Three wishes with Aladdin's magic lamp

The story started after I’ve made my three wishes too early before I find Aladdin’s magic lamp.

My three wishes into the future from 2019:

  1. Testers facilitate, coach, influence others for better quality, incorporate quality mindset into every corner of SDLC. it’s the thinking that matters!
  2. No more useless, meaningless and wasteful testing artefacts and documentations. it’s a waste.
  3. No more divide within testing (automated vs manual; technical vs non-technical). it’s bad!

I heard from Maaret Pyhäjärvi the future is already arrived but just need to be evenly distributed - yay!

I’ve been asking myself What’s the future look like for me as a tester? since I started in testing. Each time, I thought I had the answer and I was determined that’s my future look like as a tester. As you probably guessed by now, it changes every time. So here I am trying to figure out in 2019 again. Well, I’ve made my three wishes for now.

What will be your three wishes in your Testing future? Share it around and see what we could bring for our own future in testing.

My three wishes come out as how I travelled and where I’ve been in my unique Testing journey. It may not be relevant to others but it is a true story. I do hope this helps new starters to avoid some pains I had to go through in my very early ages of testing journey. I definitely hope this will get more testing practitioners to think about if ‘we’ as a community needs to make some changes, be it evolution or revolution for a better future in Testing for all of us.

With further ado, the story begins:

Infant testing years

As far as I can remember, testing probably in my genes from a really young age. I was the one asking “why? what if? how so?” a lot in an education system where teachers are the source of truth and knowledge. The one should not be questioned when they told you something is true. Well, at least it was my experience when I grow up. Luckily, it is changing nowadays. Anyway, what is this to do with testing? I love exploring and experimenting things when I don’t get answers with my “why? what if? how so?”. I find it works well with my testing so far, these questions keep me focusing on important bit while assessing other possible outcomes compares to the expected ones. Others may argue these are required for any roles. Yes, agree but more important to a tester in my view.

I didn’t start as a tester in my career, like many others I fall into it and loved it so much to stay on. I would say I was always testing in one way or another in my career. I assess ideas, solutions, plans, operations in order to highlight risks to relevant stakeholders, regardless I worked as technical support, SME, analyst, tester etc. My ‘formal’ testing methodology started when I get involved in some waterfall projects as a technical SMEs to represent the business. I was inspired and motivated by external testing professionals contracted to these projects. I admired their methodological approach and technical skills. I admired them finding critical bugs and I started volunteering for more SMEs related testing activities. I was learning to hunt down bugs because at the time I believe it is what a good tester does.

In my infant testing years, I was determined that I want to be a good tester. Then, I received advices about the ISTQB foundation as a minimum requirement for a tester in many organisations. I went on an ISTQB training and got certified a few months later. The future for me as a tester was clear - a bug hunter hero everyone loves. A good tester who writes a lot of beautiful step by step test cases for the future testers to use to find bugs in the systems. Ah, I did write quite a lot of them ..

I was fully motivated to write even more great test cases which lots people told me they are useful for new testers to use and follow. It will be the truth of our applications - in terms of what they do, how they behave. I started my tester dream by proposing my ideas to senior managers that we need to have internal testers to keep the knowledge within the organisation (in someone’s head + beautiful detailed step by step test cases). So they don’t get lost when the projects finishes and contractors leave.

Toddler testing years

Eventually, I became the first internal testers in the organization. Yeah!!! (That’s how I felt at the time.) I started to dream big since I’m an independent toddler now (well, that’s what I thought). I worked with a newly appointed manager. She asked the detailed test cases, so anyone come from the street can follow and find bugs. She asked for IEEE829 test plans and Test Exit Report. The document used to give go-ahead signal of the releases, and make testing more ‘accountable’. At the time, I felt grateful for these opportunities, as it seems it’s the sensible pathway to move into a Test Manager role. Probably after a few months, I started asking myself, is this what I was thinking about the fun of testing? No, sure not.

I started to reach out to local communities and external testers. Then, I found the local #WeTest meetups and conference (Ministry of Testing Wellington from 2019). It was an eye-opening for me after I attended #WeTestWeekendWorkshop2014. I heard context-driven testing for the first time, introduced to visual modelling and specification by examples, more importantly I was happy again because I found the community and interesting new ways of thinking and practicing testing. I’ve been a keen follower of the #WeTest community since then and still am with the new age of MoT Wellington.

Close to the end of my toddler testing years, I learned there’s more exciting things in Testing world out in the wild. I was eager to learn more from wider testing communities. I wish I know and learn more about performance, security testing, automation, and testing in agile.

Little kid testing years

As I grow up in this testing world, I started practicing what I’ve learned in my earlier age. I throw out of the step by step test cases when started with a new team in an exciting new start-up company. I didn’t even mention the test plan and test exit report documentations. I was lucky enough to meet the like-minded people about lean approach. The general manager of development and product owner are amazing, everyone in the team is focusing on the real value rather than formality and format. Everything we do, we produce, needs to have a purpose, include meetings. It was just amazing experience working in a such fun culture and environment, where everyone is open to new ideas, value focused. Testing become more fun for me, because I don’t have to produce or follow something just for the sake of standard but no real value.

Again, I was blessed because I was able to practice a lot of what I’ve learned while continuous practicing new learnings. I learned more about performance testing from my failures, and automation implementations via TestComplete for a map driven application and Pytest for REST and SOAP APIs. The dream had just become bigger after the proposal of six months CI/CD Pipeline journey is approved. Containers, Dockers, DataFactory, Jenkins, InfrastructureAsCode, Git, Github, DevOps etc. I’m learning a lot as I go. Near the end of the first quarter of 2019, I was asking myself the question again. This time, I tried to reach out to leaders and awesome fellow testers via twitter. I was hoping to get some ideas from them as how they see testing is going and which direction testing should be heading towards by naming three changes.

Here I’m today in the middle of my little kid testing years, I made my three wishes for my future testing journey.

What’s yours?

I’d like to thank you Lisa Crispin, Michael Bolton and others who encouraged me to share my story with this blogpost. Thank you!

Written on April 6, 2019
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