Tuesday 28 June 2016

Being Context Driven Tester and defining Testing Community.

When I read the Context Driven Principles, and I think in the testing I do, this is how I interpret them:
  1. The value of any practice depends on its context, so every time I see a testing problem, I try to figure out how can I add value. Sometimes I question the assumptions behind the feature, sometimes I test the way it works, or I try to understand the impact it might have when we roll it to production, and raise a question if I am not sure there might be a problem.
  2. There are good practices in context, but there are no best practices. Being able to learn different approaches and techniques will enable me to choose the best way to proceed, instead of following a written rule about how testing should be done.
  3. People, working together, are the most important part of any project’s context. And when it says people, this is not only the development team, but the rest of the people working in my company, our users, our clients, and the testing community. People who work developing features for the next release, people who teaches me things that will allow me better understanding, people who listens carefully when I am explaining something. The respect I have for all these people drives my work.
  4. Projects unfold over time in ways that are often not predictable, and because we understand this, we automate some tests, we deliver in short iterations, so we get feedback as fast as possible, so we learn from what we just did and think if we want to continue the same path, or if we better try something totally different.
  5. The product is a solution. If the problem isn’t solved, the product doesn’t work. As a tester, the first thing you want to do is to understand the problem, otherwise you won't be able to question the solution, whatever the solution might be.
  6. Good software testing is a challenging intellectual process. And how you manage your life, how much you sleep, how are you able to defocus and to concentrate, what other things do you have to take care of, all this is going to have a direct impact in the quality of your work.
  7. Only through judgement and skill, exercised cooperatively throughout the entire project, are we able to do the right things at the right times to effectively test our products. Judgement and skill are things you grow by learning and questioning, cooperation comes after respect and understanding, and knowing where the project starts and ends is vital to understand where you can add value.
So, as a tester in an agile team who delivers software for our own business, having automated tests, running CI, continuous integration, smoke tests, servers and environments up in the cloud, having Developers, Designers, Frontenders and Backenders, Reliability Engineers and Security Experts... these seven principles apply when it comes to explain the testing I do, the value I add to the team.

This is why I see myself as a Context Driven Tester.

The other thing I like, is my relation with a great testing community, where some other testers identify themselves as Context Driven, and some others don't. But what makes them part of (my) community, is that they provide chances to learn, to share and to teach.

First things first, Jerry Weinberg helped me understand what is my place as a tester in the team, and why it is an important role.

And then...
Michael Bolton taught me how to not trust my own beliefs. If a black ball was able to fool myself, imagine what a piece of working software could do.
Markus and Alan shared how to automate tests and when to do it.
Jon explained how to understand Session Based Testing.
From doing BBST and the feedback of my teachers I saw how hard can it be to perform as a tester and to write down my toughs.
Rob has great writings for performing web testing, and for hiring and training other testers.
Stephen was great teaching about Mobile Testing.
Maaret and Llevellin are doing a great job explaining Mob developing and Mob Testing.
From Huib, Pekka, Richard and Bill I got the chance to understand agile planning and working with mindmaps.
Santhosh is a true example of giving back your learnings to the community.
Simon provides a nice curated list of blogs to read
Keith made me understand how to scale testing, how to understand and respect other kinds of testing.
Michael Larsen showed me how to live blog when you go to an event, and how to set yourself targets and objectives for learning and growing.
Rosie and Morten both run awesome conferences, that gives the people the chance to know each other, share and learn experiences.
Henrik once told me I was the only Spanish Context Driven tester he knew, and this made me think about how to change that.
Tomislav, Marta, Gemma, Maxi, these are the local testers who will join whatever event I come up with, who will share their time for a lunch and talk about testing, who share my same passion and live in the same city I do.
And I'm letting others out, but you get the point, we share, we care and we evolve as a community.

And then there is James Bach. I learnt from this man to take care about my professional career, I learned that I can choose to be a snowflake or a rain drop in the mist, he is not going to teach me everything I need to know as a tester, but his work as helped me, and many others, shaping our career as software testers.

This is how the testing community looks, for me, today.


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