Testing Skills in Life

I live in Iowa. The winters are very cold and the summers are very hot. I live in a house built in 1920, so I don’t have a functional garage. Heck, I call it “The Shed.” A couple years ago, my husband got me a remote starter. I LOVE it…no ice scraping in the winter, nice cool car in the summer. However, to make that happen, I’ve figured out I need to preset my temperature controls, the window settings and the radio.


What’s that got to do with testing? The most important step before starting a testing effort is to be sure your environments and data are preset so the iteration can be as successful as possible. With my remote starter, I make sure my car is preset for the most successful morning.

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I recently changed companies. With my involvement in the local QA association as well as talking with ex-coworkers, I figured this company was quite mature in QA processes. And they are very mature and done a great job of “selling” QA throughout the organization. I figured my transition would be quick and slick. I was wrong.

It’s interesting to consider as software testing professionals, we succeed by verifying the end results meet our customers’ expectations. However, to really excel, we start at same beginning as the developers and must come to the same outcome but by a completely different, but valid, route. What made me think a similarly successful testing department would have reached that feat with the same answers?

I often hear, usually from some shared FaceBook post with an inspiring sunset background, to really grow we must step out of our comfort zone. Of course what is the saying about such things? A cliché becomes a cliché because it is true. In the seven weeks I’ve been at my new company I’ve learned more about testing and the function of a testing department than I learned the last 3 years at my old company.


We need to do the same thing when it comes to our testing skills. I hate UI testing. I find it tedious. But I know because I took the time to learn UI testing. On the other hand, I love writing SQL queries which is surprising because I avoided anything like programming for most of my life. But then I took a chance and now consider ETL testing my specialty. The more experiences we encounter, the more knowledge we have to draw on to create the best testing strategies for our situation.

So where is the next place I can explore? Besides the ins and outs of my new company (and there are a LOT of ins and outs!!) I know I need to get a better understanding of automation. Any suggestions of where to start?

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