Author: Mahesh Chikane

Founder Tribal at The Test Tribe. Principal Test Manager at Zycus. 10 years into Software Testing by choice, with love. Leadership. Community Building.
The Test Tribe Turns Three!

Sometime in December 2017 ~

Question: “Why the state of Testers and state of Testing is the way it is? Why don’t we see enough passionate Testers around who would want to break through the comfort zone, learn at scale, evolve, and help others evolve?”

Answer: Probably because there isn’t enough awareness. We will have to go out there and see what is the ground reality which we may not be knowing, with our limited view.

“So let’s try something outside for a larger group of Testers?”, I asked my passionate bunch at Zycus.

The passionate bunch I am referring to is Steffy Thomas, Kunal Ashar, Shubham Karun, Amar Singh, and Ram Samal who were working closely with me back then, and still most of them continue to work on many things The Test Tribe or something interesting.

Sure. Why not. Yes, we can try. We collectively got the nods we were looking for.

Question: “Ok, so what do we do?”

Answer: “Maybe a Meetup at a Company level where we share some insights for Testers?”

Answer: “Or something at Mumbai City level? Nothing much is happening here for Testers. We also need a wider circle to learn from.”

“Ok, so let’s start two tracks. One for the internal meetup and let’s also start towards doing something at City level?”, I added.

We all agreed.

Maybe a day or days later~

“So to do something like what we are thinking, we will need a name and a logo. Let’s research on names and let Kunal think on Logo designing once we finalize the name.”

After tons of suggestions, the name Test Tribe, a suggestion by Kunal struck us all well.

“Looks good. But let’s add some weight to it. Let’s make it THE TEST TRIBE.”, I added.

“Cool, I will start experiments on the logo then.”, said Kunal.

This element, that element. This color, that color. Can we add this concept? Doeable? and many more such questions and suggestions kept on coming as we arrived at our final design.

 

The Test Tribe Community Logo

 

I was going through an interesting phase of my life for two reasons. Was about to enter the phase of fatherhood, and at the same time, The Test Tribe was taking a shape.

Fatherhood started on 29th December 2017. With a little trouble which we had to get resolved through basic care through NICU.

Surprisingly, I was not stressed as much as I would have been even in this stage, and rather was super optimistic about everything.

Surprisingly again, my brain was still functioning properly and was able to cater to different things while I was on paternity leave and taking care of the medical situation at hand.

I used to sit on any desk or chair at NICU day and night and was optimistically painting the future.

The launch date of The Test Tribe was decided during one such sitting session while I was talking to myself.

I drafted a Twitter thread and scheduled it for launch.

On the 11th of January, 2018 the first tweet, the launch tweet went. And, The Test Tribe was born.

Probably the first time I revealed the behind the scenes details to such a degree. The reason also is very special, which allowed me to do so.

 

The Test Tribe turned 3 today.

 

Looking back, I can’t believe how we progressed and just can’t help but be immensely proud of this feat.

Just can’t thank enough every single soul who contributed, sent support and good wishes.

Can’t thank enough the bunch who believed in the vision, stood together, and enabled us as a whole to take the first big step of going out there.

Ok, let me tell you one more story.

The talks around hosting the first Mumbai meetup began again. Finding the speaker, keeping it casual and easy for attendees was the key agreement.

Preparations began, but on the sideline, I thought about contacting Paras whom I had met at the Bugasura Testing Hackathon by Skillenza(now Venturecity). Our Zycus teams had swapped all the top awards there for all 3 products by the way. πŸ™‚

I contacted Paras and asked how about doing a Testing Hackathon together? He being the community guy he is, without any delay said let’s do it.

So with that, The Bug Feast Hackathon was born and took precedence before the first meetup which was going live in parallel.

The Bug Feast was a huge hit, with 108 Testers under one roof competing as they test three different products.

 

 

The Bug Feast Mumbai

 

 

 

 

The Bug Feast Mumbai

 

 

The reason to tell you in-depth about The Bug Feast was to bring you to the below two pictures. These are the people who made those first few steps happen.

 

 

The Test Tribe would not have happened without these wonderful people.
The bunch who started it all.Row 1: Paras Pundir, Amar Singh, Shubham Karun, Ram Samal
Row 2: Kunal Ashar, Me, Steffy Thomas, Sybil Thomas

 

Of course, there were many more passionate folks who joined us throughout the last three years and made things happen. City Heroes, Core Team members, Volunteers, Speakers, Community Partners, Sponsors, Venue Partners, and many more. We are equally thankful to them.

Ok, one more story. Last for today, I promise πŸ™‚

Does it always happen that things go precisely the way you wanted?

So the 1st Mumbai Meetup track was going on while we were riding high on the success of The Bug Feast and we were happy that the Meetup too received good 44 registrations.

Little we knew about things like drop off rate, followups. πŸ˜€

On the event day, apart from our 5-6 members, and 1 Speaker, 2 more people turned up. And God, how scary that was.

While I was trying to engage the available folks within the rooftop venue at 91Springboard Andheri, I could see everyone else calling up the attendee list and checking if they were coming.

 

See them in action πŸ˜‰

By the time the meetup progressed, 2 more folks joined us.

So in all, we were still around 10-11 folks there.

But what I discovered there was the real beauty of connections and community building.

The kind of candid chat we had there on technical, career-related, and personal things was just amazing.

 

 

The fact that we are up to something special struck me.

I tried hard to find a picture or two from that event for you.

