This is a guest post by Nishi Grover Garg.
Here we are gearing up for another new year! As time flies by, we may start to feel stuck in one place, unable to move forward in our careers. Testers can get bogged down by too much to learn, too many directions to take, and so many tools and technologies.
But that’s no reason to stagnate. By making some goals now, you can aim to start improving yourself and your career development right away on January 1st.
Here are three goals testers should have for the coming year. Make it your New Year’s resolution to achieve them, and go for it with an action plan in hand!
Improve Your Mindset
Testers are continuously challenged in many ways, particularly by constant deadlines and having to work under pressure. If you couple that with team-infighting, bad cultural practices and being the scapegoat for missed targets, it can make for a lot of negativity around.
The first resolution should be to create and maintain a healthy mindset. Mental peace and team harmony should be the goal.
Here are some good practices to adopt:
- Do not get personally attached to defects; advocate in the right manner to fix them, but know when to step back
- Keep an open mind with regards to production issues
- Be an ally to development teammates
- Take a firm stand and voice your opinion
- Readily accept your mistakes
- Provide helpful feedback about product design, performance and other areas to the business side
- Be the evangelist for better culture and good development practices
- Most importantly, spend time on introspection, self-care and your personal goals
All testers must resolve to take up some kind of continuing education so they can always be adding to their skill sets. Learning cannot be a one-time activity.
There must be a routine, a drive to better oneself and a constant search for improvement.
If you’re not sure where to start, look at the up and coming technologies and find what interests you the most. Testers can search for their areas of interest in online courses, read popular forums and blogs, and follow industry trends in the news and on social media. Then, you can either try to teach yourself through online instruction or videos, or training classes and certification courses can give you a structured way to go about learning.
Even though you may not use all your new skills and education at once in your current project, this kind of self-directed learning helps build a strong profile and steer the path of your career in the direction of your choice.
Don’t wait for your organization to sponsor or mandate your learning. Take your growth into your own hands!
Get Better at Networking
The next resolution a tester must make is to participate in the community in some way. It could be via attending or helping organize some meetups, going to conferences and seminars, or engaging in online forums and discussions.
The knowledge you have is better shared with others, and the pace of learning in a community will be much faster than alone.
By attending or speaking at conferences, testers can gain access to many new perspectives and people from various organizations and backgrounds. This will open lots of avenues for learning and engagement. Local meetups and seminars can be a starting point for that, and you have a lot to gain by organizing, volunteering at or attending such events on a regular basis.
You can even rope in your company by asking them to sponsor or provide the venue, which also gets your workplace’s name out there and can bring other testers to your location. It can be a good recruiting device and a chance for engaging local talent.
Another way of sharing your knowledge could be by contributing to online forums, starting a blog, or writing articles. Everyone has a story to tell, and your experiences could be beneficial to someone else. Be proactive about getting your name and skills out there!
Look back at 2019 and all that you have achieved, and then resolve to make 2020 even greater. Wishing you the best year ahead.
Nishi is a corporate trainer, an agile enthusiast and a tester at heart! With 11+ years of industry experience, she currently works with Sahi Pro as an Evangelist and Trainings Head. She is passionate about training, organizing testing community events and meetups, and has been a speaker at numerous testing events and conferences. Check out her blog where she writes about the latest topics in Agile and Testing domains.