As I reflect upon my career and what the future might hold, it made sense to consider my strengths but I realised that I should also think about my weaknesses.
In terms of hard skills, I know that the fact that the nature of the software that I’ve worked on means that I don’t have any skill or experience in tools like Cypress.io, Selenium and Postman (although I am learning Postman!). However I don’t believe that my lack of these sort of skills really matters. From my experience & training down the years, I have confidence that I *could* do them.
Soft skills are perhaps more interesting to explore. Common examples of good soft skills for testers are:
- Thorough / Attention to detail
- Analytical / logical thinking
- Eagerness to learn
Straight away I know my biggest weaknesses.
- I can be sloppy
- I am not always a great communicator, which I’ll pick up in a separate leadership post one day
Those who’ve worked with me may be surprised by the first one. My end of year reviews tend to be very positive about the quality of my work but I know in myself that I am definitely prone to errors.
For example when reading a story I often am guilty of not being thorough in reading it. Just as I would struggle with any wall of text. I lack the focus to read it thoroughly, find myself skipping words and misunderstanding the meaning of a sentence.
Similarly I know that when I am doing a lot of “checking” style testing, I am very prone to mistakes. I will see what I’m wanting to see and move on ASAP. This means that if there’s a glaring error on the page, I may be completely oblivious. This happened to us when a library uptick to address issues with combo boxes meant that a date control was no longer displayed. I went through all the screens and verified that the visual oddity couldn’t be seen.
When mistakes like this happens I know that my mind tends to be in a particular state. I’m bored.
Sometimes when tasked with boring work I will try and perform exploratory testing to see what bugs I can find. And I usually find something. However other days when I have a bunch of things to check, I won’t be in the mood to go off piste and bug hunt (or time doesn’t allow me to) and I trudge through the work and miss things.
I want to solve my boredom. I want to find ways to not only ensure my work is as higher standard as possible but also provide greater job satisfaction. In the event that someone is actually reading this, I’d be very open to ideas!
Do I try and gamify some of these tests somehow? Do I try a new technique to help spot bugs? Like try and blitz the story whilst recording it then watch it back with a more attentive eye.
Or do I simply commit to test the f**k out of these boring tasks? I do love my bug count after all…