Friday 10 April 2015

Consider your time as a training resource (Gracias Paco!)

One of the conversations I had with my friend Tomislav when we went to the Copenhagen Context Conference was about our careers in testing.

Basically, we are doing well. We are both working where we want to be, with exciting projects ahead and a lot of things to do and learn.

We are two lucky guys, and we wondered where did it all start.

And it started with a manager.

This was back in 2010, a bit before testing was supposed to die, we were working in a software development shop, doing waterfall development and calling it agile.

But one of the managers was curious about finding ways to improve the quality in the process, and getting training for his employees.

He heard about the google 80/20 policy, you know, if you work for me you have to work on what I tell you on the 80% of the time, and I will let you do whatever you want on the resting 20%.

So he decided to try that out on a certain scale. It was going to be 90/10, and you could choose between read books, do online trainings at (this was the pre coursera age) or read whitelisted blogs (yes, the internet was blacklisted, and nobody has mobile internet access in those days).

And he liked to read books, he used to read a lot of them, so we soon found out that we could use this time for reading books as well.

We would ask for any book related to software testing and get it.
We would have one hour every day to read our books.
And once we finished them, he would spend time talking about the book, what it was about, and how could we apply those ideas.

He gave us time, time to read, to think and to share about what we were reading.

And this was great, we managed to read a lot of books, we got used to read books about software testing,  I didn't realize that until I found myself buying and reading books way after I left the company.

So, going back to my 99 seconds talk at Testbash 2015, the three points I wanted to share:

- Conferences are a great place to learn about software testing. Ask for budget to get to conferences.

- If asking for budget is not an option, ask for time. Time is a valuable resource, use it wisely.

- Be thankful for what you get.

Muchas gracias Paco, te estoy muy agradecido por el tiempo que me dedicaste cuando trabajamos juntos.

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