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Up and Away? How Moving Into Software Management Gave Me a Different View Of Testing

Until two years ago I had a fairly typical career in testing; perhaps you recognise it as similar to your own. I’ve been a Tester, a Test Manager, a Testing Coach and various other testing roles in between. I’ve lived my life in the software development industry within the friendly, inclusive world of software testing and the software testing community.

For most of the time I was happy in my bubble. But at times I was frustrated; frustrated with the way that testing is often perceived, frustrated that testers are frequently seen as second class citizens on development teams, and that the value that comes from good testing is not effectively recognised.

As the famous saying goes - “If you can’t beat em, join em”. So I did.

This talk is about different perspectives and how we, as testers are viewed. It’s about change and transition, and about the opportunities that we can all exploit to make us better testers, if only we are aware that they exist. And it’s a personal story of why the view of testing from outside our community may pleasantly surprise us all.

Main Points

  • A personal story of how moving from a traditional testing career to taking ownership for the whole software development process has influenced my views on testing.
  • How a testing career is invaluable when building and running teams who operate with quality at their heart.
  • Why we need to look outside of our own community in order to drive testing forward.
  • Why Agile and Lean are driving fundamental changes to our roles within the testing industry and advice on how to positively manage this change.
  • Experience based advice on how testers can work effectively with their managers and senior stakeholders for mutual benefit.

 

Key takeaways:

  • Different perspectives on testing, based on my experience of both testing and whole team management.
  • Advice on how to make the most of their place in their team, and how they can maximise the value of their testing.
  • A better understanding of how to form their ‘testing message’ in a way that is relevant for their stakeholders.
  • An alternative view of testing careers which may inspire them to consider alternative approaches.
  • The confidence to influence quality from more angles than merely the traditional tester role.