Testing Goals and Challenges

This is a continuation of another blog posting about testing goals that can be found here. That post is about my testing experience over the last seventeen years in the industry and coincidentally a recent post here regarding spending 10,000 hours to become an expert quote.

So I’ve had seventeen years testing experience, that’s way over the 10,000 hour mark, am I an expert? No. Am I good enough to mingle with the majority of people that are in testing roles? Yes. However I don’t want to be good enough, I want to be the best I possibly can be and push my knowledge and abilities to the limit.

Information Overload - Testing Goals

What am I doing, to achieve such highfalutin testing goals?

Firstly I went to my very first test gathering in Leeds this year, then my very first Testing conference. Since then I’ve created my own Sheffield Test Gathering, I’ve attended the Nottingham Test Gathering and I’ve spoken at the Romanian Testing Conference. Attending these types of events is a step in the right direction but it’s not going to enable me to achieve my goal, if that’s all I do.

What other things am I doing towards my testing goals?

Weekend Testing for one, these are an excellent way to experiment with your own testing ideas and share them with like minded people. If you fail to learn from one of these sessions, you’re either ignorant or stumbled upon a Skype group by accident.

What else?

I’ve enrolled for the BBST Foundations Course staring in July lasting for four weeks. After looking at and downloading all the recommended material, if I hadn’t already known that this was a difficult course then I certainly do now. Just go to the link and check out all the recommended reading.

What else?

To aid in my learning I’ve accumulated a few books that have been recommended by various people significantly more knowledgeable than I in the ways of testing.

These are sponsored links so if you click any and buy one I’ll get some pennies, thanks.

Lessons Learned in Software Testing

Measuring and Managing Performance in Organizations

An Introduction to General Systems Thinking

Tacit & Explicit Knowledge

13 Things That Don’t Make Sense

You Are Not So Smart

Yes I have all these books on the go at once, and no, that’s not a problem. I get bored easily and I find I learn more efficiently by flitting from one thing to another over time. This allows me to absorb the information, and then reflect on it. Then when I go back, I do a quick pass over what I’ve read before, and then I either continue from where I left off, or read the same chapters again.

What else?

I’ve enrolled for the Rapid Software Testing class in September with Michael Bolton. I recently completed an entry level challenge for Miagi-Do school and now I’m a member.

I’ve had several testing challenges on Twitter and Skype and each and every time I’ve done one I’ve come out with a better understanding of what I think about testing and what I thought I knew about testing. Not just techniques, but understanding the meaning of certain terminology as espoused by the Context Driven School of Testing.

I’m currently writing an abstract for TestNet call for papers and will then write one for Test Bash 3.0. Whether I get to talk at either of these two events isn’t my ultimate goal; the very fact of writing down my thoughts enables me to understand the topic more fully. If there not accepted then they will be used in my own test gathering or other local groups, if they’ll have me.

I’ve also managed to win a ticket for the awesomeness that is; Euro Star Testing Conference in Gothenburg in November with this video, thanks to all who voted for me.

At this conference I’ve also enrolled for two workshops: Rapid Test Management with James Bach and Coaching Software Testers with Anne-Marie Charrett. Unfortunately that’s a six whole months away. But if you’re going and happen to be on the same flight as me and Richard Bradshaw let’s get together, I’ve organised a meetup just for this special occasion.

Is that all? No there’s more?

To add to all this I’ve also /just/ started to learn Java, why the hell would I want to do that? Currently I’m working in an environment that requires testers to be quite technical, I’m not, but why Java then? For /obvious/ reasons, as I see them, so that I can learn more about Selenium than just the IDE. There are many other advantages of course, which I’m not getting in to here.

I won’t be making learning Java easy either as I’m doing it on a Debian install. Again this is directly related to my testing environment as we test Subversion, soon to be Git and Hadoop. So guess what, do you think developers bother with the UI interfaces, I don’t think so. Also, as I’ve never used command line, except back in the Windows 3.1 days with Dos, but that was only to get games to work. But even then I cheated when QEMM came out. This learning, I perceive will be the steepest hill to climb, but it will be a good distraction from reading and other testing related activities.

What else?

I think that’s enough for now, don’t you? Thanks for reading.

What are your testing goals? What do you do to keep your knowledge fresh and up to date? How do you manage work and learning?

Picture Credit: http://cte-unt.blogspot.co.uk/2013/03/information-overload.html

3 Responses to Testing Goals and Challenges

  1. joolery says:

    Great post. I love goals, yours are excellent. I look forward to doing BBST with you! :)

    • Thank you, and yes I’m looking forward to it, I’ve downloaded all the material and I’m slowly going through it, trying to get ahead start, as its definatly going to be time consuming.

      • joolery says:

        Good idea, thanks for the link to the readings!! I’ve bookmarked it and will get through it in my spare time.

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