A Testing Professional’s Resolutions for 2015
I recently read a hypothesis about New Year’s resolutions that said the most effective way to make them is to think of one word representing what the new year should look like, then think of a sentence or two about how to build the resolution around that word.
After a lot of thought, I chose the word evolution for what I believe 2015 should look like, and for how to accomplish that, I came up with the sentence Try new things and make mistakes.
As testers, we are trained to find errors. However, evolution is not possible without committing a few of them. This year I resolve to explore new areas, in the process making a few mistakes. In doing so I will learn, push myself and others, change the world a tiny bit, and grow personally.
Evolution is based on personal goals and cannot be prescriptive. Industry trends and needs, though, can serve as a good guideline. These can be broadly classified around the areas of technical, domain, and behavioral skills, as indicated in the figure below:
Here are some resolutions in line with this theme that I think most test professionals would do well to consider in 2015.
Resolution 1: Research a new technical topic of the most interest to you and build a testing point of view around it. In my case it is building test strategies for cloud initiatives in the context of DevOps.
Resolution 2: Go beyond the realm of testing and learn about impacting disciplines. I pick one from the downstream discipline of test environment virtualization.
Resolution 3: Learn about an untested domain. I select understanding the business model of the business process outsourcing industry and its application to testing. I believe there are untapped synergies in that space.
Resolution 4: Transform one behavioral trait. We interact with multiple groups that have varied, often disparate opinions, which at times leads to strong emotions. Emotions are great because they denote passion. However, holding on to differences mentally, even if it’s not obvious to others, is counterproductive to one’s individual evolution. In 2015, I consciously make the decision to accept differences and let go of any unconstructive sentiments once I walk out of the room.
Resolution 5: Learn to say no. This is universal for the testing community. We are often pressured to agree to last-minute changes, shrinking budgets, and unreasonable timelines. Give yourself permission to be politely assertive (not aggressive) and say no. Not only will you be fair to your profession, but others will respect you for it.
My dear fellow test professionals, 2015 has our names written on it. Get out of your comfort zone and evolve from where you are. Happy New Year.