Day Zero, The Gathering.It happened to be a testers gathering the night before the conference started. So the people from Trustpilot invited us to listen to James Bach performing a talk about Building Testing Skills and Reputation.
James explained how you can get Testing skill and reputation, using his own history as example.
He told us that you first need to be a good tester, that you need to learn how to be a good tester. Be that understanding your technology, your mission in your team, testing techniques, communication skills... Anything that will do a better tester out of you. Check out his CAST slides about Testers self-education.
Once you start becoming a better tester, you want to be a known tester, because otherwise, the day you find yourself without a job, who do you think is going to call you if nobody knows you?
James encouraged us to start building our own contact network, so people would start knowing us.
My experience is that Tutorials, Training events and Conferences are a great place to know other people, but these costs money and time.
Writing a blog, following and commenting what others write does not costs money, but it takes time.
And if you don't want to spend money or time in your own education, well... good luck with you thing.
What you need to understand, is that there is a market out there, and...
There are zillions of unknown people doing software testing, if you are one more, what impact will it have.
There are 356,746 certified ISTBQ testers, and you could be the one who made 356,747 and what impact will it have...
There must be several hundred testers that went to the RST training sessions, I don't know the numbers, but I can tell you, that training did have a impact in my testing skills, so it's something you can try.
There is a list of top 114 testing blogs and this humble publication made it to #95, so you could start your own blog and see where your score is next year. You might not beat James Bach, but you could do better than I do.
There are about 20 testers that are going to give a lighting talk in this years Testbash, so, do you want to be known? Be brave! and tell your story.
You choose where to spend your time. You could get the training that everybody else gets, or you can learn skills that make you different. It's up to you, but imagine for one moment, that you have a skill you like, and that you get (really) good doing it, and that somebody is whiling to pay you for performing your well known skill... how would that be.
We had a wonderful evening listening to James, and it seemed that somebody in testpilot really knows how to host a gathering.
What can I say... I wish I would host such an event in our shop, with somebody like James giving a speech, but if I ever do, you have set the bar really hight.
Congratulations to all of you involved in the event, I had a great time.
PD, Trustpilot have open positions for QA Engineers. Given that the location is great (I been there) maybe you want to check their offer.