Track Talk W8

How I am Unfolding my Potential as a Neurodivergent in Testing

Viviane Hennecke

12:00-12:45 CEST Wednesday 14th June

Ever felt different or worked with someone who you couldn’t understand? Who seemed to think somehow unlike than you? Maybe they did indeed. Are you aware that there are two main types of human thinking: neurotypical and neurodivergent? Whereas neurotypical thinking is often described as “linear thinking” neurodivergent thinking is more “cross-linked”. I am fascinated by the differences in behavior and perception of the world that results out of this important detail.

I think differently. But that’s not all. I behave differently and I have different needs. Why? I recently discovered through an algorhythm that I have a combination of ADHD, autism and HSP (highly sensitive person). But I adapted to the world as it is and blended in. That makes me a perfect fit for an agile environment where adapting to changing circumstances is key. I blame this part on my ADHD brain that loves discovering new things. My autistic brain, on the other hand, hates changes. So, I consider myself lucky that I have both of them. The two sides are balancing each other out, which leads to less difficulties than having only one of them, I assume. I developed a lot of implicit strategies to cope with it. To give an example: My family was always wondering why I used checklists so extensively, even as a child. Now I know: That was my autistic side bringing my chaotic ADHD brain under control.

I would like to share my personal story, and which strategies and characteristics are helping me finding my career path. For instance, how I got from the awkward little girl that hid in the bushes, to being voted ‘the most dreamy’ in school, to giving speeches in front of hundreds of people and taking leading roles in an international consulting company. It’s a story on how I get to shine in a branch of extroverts. I hope to inspire some of my fellow testers, especially those who also sometimes feel different. I’d like to make a stand that some typical qualities make neurodivergent people especially valuable in the testing world. I want to provide ideas as to what colleagues and employers can do to attract, interact, and appreciate neurodivergent people, and get them to stay.

Join this speech if you would like to listen to my insights on how that helps me shape my career, and what this teaches you about interacting with your fellow colleagues and/or employees.