When you fail, get back up and do it again!

community“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)


About David


6 thoughts on “When you fail, get back up and do it again!

  1. Pingback: Five Blogs – 10 July 2013 | 5blogs

  2. Interesting that I had a very similar conversation with a coworker yesterday, wondering why so many people on the team I work on show no interest whatsoever in improving their craft, and show no passion or drive for testing. I’m with you, let’s just do it!

    • Thanks Michael.

      Unfortunately it’s an almost daily conversation for me! Some days I enjoy it and push people to get involved, other days I get frustrated!

      We’ll get there… with attitudes like yours. Good for you.

  3. Pingback: The KWST (quest) for learning | Brian Osman

  4. I just found this blog today and only via sifting through the masses of testing blogs out there, of which, most are defunct, half-assed or cover the basics (Testing 101) over and over. I am very pleasantly surprised to find this blog as I thought the testing community in NZ/Aus to be borderline non-existent even after a couple years of searching. Sure there are local testing groups but most of them are off-shoots of Agile groups and aren’t testing specific, then there’s always IGNITE but that’s almost prohibitively expensive.
    The other thing is that a lot of people feel like going to a testing “workshop” will involve doing hokey activities on example software and talking repetitively about the most basic concepts and themes surrounding testing. That’s why there’s bigger attendance at more well known events, there’s some elevation of the things being discussed. Discussions surrounding process improvements, how to influence management, talks designed to make you take a step back and think about something you know well from a different angle.
    I probably would have made a serious attempt at coming to OZWST (as I’m Australian) if I’d known about it beforehand.

    I have been frustrated many a time in the past at the attitudes and lack of care of other testers. I feel there’s one major reason why many of my peers don’t share the same motivation and care which some testers do; it’s the fact that by and large, testing is still struggling to be considered a serious career path and development discipline in it’s own right.
    You can see this any time you hear a non-tester say stuff like “testing is easy”, “anyone can test” or “the whole team will put on our testing hats and help out”. I’m not trying to downplay anyone’s eye for detail or critical thinking but there’s a difference between a tester doing their job and someone doing a bit of checking. That concept isn’t fully understood by a lot of testers let alone most of the IT industry.

    Many “testers” I’ve worked with in the past have come from very varied backgrounds. I’ve worked with (and known colleagues who have worked with) testers which have been ex accountants, business analysts, programmers, SCRUM masters, HR staff, admin staff etc. Some of these testers really get into the correct spirit of things and take their new duties on board with conviction, but many come in to work and do their 9-5 without really caring about what that 9-5 consists of. Again, this all stems from Testing not being taken seriously. No offence to Admin staff but if a company places an Admin staff member into a testing role without training, then they’ve just hired a checker.
    It’s a bit of a vicious cycle. Testing needs to be taken seriously to have more professional testers, we need more professional testers for Testing to be taken seriously.

    Didn’t expect to turn this into a huge rant, very sorry for that. I guess I just got a few years of frustration at the Testing community out in one sitting. For the record, I love what you guys are doing. It’s very positive and a HUGE step in the right direction. Keep it up!

    • Hey Adam, rant accepted! We do them all the time anyway… so it’s all good.

      Brisbane seems to be an area not unlike Adelaide in terms of the lack of testing community. Having said that, we had two Brisbane testers at OZWST (was going to be three) recently and they are keen to see and do more! Perhaps I’ll connect all of you and get something started?

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