Independent quality and testing consultant Isabel Evans has more than thirty years of IT experience in quality management and testing in the financial, communications, and software sectors. Her quality management work focuses on encouraging IT teams and customers to work together via flexible processes designed and tailored by the teams that use them. Isabel authored Achieving Software Quality Through Teamwork and chapters in Agile Testing: How to Succeed in an eXtreme Testing Environment; The Testing Practitioner; and Foundations of Software Testing. A popular speaker at software conferences worldwide, Isabel is a Chartered IT Professional and Fellow of the British Computer Society, and has been a member of software industry improvement working groups.
Failure is part of learning; we have to do things we are not good at in order to become better at them. To learn networking, we have to take the risk of failing and do what we fear. This means taking small steps to open up, asking questions, and listening—and even pretending to be interested until you really are!
When we design, build, test, and deliver software, it is imperative that we provide our users with what they need—not what we want, but what that they want. We need to understand the scope and breadth of the user base. Here are three questions to ask to learn more about how users experience your software.
On our teams, we deal with many individuals with diverse perspectives. It's not always easy, but we are animals, and many animals live and work—and are only able to survive—in teams. You can look to how animals interact with and react to each other to see how we, as human animals, can not just survive, but thrive.
No one likes to fail, but it is an essential activity in our lives. Each failure gives us a chance to learn and become better. No one is instantly successful at anything; everyone goes through a learning curve, and that may be steep and long. But we need to do better to embrace failure, because it precedes success.
Stories change how we think and how we perceive our surroundings. This applies at work, too. What narrative did we tell ourselves during that project? Do we tell ourselves we are worthy of succeeding, or does our story tell us to fail again? Here are some ways testers can use stories to their advantage.
When we test, we build fictions in our minds. We make thought experiments about what the product or system might do, what we could expect the results of an action to be, what they should be, and how they might go wrong. Isabel Evans shows us why you're never too old for folk tales and fairy stories.