As part of my ongoing quest to learn more to be better at my job as a tester, I’ve had to think about not only what I know, but also what I want to know.
I feel I’ve got the ability to write a manual script as well as execute it down. Granted, I hate writing super-detailed scripts as I find them restrictive, but it is the style I have to work to.
I can write a SQL query to search against a database, which is essential for where I work (I can’t speak for testers everywhere),along with deletes and updates. I also know there are things I’m not confident with using in SQL – Unions, joins other than cartesian, and likely other tricks that I’m yet to be exposed to.
I know different types of analytical techniques, with decision tables being one of my strongest (though mind maps are rising as a technique for me).
It feels like I don’t know much, as knowledge of the processes and day to day actions of end users is great where I work, but won’t do much for me elsewhere. However, there are bound to be things I know I don’t think about that only come up when I get asked about it.
As for what I want to learn, that is all thanks to the Internet and what it gives me access too. So, these are what I would like to learn, and who I would like to credit so others know where to go for further information:
- Pairing up with another tester (Katrina Clockie) – Recently I have been working alone as the only tester on my various projects, so whilst I’m part of a larger team I’m not involved with any of their work, and vice-versa. When I have been working on the same project as others, it was still a case of we go away, do our own planning/scripting/execution, and then meetup periodically to see how it’s going. But having the two of us sat at a single computer, talking through our analysis, scripting and execution would be a great experience, even if it goes horribly wrong. “Two heads are better than one” is a saying everyone knows in some regard, yet doesn’t seem to be commonly done around me, perhaps out of fear it looks inefficient?
- Pairing up with a developer – Related to above, but instead of both of us looking at what we are doing from a purely testing perspective, I sit with the developer as they write their code, allowing me instantaneous access to what they’re working on so they can talk through what they’re doing, and I can ask questions about it whilst it’s as fresh as it will ever be. It also allows me to talk about the tests I’m intending to perform, so they can either say which may not be achievable, or which would have caused a problem for their code if I didn’t say now instead of waiting for it to be released and lose more time. Due to being a foreign concept again, I imagine fear of the unknown has stopped this ever happening before.
- Mob Programming (Maaret Pyhäjärvi) – Taking the pairing up a notch is mob programming. So instead of me and one other, there would be several of us all working together, taking it in turns to talk through ideas, drive a laptop, and give us the peak of everyone’s knowledge and performance.
- Security Testing – It is a grand unknown to me, and where I am it is purely outsourced due to the knowledge required. But with the hype from the Ministry of Testing’s 30 Days of Security Testing challenge, it is something I’d like to look more into. The Internet isn’t going away, and security will only get more important, even if most of it won’t be relevant on a daily basis for me.
- MI testing – This is the sub-team that I’ve moved into, with no real knowledge or experience of, so beyond knowing I will use SQL, this will be a brave new world for me. Although I’ve also been told to look at BI testing as there is a major overlap between the two.
I’m not giving myself a hard deadline as to when I would like to learn these, as deadlines can slip, reality causes delays, and other things can and will turn up. But if I keep moving forward with these, each little step puts me closer from wanting to learn, to understanding and perhaps even teaching others.
This is what I want to learn. What about you?