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Three Things That Have Helped Me in My Testing Career

The Ministry of Testing Bloggers Club has asked bloggers to write a post that describes t three things that have helped them in their testing career. Many things have helped me in my testing career, and here are three of them:

  1. The Testing Community

The Testing Community has helped me throughout my testing career. I started working as a tester over twenty years ago. Back then I remember there being two testing newsletters and BCS SIGiST conferences in Grosvenor Square. The conferences and newsletters introduced me to other testers and to resources that helped me develop my testing skills.One way I have found conferences useful is that I go to the conference with a problem I was trying to solve and ask people if they have the same problem. I have often found that other testers have a similar problem, and that a discussion with them helped to find a solution. 

Today there are so many more organisations and forums for testers, such as the Ministry of Testing. I am now working as a lone tester and being able to share ideas with other testers is a great help and support for me. The online discussions, the newsletters and and events all help me learn new ideas and validate those that I have developed.

During lockdown the on-line testing community was a great help by providing ideas, discussion and support. 

So, I would like to say a big thank you to all the testers who organise events, speak at events, take part in online discussions, write blogs, write courses, write articles, review articles, write newsletters, contribute to forums, make podcasts, make videos, mentor people wanting to become testers and generally support the testing community.

  1. Continual Learning

Testers need to be hungry to learn new things, and I enjoy learning new skills. There are fundamental principles in testing such as “building quality in”, rather than trying to test quality in. Reading books by W. Edwards Deming has helped me get a better understanding of these principles. How these principles can be applied is something which I continue to explore and learn about.

We also need to keep learning new ways of working and new techniques. I am continuing to learn how to use new tools, expand our technical knowledge, and develop our soft skills .

  1. Great Colleagues

Great colleagues mean that you can get so many positive things from work. I have learned so much from people I work with and continue to do so. I have learned new testing skills, new programming skills, learned about agile and lean, learned about CI/CD and learned new soft skills. 

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Published by Mike Harris

Mike has been working in testing for 20 years and is currently the lone tester for Geckoboard. He has been a Test Lead and has also worked as a part of waterfall, lean and agile teams. He is also Programme Secretary of BCS SIGiST. Mike has a B.Sc.(HONS) from Middlesex University and is an Associate of the University of Hertfordshire. He has set up and led a Testing Community of Practice and been part of a successful agile transition. He is Co-Programme Chair of the British Computer Society’s Specialist Interest Group in Software Testing. He also contributed to the e-book Testing Stories and has had articles published by the Ministry of Testing. Follow Mike on Twitter: @TestAndAnalysis

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