Software Testing and Development Is Now a Team Sport
We so often think of our careers as singular, personal pursuits. You keep improving on yourself and your skills in order to climb the ladder, and after putting in enough time, you’ll achieve some sort of status in your profession of choice.
And while there are absolutely advantages to being selfish in your job, you can’t just shoot the ball every single time it finds its way into your hands. If someone else on your team has a better shot, passing the ball will help lead to a better result. It’s the exact same way in modern software development, thanks to agile and the new collaborative nature of the industry.
Speaking in a recent interview with AgileConnection, Bob Galen, an agile methodologist, practitioner, and coach, explained how you must be able to trust your teammates and work well with others if you have any hope of delivering quality software.
“The ability to work well in teams, collaboratively and successfully, has become the new normal for most technical workers. No longer is it the case that you stand out simply on your own skills and merits,” Galen detailed. “Sure, you count as an individual tester or test leader and you should develop yourself. But the real differentiator is how you work in groups, in teams, and how you contribute and influence those teams towards excellent delivery, delivery of results—not your results, but their results.”
One person might be the spark that starts the fire, but it takes multiple people to help keep the flame burning. Developers and testers rely on each other more and more these days, and while both groups often need to take on new roles to stay agile, you need to be able to pass something along to someone with different talents in order to successfully reach the finish line.
There’s also the matter of respect and showing yourself to be a strong coworker. In software, you often run into former team members at new gigs or work with them once they move on to a different side of the business. By establishing yourself as a team player, you’ll make doing business in the future much, much easier.
Everyone wants the glory of taking and making the last shot—the buzzer-beater that people will always remember. But being selfish in software will only lead to failure, and that’s why you need to look toward those around you and not just yourself.
“The reality is: Software development and software testing is now a team sport, whether you like or accept it or not,” Galen said.