Quality Coach vs Software Tester - Vernon Richards

12th January 2023
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Vernon Richards's profile
Vernon Richards

Quality Coach / Senior Quality Engineer

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Talk Description

“Quality Coach” seems to be a role that is becoming more prominent in orgs and teams across the globe. It’s something that many testers have naturally evolved into or aspire to become.

These days, many Testers seem to have a decent enough grasp on the “Quality” part of the job title. These days, most Testers understand that testing is more than test cases, that automation does not solve all problems, that having some technical skills & appreciation augments their work, that testing can occur before a product is built and after it has been released in production and so on & so on.

Being able to ship products of high enough quality is not just a matter of following instructions. It takes people, working together, in uncertain conditions to achieve the goal. Let’s break that down:

  • People - Which means relationships, emotions, value systems, personal goals, skills thoughts, ideas and probably a whole lot more!
  • Uncertain conditions - What do we know? What do we know we don’t know? What do we need to know? Do we perceive the situation in the same way? Is there a common cause? How is disagreement handled? What about conflict?

That’s where the “Coach” part of the title comes in.

Coaching can help overcome these challenges by supporting individuals, groups, teams and organisations to understand themselves and their work from new perspectives. It’s not “just soft skills” either! Coaching is a thought-provoking and creative process that inspires people to maximize their personal and professional potential.

In this talk I will talk about what the work of a professional coach looks like and how it might manifest itself in the Quality Coach role.

Vernon Richards's profile'

Vernon Richards

Quality Coach / Senior Quality Engineer

I’m a Quality Coach & Tester that helps orgs, teams & individuals understand the relationship between quality & testing to help them build better products & deliver more effective services.

I’ve been testing since 2002 starting with video games on PS2, Xbox & PC. It may not sound like a real job but it’s the truth!

By day I’m a Senior Quality Engineer at a health tech night I run Abode of Quality. Here is one of my core values:

“The problem is not the problem. The problem is your attitude (& how you’re thinking) about the problem.” - Captain Jack Sparrow (the part in brackets was my addition though!)

I believe that quality & testing problems are actually people problems in disguise! Often the cause of these problems is misaligned goals, different perspectives, low empathy for colleagues, and the list goes on.

Using my coaching skills in the quality & testing space, I believe the most effective way to serve the business, is to help teams & individuals gain new perspectives about themselves & their teammates.

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Tags

  • quality
  • coaching