! This is taking place over time; Understand that you cannot fight change; Understand how your organization is changing, look where the value resides; Work on your social skills and not only on your technical ones
What specialising fields?
The world is and will be in a technological revolution, including testing. Change is (also) an opportunity to rise and excel. So be proactive:
Be part of change, π shaped, lead and train, look for quality outside of testing, represent the product, shift, and constantly adapt.