By Thao Van Vo
Whether you choose your testing career by chance or by choice, you should always want to excel in your career. If you decide to become a great tester like well-known testers all over the world, you will find the following suggestions from one of the most influential software testing experts in the world, James Bach.
- Learn vast of knowledge. "Read the materials and blogs: James Bach - www.satisfice.com, Michael Bolton - www.developsense.com/"
Read as many books as you can. Here is James Bach’s suggested list.
- “Lessons Learned in Software Testing” or “Secrets of a Buccaneer-Scholar”, by James Bach
- Introduction to General Systems Thinking, by Gerald M. Weinberg
- Quality Software Management, Vol. 1: Systems Thinking, by Gerald M. Weinberg
- Tacit and Explicit Knowledge, by Harry Collins
- The Black Swan, by Nassim Taleb
- Testing Computer Software, by Cem Kaner, remains a good classic testing book
- Testing is not better than the communication of the results. Read more at "Explain testing every day and question something about how you work every day.”
- Read everything by Jerry Weinberg. What would you want to read to nurture your career? The answer is that you should read everything by Jerry Weinberg. Similarly, when asking James a question “What are the best career advancement steps for someone who is a junior to intermediate QA professional?” he said that “If you want your career to move into management, read everything by Jerry Weinberg. If you want to be the best tester in the world, read everything by Jerry Weinberg. If you want to do what I do, read Weinberg. Read Weinberg if you want to be a programmer, too."
- Understand seven kinds of testers. To advance your career and manage your testing team members more effectively, James recommended that you understand seven kinds of testers. These are patterns or groups of heuristics proposed by James . However, if you want to become a full-stack tester like the word “full-stack developer” in development, you should have the insight into strengths and weaknesses of these kinds of testers. And you should try your best to pull out some strengths from these and turn them into your skills.
- Join a community. He said that “Get on Twitter and watch the conversations among the Context-Driven community. Participate in those discussions.” In Vietnam, you can join some testing communities out there such as HCMC STC, Testing VN, Ask Tester, and so forth.
- Own your career growth and make you unique. In the talk "Buccaneer-Tester: Winning Your Reputation”, James Bach said that “Find the mix of interests and talents that make you have what no one else has. Take stock of this and find a story that makes you important and special.”
To wrap up, I collect and present here some advice from James Bach that is relevant to me as a tester. If you find his advice is interesting and helpful, then the good news is that you can meet James Bach in our upcoming conference in July. You can check out the details here and get yourself a ticket.
Many more of his writings can be found on his blog. If you have any ideas you would like to share with the testing community, I would love to hear from you. Please leave your comments or drop me a message at thaovo[at]hcmc-stc.org.