Track Talk Th9

Becoming a Better Tester by Getting Involved in Everything

Steve Jefferies

13:45-14:45 Thursday 13th June

What are you doing here”, “That’s not your job”, “That’s not testing” are all phrases I have heard over many years – usually after raising an uncomfortable truth about a project… Testers have historically been given a narrow remit and even though that’s thankfully increased with concepts such as shift-left it is still fairly common to see testers just picking up stories after they have been refined or developed.

I’ve learnt that the most effective way of doing my job as a tester is to get involved in anything and everything. From getting yourself invited to sales pitches, to wading into architectural design discussions, every aspect of the software development lifecycle is going to give you some insight, often much broader than that you see written down in features and stories. Don’t wait for the work to hit “ready for test”!

Unfortunately, not everyone is used to this approach, over the years I’ve received my fair share of pushback for my “shift-everywhere” approach to testing. I’ve tailored my approach to ensure I get involved for the right reasons, upskilled technically so I can hold my own in some deep-dive technical conversations and learnt strategies for helping deal with individuals and groups not used to having such a vocal, hands-on tester on the team.

I’ll share as many of these strategies with you as I can fit into this track talk, some are going to be applicable to all, some might need tailoring to your team but ultimately will give you experience based ideas which should make you more prepared to step into any conversation, and ultimately make you a better, more effective tester.