Sunday, 21 August 2016

TESTING - Struggle, Strategy and Solution

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

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