What is Culture?

  • Unlocked
Jim Holmes's profile
Jim Holmes

Leadership mentor

Mark Winteringham's profile
Mark Winteringham

Tester, Toolsmith, Author and Instructor

Talk Description

What do we mean by culture?

I think culture is a combination of values, principles, and habits, or practices for a group of people. It's learned. I think it can be changed or adapted, but only if the culture itself is open to learning and change. And I think for software development teams, culture can relate to how team collaborates, communicates and supports one another in delivering their software.

Can you share any examples?

So an organization that truly values feedback and diverse viewpoints, which implies a culture of trust and respect that would be one. Another would be an organization that expects, not just empowers, but expects their teams to adapt to their own particular situation to solve problems.

A third one would be organizations that practice testing in the same iteration as the work is performed versus kind of the old school throwing work over the fence to test later.

What's the value of good culture?

Culture gives newcomers a set of guidelines, newcomers to that organization or team to help them adapt to the group more quickly, and I think that culture based on trust and safety can help that group move through some really difficult situations. And finally, I think culture can really help expose newcomers to much more diverse viewpoints.

Are there pitfalls to consider?

So, culture can definitely become dogmatic and inflexible. You can think of the not invented here mindset, or we've always done it this way. Similarly, I think that cultures can lead to a lack of diversity, thought practices, and inclusion if they're not careful, and sometimes, trying to deal with a very different culture seems impossible.

Great. So now we know about culture!

Learn More with Ministry of Testing

Jim Holmes's profile'

Jim Holmes

Leadership mentor

I work with people who are interested in improving their leadership and software delivery skills.
Mark Winteringham's profile'

Mark Winteringham

Tester, Toolsmith, Author and Instructor

Mark Winteringham is a tester, toolsmith and author of AI-Assisted Testing and Testing Web APIs, with over ten years of experience providing testing expertise on award-winning projects across a wide range of technology sectors, including BBC, Barclays, UK Government and Thomson Reuters. He is an advocate for modern risk-based testing practices and trains teams in Automation, Behaviour Driven Development and Exploratory testing techniques. He is also the co-founder of Ministry of Testing Essentials a community raising awareness of careers in testing and improving testing education. You can find him on Twitter @2bittester or at mwtestconsultancy.co.uk
00:00:00,240: Hi, Jim. So what do we mean by culture?
00:00:02,320: Hi, Mark.
00:00:02,800: I think culture is a combination of values,
00:00:05,440: principles, and habits, or practices for a group of people.
00:00:09,105: It's learned.
00:00:10,225: I think it can be changed or adapted,
00:00:12,225: but only if the culture itself is open to learning and change.
00:00:16,040: And I think for software development teams,
00:00:18,120: culture can relate to how team collaborates,
00:00:20,760: communicates and supports one another in delivering their software.
00:00:24,255: Can you share any examples?
00:00:25,775: So an organization that truly values feedback and diverse viewpoints,
00:00:29,855: which implies a culture of trust and respect that would be one.
00:00:33,690: Another would be an organization that expects,
00:00:36,090: not just empowers,
00:00:37,370: but expects their teams to adapt to their own particular
00:00:40,730: situation to solve problems.
00:00:42,975: A third one would be organizations that practice
00:00:45,375: testing in the same iteration as the work is performed versus
00:00:49,455: kind of the old school throwing work over the fence to test later.
00:00:52,880: And what's the value of good culture?
00:00:54,960: Culture gives newcomers a set of guidelines,
00:00:58,080: newcomers to that organization or team to help them adapt to
00:01:01,715: the group more quickly,
00:01:03,075: and I think that culture based on trust and safety can help
00:01:06,515: that group move through some really difficult situations.
00:01:10,030: And finally, I think culture can really help expose newcomers to much more
00:01:14,270: diverse viewpoints.
00:01:15,630: And are there pitfalls to consider?
00:01:17,475: So culture can definitely become dogmatic and inflexible.
00:01:20,995: You can think of the not invented here mindset,
00:01:24,035: or we've always done it this way.
00:01:26,190: Similarly, I think that cultures can lead to a lack of diversity and
00:01:30,030: thought practices and inclusion if they're not careful,
00:01:32,670: and sometimes trying to deal with a very different culture seem impossible.
00:01:37,165: Great. So now we know about culture.
Suggested Content
Explore MoT
Managing Distributed QA Teams: Strategies for Success
In an era where remote teams have become the norm, mastering the art of managing hybrid and distributed QA teams is more crucial than ever
Improving Your Testing Through Operability
Gain the tools you need to become an operability advocate. Making your testing even more awesome along the way!
This Week in Testing
Debrief the week in Testing via a community radio show hosted by Simon Tomes and members of the community