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Let’s talk about skills in testing-->
In a few days I’ll be holding a session at the Eurostar Roadshow in Warsaw on the importance of examining our own testing skills. Here’s why I’m bringing this up:
I noticed that we, testers, seem to like to talk about tools that can help us in our testing. We like to learn more about the latest ones. We use those tools to help us solve problems we face in our work. How does this relate to skills?
Sometimes the tools we use seem to replace a set of skills we need. For example, in our daily job, we might use a tool to help us organize our testing notes. On other occasions, when we don’t know how to extract information on how data travels from a web client to the server, we might use a proxy tool to capture the internet traffic. We might not know how to create a script to generate good test data fast, so we’ll use a data generation tool to create it. When we find it difficult to build a helpful test strategy, we might use models as tools. It might be difficult to get information across the team effectively in person, so we will use a bug tracking tool, and an online chatting tool.
However, as we surround our work with tools, they also require new skills from us, in order to be used effectively. So I argue that the need of developing skills is growing continuously. Without them, we won’t know how to make use of the tools, and how to decide when one tool or another can help. Let’s start looking at skills as being themselves essential tools in our work.
So what do we know about our own testing skills? How do we evaluate them? What skills should we focus on? How do we help our teams see the value that our skills bring?
I think addressing these questions is a good starting point for improving our collaboration with the teams we are part of and for delivering more useful information.
Join me in trying to find some answers during the “Why Examine Your Testing Skills?” session!