9 Months of Pro Dojo: A diary
I still remember the day, I submitted the extremely long word document explaining why I am the much-needed person on the universe to be selected for the scholarship which was sponsored by Wonderproxy, since I came across the competition running by the Ministry of Testing (MoT) Pro Membership on 5th March 2020. A few days later, Áine McGovern reached out to me over LinkedIn. Specifically on 20th March 2020, that I had been selected for the membership! I was very excited, and was motivated to make it a success and learn as much as I could through the membership!
I had in my vision that I will become stronger in the leadership, and technical aspect much before even starting the journey. But now to help you understand what you can get out of it, let me share my experiences over the past 9 months and what I learnt as a result.
In my first month with the Pro Membership, I didn’t know where to start! I decided to go through some of the recorded talks and articles, especially on risk-based testing. I found three talks, which were by Jenny Bramble, Nisha Grover Garg and Jenna Charlton. I have gone through this because I was working on identifying the different risks for our projects from all perspectives (product, users, technical and others). I found each talk was completely different from others on the same topic. I could always learn something by involving myself watching a different video. For example, Nishi was sharing a real-time experience on how the team have implemented identifying risk in every sprint and the improvements. I like the way Jenny used Dante(cat) in her talks. She recommends in her talk that every team should have a keen focus on identifying the impact, and probability of failures or any other form of risks, and analyse how it may become a struggle for the team and company. Throughout her talks, she recommends communication is a key. Jeena talks about risks based on history, complexity, impact. She uses to calculate total risks based on impact x (max of history/complexity) to talk inside the team about the risks includes anyone who does not understand in specific about the project but the number might help them. Though she said perfection is a myth, having risk-based testing helps the team to be confident in saying good enough quality. This situation made me remember the heuristic “MARY HAD A LITTLE LAMB” when I saw the talk on the same topic delivered differently.
Apart from this, I also attended some online meetups and tweeted (you can follow me on Twitter @TrishaChetani) about the same events organized by the amazing MoT.
Takeaway: Expanded my knowledge in risk-based testing and involved myself in online events.
My second month with the membership, and filled with the same amount of enthusiasm as my first (if not more!), I completed an online bash course Linux Commands for Beginners by Lim Sim. I completed this course as a refresher for the personal project. I already had some knowledge around bash, but hadn’t used it for a while. I found this course has good in-depth content which will be very useful for both people who are starting their journey into bash as well as people who want to want to build on their scripting skill. I had also explored and learned about security testing as mentioned in this video as I started hearing from my tester friends, colleagues that they are moving their jobs in this field. I was highly inspired by their actions of shifting their career. I watched this TestBash talk from Saski Coplans "Threat Modelling: How Software Survives in a Hacker’s Universe". Saskia recommends following the OWASP group, and use the tools developed by the OWASP group, such as proxy, following the wiki such as OWASP top 10, threat modelling, or the community Manchester Grey hats, workshop on Youtube. Additionally, Infosec hoppers is a community for women in minorities.
Takeaway: Revisited bash course and some pointer to start with security testing.
I took the Introduction to HTTP course, run by the awesome Mark Winteringham again to refresh myself because my work had switched to microservices and API, as a result of this course I learned how developers and testers need to speak the same language to make collaboration easier and to make sure they are both on the same page. I had gone through recorded videos of Ask Me Anything, ebooks randomly in my free time based on my interest. I had also explored some nice data integrity tools which this course provided here: Data Integrity Tools. Exploring data integrity tools came at a much needed time as our project team was refactoring the existing application, and there was a requirement to sustain all the existing data. Going through the list of available tools and exploring them helped me to make a better choice post comparison of the tools that met the requirements of my project.
Takeaway: Improved collaboration in the team, and explored data integrity tools for my work to determine, which will work best for our teams.
