Going on tour

I am going on a testing tour. This was inspired by Elizabeth Hock, who talked about her own testing tour at TestBash Brighton. Her purpose was to “become a better skilled tester” and she believed that pairing was good a way to do this.

I have decided to go on my own testing tour because I think it will help my development as a tester in a variety of ways. My plan is to pair up with other testers on their work, roughly once per month. Most sessions will be internal to my company, although I have plans to extend it if it goes well.

I hope to learn:

  • about new products and technology, widening my knowledge of my company’s product set. This will be helpful as I am now working on a solution testing project which includes many products, some of which are new to me.
  • how best to test the products in my solution. I’ll hopefully have lessons to bring back to my team and apply to my day-to-day work.
  • some practical testing techniques, tools and aids. How do other testers structure their sessions, keep notes and set up their environment?
  • some interesting testing theory. How do other testers ensure their test sessions achieve what they set out to? How does solution testing differ from product testing? How do other test teams choose what to test?

I also hope to develop my confidence as a software tester. Until this year, I had not tested anywhere other than one system test department, where a lot of the techniques and processes have been long established. For most testing tasks, there was a precedent for the right way to do it, and I know that this heavily influenced my testing skills and style. It would be encouraging for me to see that the skills I’ve learnt are transferable to other areas and types of testing (or useful to know if not!).

I’ll be documenting the progress of my tour in this blog. Please check in to join me on this journey and please engage with my posts and share your own experiences. I’m sure that I’ll be finding lots of questions, as well as answers, and if you can offer advice on any of my musings, I’ll be very grateful.

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