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Scouting and Testing – Ajay Balamurugadas-->
Few weeks back, my cousin who is a ‘Girl Guide’ asked for some help in her school activities. Being a recipient of ‘ President’s Badge‘ in Scouting, I helped her prepare for the Guide trip. I found a lot of similarities between ‘Scouting and Testing’.
As founder of Scouts and Guides movement, Lord Robert Baden-Powell wanted the scouts and guides to be independent and to add value to the society. The scouting movement has slowly spread worldwide and we have scouts and guides all over the world.
Scouting and Testing have few similarities:
The motto for Scouts and Guides is ‘Be Prepared‘. As testers, we too are expected to /be prepared/. We never know what application has to be tested, how much time is available for testing and how many bugs are hiding and what value do the stakeholders expect from us. A good tester is always prepared to test any application and to provide his valuable feedback to his stakeholders.
Team Work and Collaboration
As scouts believe in team work and collaboration to achieve the mission, testers too are not the only one responsible for the quality of the product. They too work in teams, interact with other stakeholders and take up various roles. Team work is very important in testing as a ‘One man’ shows might not add the maximum value to the project.
Self-education and Life-long learning
Scouts continuously practice their skills – camping, hiking, cooking, fire-fighting, first-aid, languages, teaching and also learn new skills. As the technology is continuously evolving and time lines are shrinking day by day, we testers need to educate ourselves of the different standards, different technology, different traps. A tester cannot rely on his past achievements; it is a continuous journey and most of the times – a life long learning activity.
Serve the Community
Scouts and Guides play a very important part in serving the community – helping in relief activities, volunteering in community activities, teaching the underprivileged. When the role of a tester is magnified, a tester also needs to serve the community. Many a disasters have occurred due to software bugs and maybe some of them could have been prevented if testers had convinced the stakeholders of the importance of fixing the bugs. Every tester would be happy on seeing a satisfied customer use the software.
Finally, as Scouts and Guides participate in large national or international events called Jamborees, we testers too attend national or international conferences. Its every tester’s dream to participate in a conference and learn, interact and network with others in the community.
I am a Scout and a Tester for life.
If this entire post has to be condensed in one line, it would be:
Scouting and Testing is a lifelong activity.