Inspired by Michał Kujałowicz’s speech at TrojQA meeting I would like to continue his thoughts in the way of personal development – not only for test leaders (or those who aspire to become ones), but for all developers and testers within IT industry.
At first – great job Michał 🙂 Brilliant speech about ‘Senior’ QAs and the meaning of this term.
I won’t focus on the term ‘Senior’ and responsibilities connected with it but basically on personal growth – not only from tester’s point of view, but from any thinking human being.
People have to learn new things and improve themselves to better their work quality and self esteem. On the other hand – staying where you are and not learning seems to be somehow tempting. Without challenges – life is calmer. It is also less efficient – but stable.
You might think that not moving on at your career, within the project where you are good at being a tester or developer, is a safe option and it might also be beneficial. There are many people, who work within large projects for years, doing over and over again the same things, becoming experts in their narrow know-how area. I don’t think they complain. Their routine determines their work so hard, that they are not interested in anything what is beyond. They work as regular testers and later become seniors basing on number of years spent in the project or within the company. It is a comfortable situation, isn’t it? Stable job, cosy desk and regular salary coming to bank account.
But what if….
What if the project is suddenly being closed off.
What if the methodology changes.
What if your company stops being a “leading player in the market”.
What if we want to earn more.
What if we start simply getting bored?
(looks like a poem from Google :D:D:D)
Leave your comfort zone statement would be a tribute to a friend of mine, who changed his job after a while working with me. The sentence itself may seem a bit funny, but it has deeper meaning.
What does ‘leaving your comfort zone’ mean for the tester? Is it always about changing your job? No – but such situation might additionally motivate you 🙂
I would rather say that leaving your comfort zone would mean – that you are supposed to do more that going from A to B every day. You don’t have to be in the spotlight all the time, but start from doing little things for yourself, for team of yours or even for your company. You don’t have to succeed – at least – you’ll learn something.
It is extremely important – especially for mobile or automation testers – to be aware what’s on at the moment. I’m not talking about the methodologies (everyone call themselves ‘agile’ nowadays) – but mainly about techniques, approaches and tools. How would you know that something is able to make your job less miserable or to improve the good one – if you don’t know new tools, right?
Richard Bradshaw inspired me to do this simple routine – look for new tools/trends on Twitter and then spend 3 hours each week to play with it and know more about it. Going further – there is plenty of QA-related YouTube videos, dozens of techniques to learn and programming languages to get familiar with. It’s all there. Would that effort make sense?
Let’s go back to the beginning – what does it mean to be a ‘Senior’ tester or a developer?
If someone works 5 or more years within the company in one project- is more senior-ish than a novice with a head full of ideas? When we go through job advertisements – it might be easy to believe that anyone is a ‘senior’. Let’s be honest – 2 or 3 years of experience within the industry won’t make you one. At the same time – doing nothing more that going from A to B each day doesn’t make somebody senior as well. But that’s not the point.
People, who are in miserable projects complain about their repetitive or not challenging jobs, but at the same time they do nothing in order to improve it. I’ll refer to the title of this post – ‘Be the change that you seek’ – start the revolution if necessary, and – honestly – don’t expect any more rewards than upgrade of your working conditions. The additional benefit might be that you’ll inspire someone else.
Does the people-centered and expert-minded approach makes somebody ‘senior’?
I don’t believe that there is the one and only answer. At the same time I’m encouraging you to learn, move on and progress at your careers. If not for this important ‘I want to grow’ reason than because ‘what if…’.
Don’t hesitate to comment or stalk me on Twitter.