As I am currently going through a transition in my career of moving companies for the first time since i got a graduate position 12 years ago, it has really become clear to me how important it is to have personal values not just for your life as a whole but equally for your work life. Having values which act as indicators that something needs to change is a way of knowing when and how to adapt, if you need to.

It was these exact values which kicked me into gear with the career change. I wasn’t living by my working values any more and something therefore needed to be changed.

I in fact have two sets of values which I try and follow for work:

  1. My Testing Values
  2. My Leadership Values

This post will focus on my testing values. I will provide a later post which looks at the leadership values. So what are these values which I hold so close? Let me try and give some detail around my thoughts:

    Testing is A Mindset – I’ve learned this more as I started having to hire testers, but not everyone is cut out for testing. It may be true that anyone can test, but it takes someone with the right mindset to test deep and test well.
    Testing Isn’t just identifying and executing scenarios – Testing starts with the questions, with the probing and the digging for information. Ultimately, the results of testing is providing information to the decision makers, we should not be responsible only for a list of pass/fail results, we have so much more to offer.
    Testing starts as a project starts – We should be involved in conversations at a start of a project, we shouldn’t be left to piece together requirements at a later stage. We should be involved (where possible) in assisting to form the requirements and putting them through their paces before any code is written.
    100% of Testing being automated should never be a consideration – If I see one more LinkedIn thread on this topic, I will explode. I maybe need to be more open minded somehow, but I can only see automation as a tool to aid a tester, not to replace them. It should be a single tool in a testers toolkit, not someone’s entire toolbox. Good automation also does not just run a series of test cases which would otherwise have been run manually, it can (and should) do so much more.
    Test Team and/or Testing is valued as highly as other disciplines within a team/organisation – For a long time, I had worked in teams where Testing was seen as the second class citizen in the room. Time for testing was shrunk because the true value testing provided was never given chance to be shown. It’s a case of making awareness of testing a part of our role. All project team members should know what they are getting from testers and there should be the same respect and time given to testing as there is to writing the product code or operationalising it.

So those are what I try to ensure my testing work aligns to and as I took on a leadership role in testing, i have always tried to ensure my team are aware of these values and how they can improve their focus and work based on these

Would love to hear feedback on these. As mentioned before, I will do another post on my leadership values…

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4 thoughts on “My Personal Testing Values

  1. “100% of Testing being automated should never be a consideration – If I see one more LinkedIn thread on this topic, I will explode … ” Totally agree with you on this, I’ve been a tester for 25+ years, used loads of tools but they are just that … a tool to help you … they are NOT a replacement for a quality tester. I wish others in the industry would understand this more.

  2. I think it’s really great for you to have spent some time evaluating your position and values in testing. It can so often be the case that we, as testers, when pressed, can find it hard to articulate what we know inside our heads.

    Kudos to you for publicly declaring these and making a change when you felt your role no longer aligned with them.

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