“This is the second KWST where I’ve woken up the next day thinking of looking for another career. Sometimes the problems in testing can feel just too big to tackle, and that hits home to me after the event (depressingly so).” – Anonymous
So, yet another wonderful software testing community event has come to an end; KWST3. Oh, did I mention I wasn’t there? Grrr… damn bills! However, I did follow it quite closely on Twitter and have seen some snippets of feedback since the event. The above quote was something that I could both relate to, and take great concern over.
I’ve spoken to Brian Osman a lot about this in the past. When putting together Peer Conferences and other software testing community events, you can lose your drive and motivation quicker than the time it takes to delete that latest mobile app you installed because the UI sucks; and that’s QUICK! Organising these events is fun, and exciting… it’s also an awful lot of work. I can’t speak for Brian, but I do them to help testers become better; to bring them together so they can share ideas in a safe environment.
With the above being my goal… it’s a really hard thing to come to terms with, when people just aren’t that interested. Why doesn’t every tester share the same level of passion for the craft? Why don’t they all want to be involved in the community and be the best they can be? Fair enough, many wouldn’t even know it exists… but why not? Where is the passion, the drive?
Oh dear… there goes my motivation… it’s all too hard… might as well give up.
That is literally how my reasoning cascades at times. From complete excitement at the possibilities for our community, to utter despair for it in a matter of seconds.
The quote above speaks so clearly to me.
Then there are the events themselves. They are filled with new ideas, exciting stories of success, but they are also testament to failure and the lack of development. When returning from a conference or workshop the drop into reality is from on high. It feels more akin to crashing down into reality. That is the moment we get awed by the mammoth task at hand. It sucks the will and hope out of the testing marrow.
What helps me through these times and pushes me forward? The community does. Even just our small tight knit group here at HTW is enough to motivate me. KWST3 had it’s moments, where the skies parted and the light came through. The realisation that there are new tester generations, that are walking the paths we’ve cleared and that are building upon what we created.
It’s true, we have a HUGE ‘battle’ on our hands if we want to change the face of testing and prove to the C-Levels of the world that we are actually worth the time and money… but together I think we can do it. Actually, we NEED to do it together.
I often hear and see comments like “I wish there was…” or “Why can’t we just…” Well? What are you waiting for? Just do it! (sorry Nike). If you fail, learn from it and do it again! Just make sure you have some sort of community to back you up, or to at least act as your sounding board. They may just sit back and listen to you vent, but believe me… that’s helps more than you’d know!
Author: David Greenlees (with thanks to Oliver Erlewein for contributions)