“Even if you’re not a teacher, be a teacher”
Teaching, Learning, Mentoring, Listening, Coaching, Advising.
These continuous verb forms are ingrained into the testing field so heavily, it feels as if it is the single most valuable skill a tester should have.
A willingness to learn and to question, is perhaps more valuable than the cliché ‘attention to detail’ which you find on the top of 90% of testing vacancies. This latter has shifted a bit though, to automation.
As a youth, I aimed to become a teacher of English and Informatics to educate teenagers. During the few years I spent training to become a classic teacher, I found myself growing ever so bitter against the current school system. After a few years that kept me tormented over either “pursuing that certificate and walking between the lines” and “Quitting, but facing a life of uncertainty”, I passed a milestone. That milestone being a second consecutive fail.
It felt as if I had lost everything, but freed me up to take matters into my own hands.
That’s when I came into testing.
Where I felt imprisoned in the academic world, I found a second wind in the private business.
Freed from curricula and exams, you can pursue just about anything. Drop it, leave it some months and pick it up again, however you like.
I believe I’ve gotten in contact with many more intelligent people, who are willing to share knowledge, learned more and studied more in a year of working, than my 4 years of higher education.
The choices trap
There are many people who face a lifetime of possibilities. I believe it is a sickness of today, that we raise our children to always keep our options open. I believe in shutting doors. We can’t progress if we can’t find peace in choosing.
A few months ago, a friend asked me to contact his sister, who found herself in the same situation I was in. I haven’t ever seen her, but since last December we had regular contact through mails and skype. I sent her books, gave her exercises and followed her progression, giving feedback on anything she sent my way.
She’s been working as a test consultant for a month now. I was ecstatic! It felt good to give back.
Per Sholas, Speak Easy, Weekend Testing, uTest, Software Testing Club… Are organizations that are focused on teaching and learning both, specifically for software testing.
Whether you find yourself in the same situation, you can reach out and you will be helped. It helps when you try to produce literate sentences and expect only as much time from others, as you put in yourself.
If you wish to enter the Testing craft, but doubt you’ll like it/have the qualifications/need help with a job interview, don’t hesitate to contact me.
You don’t need paper to prove your intelligence, you need only demonstrate it.