teams | TechWell


Four people fist-bumping in a workspace Social Abilities Infuse Tech Know-How with Power

Software testers tend to focus their personal development activities almost exclusively on boosting technical acumen, but social systems are just as important. Infusing tech know-how with social skills, such as communication, adaptability, collaboration, and problem-solving abilities, creates team and project success.

Marcia Buzzella's picture
Marcia Buzzella
Two hands reaching toward each other How to Offer Help in a Way That’s Actually Helpful

When you see a coworker who’s stuck or upset, it’s natural to ask, “What can I do to help?" But this can be the wrong thing to do because the question, though well-intended, is too vague. It puts the burden on someone who is already stressed to identify the possible ways you might help. Here's what you can do instead.

Naomi Karten's picture
Naomi Karten
Thank-you note Make a Point of Appreciating Others—and Yourself

Offering appreciation is an easy yet powerful way to acknowledge a coworker’s efforts. It’s one of the best ways to say thank you. There are many ways to show appreciation, including verbally in person, over the phone or by email, or writing a note. And while you're at it, reflect on what you appreciate about yourself.

Naomi Karten's picture
Naomi Karten
Rabbit with its ears up, photo by Vincent van Zalinge The 5 Levels of Listening: Which Does Your Team Practice?

The ways we listen—and not listen—are detailed in the Five Levels of Listening model, which goes from most distracted to most focused. Ideally, we’d all practice the fifth level: empathic listening, where we try to understand what matters to the person who is speaking, delaying our problem-solving and responsiveness.

Steve Berczuk's picture
Steve Berczuk
lock and keys Security Is Critical, So Why Don’t We Take It Seriously?

Once you move into banking applications or anything related to healthcare, it becomes more and more important for developers and testers to guarantee that all the data they’re gathering from their users is locked behind the biggest, most bulletproof safe you’ve ever seen.

Josiah Renaudin's picture
Josiah Renaudin
Man pointing his finger Recognizing and Reversing a Culture of Blame

A culture of blame is one in which people are reluctant to accept responsibility for things that go wrong. Finger-pointing becomes an automatic response. It's nearly impossible for one person to reverse a culture of blame alone, but it is possible to demonstrate on a small scale what appropriate behavior looks like.

Naomi Karten's picture
Naomi Karten
Foosball table photo by Pascal Swier The Difference between Groups and Teams

Have you thought about what makes a team versus just a group of people working on the same thing? The difference is not purely semantics; it's a question of goals. A group is some individuals working together to get something done, while a team shares the same purpose. Do you share values and a mission with your team?

Jason Wick's picture
Jason Wick
A box of crayons, photo by Leisy Vidal Self-Organization: What Your Scrum Team Can Learn from Kindergarteners

Some kindergartens are experimenting with new approaches to teaching, including letting students form groups to accomplish tasks that interest them, which also allows them to support and engage with each other. This is self-organization, the heart of Scrum. If five-year-olds can do it, your agile team likely can, too!

Steve Berczuk's picture
Steve Berczuk