Posted by IN / 2 responses

4 New Year’s Resolutions for Testers

2 January 2018

It’s 2018! Have you got your new year’s resolution figured out? It’s not too late and we’ve got you covered! Here are 4 resolutions you can choose from for your 2018 tester new year’s resolution.

1) Create a learning initiative for the year

Each year, I choose 1 or more learning initiatives for the year. In 2016 I chose to learn about test data management (TDM). In 2017 I focused on – Machine Learning and Service Virtualization. This year I’m planning to deepen my knowledge on Docker and potentially try to learn a new programming language (got suggestions? I’m considering Rust, Go, or Closure).

I’ve found some subjects and learnings are just too big for a small commitment. I have to spend serious time on them.

Consider creating a resolution tied to a learning initiative. Maybe your new year’s resolution is learning a programming language, a methodology, a technique, or an interpersonal skill that will help you in the professions of testing and test automation.

2) Use a new practice each month

Commit to learning a new testing practice every month. For instance, what if you chose a different way of assessing risk related to your testing each month for a year? Greg Paskal’s Minimal Essential Testing Strategy (METS) provides more than 2 to choose from. There are other risk assessment tools out there as well, like Jenny Bramble’s ideas.

What about committing to using a new set of heuristics every month? Here’s a great set from Elizabeth Hendrickson. Even writing like “Falsehoods every programmer believes about time” and the other collections of falsehoods can be excellent sources of heuristics to use while testing.

Become a better tester by testing better.

3) Personal interaction skills

One of the biggest and most under appreciated skillsets of testers is our ability to interact in a healthy way with those on our team. What can you do to develop and mature your personal interaction skills? Maaret often has good thoughts on this.

Don’t forget about classic books like “How to Win Friends and Influence People” and “7 Habits of Highly Effective People”. Too often I see basics of these books missing from a tester’s repertoire.

4) Deepen you knowledge about something you already do

I’m often astounded by what I can learn when I focus on an activity I already do and look at it as if it’s something new. Maybe you’ve done Scrum for years, but when was the last time you read a book about it? Maybe you’ve been testing in agile environments for a long time, but when was the last time you opened up “Agile Testing”. Maybe you think you know all there is to know about the DRY principle in coding, but have you read Uncle Bob’s book?

There is always more to learn, especially when you’re open to it.

Testers, drop me a note in the comments below and tell me what your professional new year’s resolution is for 2018!

About the Author

Paul Merrill

Paul Merrill is Principal Software Engineer in Test and Founder of Beaufort Fairmont Automated Testing Services. Paul works with clients every day to accelerate testing, reduce risk, and to increase the efficacy of testing processes. You’re Agile, but is your Testing Agile? An entrepreneur, tester, and software engineer, Paul has a unique perspective on launching and maintaining quality products. He also hosts Reflection as a Service, a podcast about software development and entrepreneurship. Follow Paul on Twitter @dpaulmerrill.

2 responses to 4 New Year’s Resolutions for Testers

  • Soma Alapati says on January 3, 2018 at 3:45 pm

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts on new year resolutions. Well, I want to help our QA community to adopt accessibility testing in agile environment.

    Reply
  • One Man says on January 6, 2018 at 1:13 pm

    Personal interaction skills – this stands out for me. When the tester is writing bug reports they should write them in a way that it’s not about blame, poorly explained, or create a negative impression of the reporter. They should not mention things like “This should have been tested in the previous part of the process” Instead, just report bugs accurately and in a way that allows the reader of the document to understand the impact of the problem.

    Reply

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