A Survey conducted by Mike Lyles - Answers by me.
Question 1: What are the major struggles that you have within your testing organization (or organizations that you support/consult with)?
The struggle that I personally encountered was with the knowledge transfer when I joined an organization as a tester. People who lead and their limited knowledge on testing which then trickles down to the next generation of testers, this is an on-going problem which translates to a struggle for next generation testers. If we continue to not think critically and encourage such dark patterns, that is a problem every organization faces testing or not. Many testers lookup for guidance as they join an organization and most of them come with limited / no knowledge on testing as testing is/may not be a part of their academic course. In such scenario, if people who lead do not help them then they will be lost and/or will grow into a replica of their leads/managers. Educating the educated is the struggle here.
Question 2: Can you think of and/or describe a time when you had to modify your plan/approach/strategy so that you could ensure success? (whether it be keeping the project on schedule, reducing the risks, reducing the defects released to production, etc).
In a process obsessed environment, yes there is a need to change the plan and think individualistically and for the whole good of the project / organization. In order to be able to do so, the change initiator needs to have had an experience of running the project in a holistic view.
To quote an example: A project that I was working on demanded the need to follow a template which was not well researched. The template itself had gaps which needed to be filled. I was asked to blindly follow the template and when I questioned the template itself to know more, I learned that it is not suitable for every domain but needed changes when there is a domain shift. Ultimately I had to quit this job, because the management did want to stick to the template than make any changes to it. This is a risk that I took to uphold my values and integrity and deprive myself of the suffocation in that environment.
Question 3: What do you think is the "next big thing" that is going to require a change or a strategic re-alignment from the testing organizations?
Train the testers at all levels. And learned testers to educate not just the testers but the management and clients. Unless the basic know-how of testing is not known, the next big thing is far from reach to us all. Testers are not mere testers but *product engineers. This should be our aim, if we limit our roles to being testers and not product engineers then there is a chance of us remaining stagnant in a particular firm which does not require thinking testers.
*Product engineer is someone with a holistic view of the product right from the requirements gathering to the release and beyond.
Question 4: What do you think is one thing most test organizations are the most confused / segregated / indifferent about (e.g. there are various beliefs involved)?
● Following the footsteps of a MNC without doing their own research on what tools/processes/metrics to use, when and if it suits our context
● Being business oriented and not investing on learning and development on their main source of profit
Question 5: What do you think is at least one CORE thing EVERY team should do to be successful?
● Simply by creating a fearless environment in which we can all learn from each other and thrive without competing amongst ourselves
● Treating everyone equally is something which even this generation of professionals need to learn to be able to work towards one common goal
● Making the ultimate goal for testers to be product engineers can help the future of testing and test engineers