Sunday 11 June 2017

How can I tell you

You know when you listen to a song, and suddenly everything makes sense with whatever you are doing?

Here is a song from the British band Madness:

It goes like this...

Communication is a skill you must acquire,
it will help you through your life, it is essential

It's not just a matter of knowing how to perform your tests, and understand how the system under test is meant to run, or designed. You also need to report the findings in a way that people can make informed decisions.
And if you think I'm only talking about passing test cases, then it is because you can't imagine how powerful a simple testers feedback can be, if he knows how to deliver it, to who and when. Believe me, we can change things, we know things can be different.

You have to walk into this world with your head held high,
be fluid child, don't become crystalline,
you're gonna have to swim with the molecules

You need to perform your testing in a way that makes you feel proud, you need to understand changing conditions, business needs, priorities, peoples life impacting their and your work, for good and bad.
How can I tell you, you have to open up your heart
How can I tell you, be honest from the very start
How I feel, make a stand for what is true
Try to be decent in all that you do.

 See, as a tester, all you have is your ethics and your reputation. Without that, nobody will trust you, nobody will understand when you are sure of something, or when you are lost and need help.

How can I tell you, you've got to give to get support
How can I tell you, a little effort & a lot more thought
How I feel, check the wonder in all that you see
You've got to get loving unconditionally.

 Love your users, love your company, love your coworkers, respect people who is different from you, in minds, ideas about life, sexual preferences, ideas, religion, race, family, football team...
You're gonna have to walk that road, you're gonna bear some heavy loads
You'll make mistakes & you'll come close
You're gonna get hurt by the one you love most

Sometimes you'll have to get grunt, and do whatever it takes to get your information, sometimes you'll find yourself learning stuff late at night when all the family is sleeping, sometimes you'll provide feedback in the wrong way, hurting peoples feelings, and sometimes this will happen to you.

You're gonna have to take some pain, accept the loss to live again
Forgive yourself as you'll be free,
there's more to love than just loving you see.

Sometimes you will be wrong, or confused, sometimes those features you though where full of bugs will hit production, and all you have left is start tracking complains from your users impacted by decisions that weren't yours.
And yet, the very next day you will start filling bug reports, and looking for ways to get those bugs fixed, now that we met that deadline, and we shipped, and we still have a long way to go.
How can I tell you, the laughter on a crowded bus
How can I tell you, making space when you're being crushed
How I feel, a letter I receive from you
A hug & a kiss when you're feeling blue

Some days, the best part of the day is when somebody gets you a coffee and a cookie, tell a joke or remember something funny to break the tension.
Or just stops by and quietly asks if everything is all right.
hmm, we don't really hug and kiss that much in our place, but we are nice with each other and it feels okay that way.

How can I tell you, the last chocolate in the box
How can I tell you, a pair of mittens & some cotton socks
How I feel, I'll make a fire when you are cold

Help other testers succeed, help your developers and product managers succeed, help your CEO succeed... there is no other way of making things right. Also, since we live in Valencia, it's not that cold usually, but it can be very hot. A trip to the supermarket and get ice cream for everyone can fix the whole team mood for the afternoon.

Don't worry darling I'll love you when you grow old
How can I tell you, 6 candles on your birthday cake
How can I tell you, a Christmas card that I helped you make

Write your test reports in a way that you will like to read again years from now, in a way that will help you remember what was going on when you where testing this feature, how the test environment was doing, what was the context like back then, this is the way you'll love what you are doing now when you get old.

How I feel, when you ran in your first race
The time I stuck an ice cream in your face
How can I tell you, the last chocolate in the box

Software development is not a job that is performed by people alone, it's a teamwork, and this means having a kind of relation with everybody in your company and the users that will make your company worth something.

Respect what you do, respect the ones you work with, respect yourself.

And listen to Madness tunes from time to time.

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