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Becoming A Manager – Some ideas for Those Who Are New to Management

At EuroSTAR 2014 I spoke to many people who had made dramatic shifts in their careers in recent years.

Many of these people had shifted from being testers to being managers – not Test Managers though.

Part of the shift is due to the growing need for tester involvement right from the start thus making many tester’s management skills visible to the business.

Part of the shift is due to the nature of the companies people work for; where any problems that needs solving is open to anyone pro-active enough to solve it, including management problems.

Part of the shift is also due to the declining need for test managers – a usual career path for many testers.

Despite this declining need for “test managers” there is still a need for good managers and there seems to be a growing number of testers stepping in to these roles.

Many people find themselves in these roles with little training on how to be a manager. They are learning on the job and from people they meet at conferences and other gatherings.

On thing was clear from everyone I spoke to – life as a manager is hard, but rewarding.

In this presentation I hope to inspire managers to ignore what most of the test certification schemes tell you. Instead of focussing on testing process jump in to the role with enthusiasm about making a difference, an eagerness to build relationships and a willingness to learn hard truths about yourself.

Here are ten ideas I’ll cover.

1. Management is about people
2. You must make decisions and empower others to make decisions – even if they turn out to be bad ones
3. Role power
4. Don’t standardise
5. Give feedback.
6. You add little value to most day to day operational problems
7. Selling the right process (better testing) is your job
8. Awareness fields and surprises
9. Ask critical questions
10. You don’t control anyone
11. Bonus point – Management is not leadership

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  • Speaker

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    Rob Lambert - Engineering Manager , NewVoiceMedia, England

    Rob Lambert is an Engineering Manager building a forward thinking, creative and awesome development team at NewVoiceMedia.

    He’s a serial blogger writing about all things product development and testing at www.thesocialtester.co.uk. You can find Rob on twitter at @rob_lambert.

    Rob is helping to define software testing for the modern age by challenging stereotypes and defining new ways of organizing and managing testing.

    Rob is an advocate for many social causes volunteering his time for organisations working in the ICT4D sector.

    Rob’s personal mission is to inspire testers to achieve great things in their careers and to take control of their own learning and self-development. Rob is also the author of Remaining Relevant, a book about remaining relevant and employable in today’s shifting industry.

    Rob is married, has three sons and lives in the historic city of Winchester, UK.

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