Give Yourself Time to Learn and Grow

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Well, I am back after 2 years off, and I have a lot of new stuff to blog about. I have recently joined the Ministry of Testing’s Blogger’s Club, a group dedicated to blogging about testing by providing topics, blogging together on general topics, and being the motivation we all need. I hope with their support and adding 2 more years of testing under my belt, I can create a better blog for everyone.

​​​​The first topic is “a technical tip every tester should know” so I went with give yourself time to learn and grow as a tester. Something this blog supported in the past and will continue to support in the future.

I have worked for a company manual testing for 5 years now. In this time there has been little to no growth in our QA department. Just retesting the same parts of the software over and over. Waiting for when a new feature can be tested to pull you away from the monotonous test you run through on a daily basis. If our QA begins looking for other jobs, they realize that our company is behind the times, as manual testers, are coming to an end. Manual tests are now only a part of what most QA do in this modern world. A lot of our employees hunger to grow, have something they can achieve, and while others like where they are and don’t want change. 

However, I have been fortunate my company has allowed me to learn and try other things, becoming a better tester. They allowed me to do this because I have a coding background and the tenacity to ask. So they trusted me run new tools, fix minor bugs, and become the one everyone goes to when they need help. Still most of what I did was manual testing with a sprinkling of extra fun tools. I was still stagnating at as tester in my community when all other companies in my location are moving to include automated testing. 

Something then happened that changed everything. Our company got some new management which listened to our employees. They allowed our developers to launch a new plan for our software taking us into the future. With these changes they asked if QA could begin automated testing with the new project. So all those years building the trust they put me to learning and researching Serenity, Cucumber, Selenium and Postman. I then get to teach the others in my department. The company is finally moving forward with a plan one Developer had for years for our software, and what I been proposing for years is finally coming to the our company.

The drawback with learning and growing in such a short time is growing pains as my head explodes with knowledge and headaches. It would be nice for every company to allow a day of learning similar to what Google has done in the past and has become a growing part of Agile culture. Don’t stagnate you’re learning or try to do it all at once because it all of a sudden becomes relevant.

Learning new things in your industry helps you become better at your job. It gives you more responsibilities, makes you feel valued as a team member. When you learn and grow, the company learns and grows with you. 

It was Gandhi who said, “Be the change you want to see in the world.” 

Be the change you want to see in your company. Sometimes it takes patience to move forward. Sometimes it takes only one person to believe in your idea. When you learn and grow as a tester, you learn and grow as a person. 

Google is your best friend when it comes to learning and researching. Bookmark links and document everything you learn so you can return to it later. Documenting helps you to not forget what you learned and allows you to share your newfound knowledge with others. When you document and share you become an expert because it helps your brain retain the knowledge you have learned better.