Technology is fast-paced, and it is important to evaluate how we as testers can stay relevant. Only testers who make sure to proactively focus on skills that match the fast pace of innovation in the industry will be successful in the workplace. Everyone has a story to tell and there is a lot to learn from them. Here are my learning lessons from some of Disney’s popular characters.
Mickey Mouse – Optimistic, competitive and clever
“To laugh at yourself is to love yourself.”
Your competition is yourself. Accept yourself. Be optimistic and committed to your goals. Work smartly to choose what task will help you achieve your goals. For example, one would have a goal to become a test automation expert. Ask yourself what you need to do to get there in the next 3 months, then in the next 6 months. Taking baby steps is the key to achieving your main goal. Look at ways to bring the best out of yourself. Work to create your online portfolio. Write testing blogs, tweet your ideas. Maybe the first blog or tweet no one would like. But with each passing day, you will eventually get better. A Google search of your name should define your identity.
Nemo – Be curious, smart and explore
“Fish aren’t meant to be in a box, kid. It does things to them.”
There is a bundle of knowledge out there. Jump out of the well. Don’t be afraid to take the first step. Strive for continuous learning. Learn from testing blogs, books, articles, communities and be part of conferences. Some testing communities you could be a part of are the Ministry of Testing, The Test Tribe, The Test Chat, etc. You can enhance your automation skills with plenty of learning courses from Test Automation University. Don’t remain in doubt. Keep questioning and researching. Learn from experts in the field. I have been personally fascinated hearing about the real essence of testing from testing greats like James Bach and Michael Bolton. Strive to find a mentor who will guide you. For anyone who just jumped into the software testing world, I would recommend reading one of my favorite books – “Lessons Learned in Software Testing”.
Peter Pan – Boyish and full of youth
“And even though you want to, just try to never grow up. “
When you think like a kid your imagination is free and anything is possible. Learn as if you will have to explain it to a 5-year-old. Imagine if someone asked you in an interview to explain the test automation framework being used in your organization. Will you be able to articulate how the test reporting works? How parallel test executions happen? Have you ever challenged the existing test framework design? Have you ever thought to innovate and enhance the automation framework you worked upon? If your answer is yes to these questions you are heading on the right path. Always be a good student of the testing craft. Avoid being overconfident. In my personal experience, I learned mobile test automation from a tester junior to me which is ok. The more you explore the better position you set yourself in. Try to harness your energy and passion in the right direction. Learn a topic until you are fully content you have done justice. As they say, Jack of all trades is a master of none. Select a testing area that you are passionate about like security testing, automation testing, performance testing, and try to master it.
Cinderella – Hardworking, strong-willed and mature
“If you keep on believing, the dream that you wish will come true.”
Success does not come easily. You need to put in a lot of hard work and dedication. Dream big, be determined and persevering. Analyze the situation to make the right choice. Time is precious. Use your time judiciously. An investment today will be the foundation for a bright future. I recently completed my AWS solution architect certificate but what effort went in the background is not what everyone could see. Countless hours studying and doing hands-on. Giving many practice tests till I was confident. Sacrificing some of my weekends. Sticking to a proper schedule. All of this paid off. The Icing on the cake I was also selected as a speaker to talk on cloud testing at the Global Testing Retreat.
Bagheera – Levelheaded, watchful and aspiring
“If you can’t learn to run with the pack, one of this day’s you will be someone’s dinner.”
Not everyone is perfect. Everyone has their strengths and weakness. Learn from failures and mistakes. Just into my testing career as a fresher, the IT recession wave struck. Projects were scarce. Managers only preferred testers with experience. Believe it or not, I spend almost one and a half years of my career being with no project or as they call “bench”. As disheartening as it may sound, I didn’t lose hope I used my time to study the craft. Took the challenge to build an automation framework from scratch. And later showcased the framework to grab my first project. In two years, efforts brought fruits and I was enjoying architecting automation frameworks for almost all the major projects in my organization. Learn the art of problem-solving. As Sir Gerald Weinberg said, all problems are people’s problems. Some popular problem-solving techniques which can help you are De Bono’s Six Thinking Hats which makes you think around decision-making from six different points of view. The W5H – Who, What, When, Where, How are questions whose answers can be considered basic in information-gathering. This can solve some complex problems you might face. Continuously aspire to take new challenges making you stronger by the experience gained from your previous challenge.
Buzz Light Year – Protective and understanding
“The important thing is that we stick together”
Look to have a set of close friends who will always push you and want you to succeed. Not all ideas will work. The idea of TestFlix – A Global Software Testing Binge which had 107 speakers from 44 countries originated from a casual WhatsApp conversation that was brought to reality in two months. This stands to be a real success story for me proving nothing is impossible if you build an environment of trust in your team. You can achieve wonders. Look to flush non-working ideas. Collaborate with your team to share and learn. Look up to your allies to guide you in selecting the correct learning path and exchange best practices.