My 4th month with the Pro license, and I realised I had barely scratched the surface! Despite all the courses I had completed, there was still more with new courses being added all the time! During this month I explored a variety of automation tools listed on the MOT website in the Automation Tools list. Whilst there was no project requirement this time, I explored this as it’s an area that I’m particularly interested in developing for myself, and will hopefully benefit my work in the long run. As this was a personal development opportunity, I made use of this resource over one or two weekends to explore the tools in my free time.
Takeaway: A software tester should always explore, we do not know when and where and how this knowledge might help.
August started and I saw a few talks/articles around leadership. This of course led me to the Ministry of Testing Dojo, and sure enough, I found this course: A Software Tester's Guide to Influence. I had the opportunity to manage people from an offshore team where I was involved with interviewing them, leading the team and supporting them to make a significant impact on the project during the pandemic situation and myself been switching the project based on the company needs. Whilst, this means more responsibility on my shoulders, I am driven to learn and push myself in the areas that the course talks about. I want to learn how to influence people in a short space of time so that we as a team can use the opportunity to drive improvements.
Takeaway: Developing myself for coping with additional responsibility.
Test estimation is a fascinating subject, and who better to hear from about it than James Bach. With this in mind, the Masterclass: Truthful Test Estimation with James Bach was great to watch. During this period, I was being asked to estimate many small and big projects and share the high-level estimates with the stakeholders so they could budget the cost associated before actually rolling out these projects. Completing this course, where James Bach is using real-life examples, will help you not only to understand why estimates are important but also why they’re dangerous. I particularly liked the example of Amazon not pretending to give an estimate of delivery, and instead, they show you real progress.
Takeaway: Finding the common mistakes done during estimation in the teams, and learning from them.
This was an awesome month, I had the chance to attend my first TestBash, albeit online! One of the benefits of everyone working remote is the availability of all these amazing virtual conferences across the globe! Many talks and familiar faces allow for the opportunity to learn a lot of new topics and techniques from different people and improve my networking with fellow testers made for a truly fantastic experience. The talks from Test.bash(Online); are available watch and reference and I'm looking forward to attending TestBash Home 2021.
Takeaway: Online conference, networking, learning
We’ve all been misunderstood as testers, and I mentioned earlier in June about being on the same page with developers, there’s a great short article on the dojo around this: TestChat 1: The many ways testers and testing are misunderstood, it's a summary of an actual conversation - you can read the full transcript of the online chat.
The conversation on testers and developers actively communicating was truly an eye-opener for me. I learned from this course how testers can be misunderstood where the course conversation included examples of being proactively communicating what they are doing or having a different perception of the same work by different people. It even explores how the definition of quality and testing is often misunderstood by people in the team. The team should have more collaboration in the form of knowledge sharing(social, non-social) to overcome this challenge.
Takeaway: Improve on communication by learning from other failures
Holidays! Holidays! Year-End and hoping for a great new year! So like many people, I didn’t achieve a great deal, but I was able to reflect on the last 9 months with a great sense of achievement.
Overall, I tried achieving something that I had planned for, but with COVID-19 I had digressed from my original plans. My journey of 9 months with the pro-account by the Ministry of testing has taught me some meaningful lessons:
- Being more inspired along with software testers in the community.
- Improving on the communication skills
- Identifying common mistakes and learning from others failures.
- Adapting to the changes, and challenge me by actively involving in the different events, and research on your own to learn more perspectives.
I had participated in MOT Ninja event - the Experience Reports at UI Automation Week 2021 and used the prize money from this event to extend the MOT pro-account subscription till October 2021!
Happy learning and sharing with everyone!
I am Trisha Chetani. I am a software tester, automation enthusiast. I have been helping the teams to follow testing processes and support, that enable teams to deliver high-quality software in DevOps Environment. I'm always enthusiastic to attend Conferences, meet-ups for professional development, as well as, I am an active community member. I love the work, but I have begun to think more about the big picture, so I am looking for opportunities to thrive in a management role.