Back in 2011, I approached Rob Lambert at the Software Testing Club on a small series, packed into a narrative format as I wanted to try that out. Rob decided to run that series on the Software Testing Club back then, and I had some fun writing it. Skip forward 11 years, and the Software Testing Club no longer exists, it’s been a while since I have been in touch with Rob, yet I figured, let’s see how this series aged over the years. In the past weeks, I published all eight chapters here. If you want to catch up on them, here is a list:
- Chapter 1: Session-based exploration
- Chapter 2: Facing the Business with Automation
- Chapter 3: Fallacies and Pitfalls
- Chapter 4: The Challenge
- Chapter 5: Logged In
- Chapter 6: The Presentation
- Chapter 7: Lunch & Learn
- Chapter 8: The first project
Today, I will share my reflection after reading through all of them 11 years later. So, find my thought below.
I recall writing these little snippets back when I had some great inspiration from the Software Craftsmanship movement and tried to transport all of the fun I sensed for the programmer toward the testing profession. I revisited my personal “falling into testing” history, and how I thought a perfect learning path for my first days would have been like. On that side, I hope to have given some inspirational clues about what might be worthwhile to really teach software testers – well, maybe just ten years back, as the world of tech is evolving so quickly, it seems. I’m glad I managed to find an ok-ish sweet spot between being too vague to not make sense at all, and too specific to age even worse as these eight chapters did.
Basically, we accompanied Peter as he got to know exploratory testing, test automation, and working closely together with programmers. I am still convinced this is a great starting point for anyone in the software testing profession, while these basics have much more to go deeper into. That sort of brings me to the bad part I feel more than ten years down the line.
While reading through all the learnings from Peter, I noticed how shallow most of it is. I especially hate many of the dialogues where the conversation goes back and forth, and then out of the blue one person is convinced that the approach of that other person must be right. Maybe ten years later, I have become quite grumpy about it, but I sense that oftentimes we face much more resistance in many of these conversations than I actually showed.
Then, of course, my whole point about Peter’s story was not “how do you fight resistance as a new tester in a company”. I actually just wanted to hint at some of the practices that I had found useful five years into my own career. I think I succeeded sort of on that, yet, many of the conversations, and sometimes technical details could have been more fleshed out to really bring the reader into action. That’s how I feel about it today, more than ten years later.
I am torn at the ugly part I perceive. With the current zeitgeist around gender neutrality, I feel ashamed of how I picked a male character as the main character. On the other hand, I still wouldn’t dare to write about thoughts from a female character as well. So, this is really dragging me. To some extent, I’m happy to have found a good balance of male and female characters in the story itself and break with the pattern of how “most women become testers, most males become programmers” that I saw happening in my first few jobs. So, sort of kudos to that one, I still sense I could have done better on this front.
Overall, I feel ok about it. Not deep enough on most topics, not too fleshed out, and in the more than ten years since I wrote this little story, I learned so much more that would make me write a totally different story. It was a fun experiment on how I would write something more narrative rather than just combining different models I had come across. And in my personal writing skill-set, it’s a writing style I became more comfortable with by writing this tiny Deliberate Tester story. Hope you enjoyed some of it as well.