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!