This article discusses eight effective strategies to maintain your mind alert and innovative for testing.
In a recent interview for a Software Testing role, I questioned the interviewee about how they keep their mind proactive to constantly produce new testing concepts. Their confused response was, “I just test.” I couldn’t help but grin.
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Long-term work on the same project or product could make us specialists in a specific field, but there is a risk of losing the most vital element – the capability to test efficiently if we don’t remain cautious.
Indeed, you’ve read it right. If you’ve been working on the same product for consecutive years and start feeling ennui and cease discovering bugs, it’s a signal that it’s time to revitalize your mind – a time to reboot your mindset and become a novice again.
Software Testing is not merely professional work, but it’s an obligation. Whether you conduct manual testing or create intricate automation scripts, you’re accountable for ensuring the web page, module, or entire product’s quality.
To fulfill this commitment in the highly competitive IT sector, it’s essential that:
- You spot difficulties before anyone else.
- You recognize significant issues before it comes into anyone else’s notice.
- You report noteworthy observations before someone else can.
- You utilize past learnings to evolve, optimize, and deliver exceptional performance.
Often, as testers, we are preoccupied with executing documented test cases, crafting automation scripts, or reporting errors. In this process, we may lose the capability to view things from a fresh perspective.
The Trials of Software Testing
Software Testing is demanding because it necessitates staying current with the latest knowledge and persistently providing valuable insights to improve the product (which essentially means uncovering more bugs). How do we manage this pressure? The learning process never ceases; it’s an ongoing journey. Following some straightforward daily practices, you can certainly shine.
Eight Practical Tips to Remain Mentally Primed for Testing
#1) Immerse Yourself in “Testing” Everywhere You Go
Whenever you travel, cook, spend time with children, stroll in the garden, or read a book, scrutinize everything around you and challenge your mind to devise test ideas for them. Strive to think of at least five test ideas for every item in your environment whenever possible.
For instance, consider how you would examine a train, a spoon, a book, a jar, a cable, or a remote control. The opportunities are limitless. After practicing this for a fortnight, you’ll observe a considerable enhancement. You will have an abundance of ideas and will gain a comprehensive understanding of various subjects by linking them.
#2) Learn Something New Every Day
Cultivate the practice of learning something new pertaining to testing or automation daily. Even the tiniest snippet of knowledge counts. Eventually, these little inclusions will culminate in a vast reservoir of knowledge. This habit will undoubtedly rocket your career trajectory. Give it a shot!
#3) Develop Diverse Interests
In the present era, it is common for a quality professional to have knowledge spanning different domains, including lifecycles of development, documentation, testing processes, programming, analysis, automation, and more.
While learning new aspects while juggling specific testing duties may seem strenuous, you cannot afford to restrict yourself and risk stagnation. Decipher what’s transpiring around you. You may not be able to master everything, but familiarizing yourself with relevant products or domains beyond your current one could benefit you greatly.
- If you’ve been working on the Windows operating system, explore how Linux functions by reading and investigating the subject.
- If your career predominantly involves manual testing, acquaint yourself with automation tools and expand their utility.
- If your experience is focused on web application testing, delve into the intricacies of mobile application testing.
- If your competency lies in the banking domain, explore the functioning of the healthcare sector.
Embracing a wide array of interests will help you see the larger perspective and discern similarities and distinctions more easily.
#4) Participate in Games
Numerous strategy games, pattern-detection games, and missing letter games are available for free. Make the most of these opportunities to learn. Games can stimulate your mind and keep it keen. An alert mind is more likely to discover hidden facets.
Read as much and as varied as you can. You aren’t restricted to books on software testing to become a skilled tester. If you can draw valid connections, books on any subject can augment your knowledge.
#6) Take Breaks
Humans naturally adapt to their environments. If you continuously stare at a damaged piece of furniture, your mind will eventually shift its focus from the flaw to the original perfection of the item. It’s essential not to continuously focus on the same aspect. Take intervals, explore your environment, participate in knowledge-sharing discussions, and then resume your duties. Does it make a difference? Certainly.
#7) Maintain a Journal
Each day, note down a minimum of five points to capture your learning, actions taken to achieve results, discoveries, or implemented ideas. This journal will become an invaluable resource over time.
#8) Acquire Management Skills
Success is attainable only when you can skillfully manage various factors. Observe and learn from your managers – how they manage resources, clients, projects, time limits, and other challenges.
To become a proficient manager, you don’t necessarily need to hold a managerial role. Start with managing your own tasks and time. Be prepared to assist others and accept help when necessary. With sustained practice, your management skills will enhance, bringing out your best capabilities.
I believe I’ve touched upon the primary points for daily practice, and I’ll stop here. I’ll refrain from delving into aspects such as information-sharing or discussing different themes in detail because I suppose these are already a part of our work routine.
Lastly, strive to become an explorative tester, as this approach will encompass all other facets.
About the Author: Bhumika Mehta is a project lead with seven years of involvement in software testing. She has a passion for testing and embraces every task with zest. She appreciates valuable insights, innovation, and risk-taking. Conversely, she dislikes dullness, unchallenging tasks, and unfriendly workspaces.
Happy testing! As always, your suggestions and opinions are welcomed.