In the testing world, as I look around, there is so much going on – in terms of trainings , conferences, networking events, blogging , twitter patronizing or debating – many a times meaningful twitter talks and yet it’s always a pleasure to connect with testers in real and not limit our discussions to only virtual world. I guess that’s why we still have people wanting to attend such meets and conferences.
Without making any claims of being a learned one on human behavior and psychology studies, I think I can still safely say – It always feels easier to work with people whom you have met and can relate to them as a face and as the vibes you share with them.
Also in cases – when you are not able to mobilize the volume of folks online that you wish for, it might help to step out and meet some real transformers who could help you build a network. This was my case 🙂
With the thought of building a network of co-learners , we created a linkedin group – Test Practitioner’s Club and planned for its first meet .
We finally met on 1st Feb and though I will accept I expected more people to join in and it disappointed me to see some of the people not turning up after confirming multiple times (and we had limited seats – we could have let waiting list folks attend instead 🙂 ). But it all got compensated –once the core team present there got engrossed in the discussions.
During detailed introduction (since we all were meeting each other for the very 1st time)- I was pleasantly surprised at the profiles of the people there and how much they were already doing to support the test community in their own big and small ways. Truly impressive set of people on the core team. I can’t feel proud enough to be part of such a rocking team!!
Each one who attended, participated 100% in the discussions and contributed their inputs based on their experiences. Participants had mixed backgrounds – testers, non – testers and non- testers turned testers.
Personally for me, it surpassed all my expectations in terms of learnings I received. And I am hoping all the attendees, enjoyed the session and found it as useful as I did if not more.
It was interesting to see the room make heavy consensus on topics like lack of value that certain popular certifications like ISTQB or even CSTE create, changing roles and needs of testers in modern day projects and the key skills required as testers.
I am amused with the disclosures made at the meetup based on personal experiences – Most of us knew James Bach and wanted to study his RST class (was a happy student moment) ; more girls prefer testing as career than boys at the start of their careers (coming from someone involved in campus recruitments, you have to believe it – But how cool is that ?? – makes me happy atleast 🙂 ) ; development team and test team on the same project are given access to different set of software and testers are not allowed to choose their set (UNBELIEVABLE – ARE YOU SERIOUS…gggrrrrrrr) ; BBST is the only test course that we could get a unanimous consensus on, by testers, to have confidence on its value and relevance to changing needs of testers ( NOT SURPRISED!! ). And then this one too -ISTQB certified testers with 0-2 yrs experience fair well in entry level interviews compared to those not certified (to be precise – certified testers knew the terms and terminologies better). These are all personal experiences shared by members of the core team and should not be taken as a generalist theory for now. However, since these are subjects of our interest, we would like to gather more data on these to make informed conclusions. Please do share your inputs on these topics!!
As a core team, some of the objectives we have & actions we need to take :
1. First and foremost increasing membership of the group on LinkedIn -targeting 1000 members ( by when??)
2. Offer to provide trainings and activities to develop skills of local testers and to guide them on how to be better at testing.
3. Trying to find Infrastructure and logistics support with organizations within our network for meet ups and training sessions.
4. Online events – meeting on Skype as and when required.
5. All agreed to contribute in terms of time and effort and subject matter to train testers in different fields,based on skill, training and availability mapping.
6. Appealing each one of us to add more women testers to the group and work together to support more women to attend the test events and conferences all across the globe. To start with, it can be our local meet ups. Let’s bring in as many and support them in any which ways we can, to help them grow. Sometimes, even if it means going out of our way, please.
For now – status of the group – and tempo of the members looks promising with huge possibilities of value we could create together.
Where you can help us and maybe yourself too –
1. Please join the linkedin group – Test Practitioner’s Club and participate. Also joins us on the group’s facebook page. This will help us meet our 1st objective.
2. If you have any stuff on testing that you would like to share with others – online or offline – please post it on the group site.
3. If you need to learn something about testing and you don’t know where to go – whom to learn it from – post your need on the group and surely there will be someone who can help you.
4. If you have Testing related jobs to post – or are looking for jobs in testing – please use the group for posting both.
5. Finally – my personal favorite – If you have any women testers in your network, please please please – ask them to be a part of this initiative. If they are far off and can’t take part in the physical meet- ups – its fair. So many things we will do will be online and we can connect them to test networks closer to them – where they can meet locally too. And we can suggest them online trainings given by folks like James Bach, Ann-Marie, Karen Johnson, Michael Bolton, Paul Holland and many more.
I am unapologetic about my will to have a better gender balance across geographies in testing 🙂
Looking forward to contributing in growth of the test practitioners and building a sustainable community. If you know of a rockstar Test Practitioner, please forward them the link for the blog or our linkedin group – we would like to have them on our team.
Please feel free to add your notes to the comments below or add them to the group.
Many thanks for your time!!