Lightning McQueen – Serious and positive
“Don’t fear failure, fear never getting the chance to try.”
Don’t wait till the end day. Periodically do a retrospective. If in doubt seek help. Reaching out for feedback early is good. Follow the 30/60/90 feedback rule. Look for feedback when a task is 30% complete, again at 60% complete and finally 90% complete. If being a manager or lead you have asked your team member to write a test report it would be wise to check periodically to evaluate if the report is being created as per your expectation. The exercise could end in total disappointment with unnecessary rework if identified towards the last stage. Look to activate all senses to bring the best out of you. If you don’t have a target to aim for you are going to miss it anyway. Participating in a testing hackathon will allow you to test your skills and possibly win. But by not participating you have already lost. Many of us want to get an opportunity to speak at a testing conference but how many of us have even made the effort to submit the “Call for Papers”.
Simba – Adventurous and strong-willed
“Oh yes, the past can hurt. But the way I see it, you can either run from it or learn from it. “
Adapt to the situation. Your testing journey will not always be smooth. Be aware that there will be ups and downs. Enjoy the good times and dare to go through the bad ones. During the early days of my testing career, I always wanted to go onsite. I worked so hard for almost a year to make myself worthy of the opportunity with my contributions. Just a few days left with work permit visa sorted. All arrangements made to settle in a new country I am announced that the opportunity is canceled. That did not disappoint me. I was stronger. Within less than a year the fortune tables turned I was able to make half a dozen onsite trips. Like a true king always look to give back and share the experience gained. Sharing is caring and this will take you far. Give back to the community what the community gave you. Coach and mentor testers. Guide them to not make the same mistakes you made. One thing I regret not doing in my early days is realizing how beautiful testing is. The world does not end once you master automation testing. Today I can proudly say once a tester always a tester.
Winnie the pooh – Caring, friendly and thoughtful
“You can’t stay in your corner of the forest waiting for others to come to you. You have to go to them sometimes.”
Ask yourself how many testers you know outside your organization. Be friends with developers, architects and project owners. Be empathetic and humble. At times when you are stuck finding the right locators for your test automation script reach out to the developers. You will be surprised to know they will have the answer right away. Let them know what you need from them. I had once come across an application where all element ids had weird names. Just making them realize how important it was for test automation allowed them to prevent this from reoccurring. Teaming up with architects allows you to seek clarity on the backend architecture which becomes crucial for us testers while finding defects. Team up with Product owners to get clarity of the domain. Building the right connection with your entire team will allow you to excel in writing test scenarios, do testing or assist with debugging to narrow down on the root cause.
Tarzan – Fearless, adventurous and positive
“It’s you who will climb the mountain. It’s you who will reach the peak.”
Always make notes and pay attention to detail. Trust in yourself. Our mind forgets things fast. As testers, making mind maps is a good practice that allows you to link key concepts. See what testing tools would best suit your context. As they say a fool with a tool is still a fool. While Soap UI may be a good option for API Testing. Likewise, Burp Suite might be preferred while doing security tests.
Challenge your limits. At times, it is always good to reset. Don’t be afraid to learn new tools, new programming languages. Testers should focus to make their base strong with object-oriented programming. Then it is a matter of time to pick up any programming language. This will allow you to fly high and get out of your comfort zone.
It is very important to love your job. To believe in your profession. This will give you the passion to strive to do even better. We spend most of our time at work and we mustn’t settle and be complacent. The power is in your hands to control where destiny should take you. Remember it is always impossible until it’s done. Like the Phoenix rise again as a stronger and a wiser version of yourself. Wishing you all the success to create the magic in your testing career and excel beyond.
I would like to end this with a popular Walt Disney quote,
Know our Super Writer:
Geosley is an Associate Engineering Manager at Cornerstone OnDemand, with 12+ years of experience in the Software industry. He has previously worked in companies like JP Morgan Chase, BNP Paribas, and Infosys. Being a Test Automation Evangelist, he also holds a Certified Agile Leader and Certified Scrum Master accreditation from Scrum Alliance. To add he also possesses a Six Sigma Yellow Belt and ISTQB certification to his credit. The world of cloud computing fascinates him and is an AWS Certified Solutions Architect and Cloud Practioner.
Being passionate about continuous learning, Geosley loves to innovate the method of working resulting in higher Efficiency. In his continuous efforts to unite the testing community, he keeps himself busy being a City hero at The Test Tribe.
Twitter – @Geosley
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