 


Shubham, Ram, Amar, Me, Hamza (left to right)

 

So with this high, and a low (which turned into a high by the end of it), The Test Tribe journey started. That also the whole point I wanted to make today with this post, that the path till today was not easy, but it was definitely super fun and satisfying. Today I particularly wanted to talk about how we started, but that does not mean the things we did after that to date do not matter. So many passionate folks joined the movement and I may just mess up if I decide to name them all as there are so many wonderful souls who contributed across these years.

So now that we are three, what keeps us going even after three years, all the busy weekends and with no full-time person working? Definitely your love and support.

And those random messages at odd hours where you feel we are worth sharing your story, how we impacted it for good, how we could change your life for good, or helped solving a particular problem. We always kept those candid conversations close to our heart, but they really have been the biggest source of my motivation at least. So a big thank you to everyone who found us/me worth sharing a part of your life.

Fast forward to today, and we have done:

  • Thousands of interactions with thousands of Testers across the globe in our Online Community
  • 115+ Events across the categories like:
  • We could connect 20000+ Testers through the Community, Emails, and Social
  • We hosted over 300 Software Testers from across the globe at our events
  • We changed many software testing lives for good for sure
  • And we created that confidence, courage, and good vibes for thousands

 

Extremely proud of what we achieved and the path we all walked together.

Stay with us, as an even more wonderful ride awaits us. 2021 would be the best and the most amazing, for all of us.

Ohh yes, did you know we launched our brand new Logo today on the occasion of our 3rd Anniversary?

Have a look πŸ™‚

 

The test tribe software testing community

 

Not only the logo but many more things are changing soon and many more interesting things are coming. Stay tuned πŸ™‚

Few call to actions:

  • If you want to be part of an interesting future and volunteer for us, please drop an email at contact[at]thetesttribe.com with a quick intro, skillset of yours which you think can help us do things together, and ideas if any
  • Join the Community: bit.ly/thetesttribe
  • Check out our upcoming Events here
  • You can read our “2020- Year in Review” article here
  • Know more about The Test Tribe story, here

Bonus Tip: If you are reading this blog on the same day, that is the 11th of January 2021, head right away to The Test Tribe Community as there are tons of contests running there.

On that note, signing off for now.

- Mahesh Chikane

Founder Tribal- The Test Tribe
2020: Year in Review

Can you remember how was 1st of January 2020? No? Can you stress a bit and try to remember how it was for you? Well, it is fine if you can’t remember it precisely. I cannot remember it as well.

But one thing you, me, and everyone else can very well remember is the “hope”. Every new year starts with so much of hope, so many dreams, and plans waiting to be executed.

 

That’s where it got really tricky for all of us. As we all entered the JFM quarter, we realized it is no ordinary year. 2020 came and went only after giving us many lessons including but not limited to:

  • Respecting Mother Earth
  • Adapting to new things
  • How insignificant we human beings are on a larger scale
  • Breaking our comfort zones
  • Pivoting

It was no different for us at The Test Tribe. Saying that I won’t say there was nothing good about 2020. I am thankful for the very lessons it taught us all and the push it gave to explore new horizons that we were not thinking about.

We at The Test Tribe started the year 2020 with so many plans around the expansion to many Tier-II cities, doing more Meetups, experimenting with more formats and ideas, bringing even more value to the Community through offline events.

We also wanted to do a few more TestAway editions and experiment with the TestAway format as well (we had some pretty solid ideas in the bag). We saw distantly that we may end up doing a conference or two in a year but in offline space.

We thought The Bug Feast Hackathons including other exclusive offline hackathons still would be things to do throughout the year. And we of course thought we will continue doing offline workshops.

For us, our year started with The Testing Lab Bangalore, followed by our 9th Pune Meetup.

The Test Tribe Software Testing Meetups

 

Things only got interesting from there as we planned for Cignithon, an exclusive Software Testing Hackathon we did with Cigniti in Hyderabad. It turned out to be the biggest offline Software Testing Hackathon the country has ever seen to the best of our knowledge. It saw ~118 Testers from 52+ Companies at the venue, competing with each other for the awards worth INR 200000 with fame and learning worth much more.

 

Cignithon Software Testing Hackathon

 

February and March were still going ok for us in India as we all were hooked to scary news coming from other countries. We managed to do another Testing Lab workshop in Mumbai and our 4th Chennai Meetup during that period before things came to standstill.

 

The Testing Lab Software Testing Workshop

 

The Testing Lab Software Testing Workshop

 

When the first lockdown began, we all thought the entire Covid19 fear is here only to last for a few weeks, and then everything would be normal right? πŸ˜‰ We were proved wrong and proved how insignificant we humans are in a larger scheme and that we should not take us very seriously, and instead take Nature seriously.

In the hope things will get to normal, we continued doing webinars, did an AMA with Jonathan Lipps, and shifted our workshops to an online format for the first time.

April and May however was a real game-changer for us, as we planned for Tribal Qonf for the month of June. A 2-Day Virtual Conference with 20 Speakers giving Talks, a micro Workshop, an Expert Panel, and a Fireside Chat. We never thought we will do a virtual conference anytime soon but here we were. Once we committed to it, our aim was to give it our best possible.

 

 

Meanwhile, we also did a Virtual Automation Hackathon with HeadSpin and HeadSpin University. And yes, how wonderful it was to host Deep Kalra (Founder of MakeMyTrip) in the award ceremony of this hackathon.

 

 

Coming back to Tribal Qonf, it really became one of the best Software Testing Conference of the year and we could not be more proud.

Tribal Qonf saw:

  • 600 attendees from 40 Countries
  • Average Attendee Rating of 4.8/5
  • Average Speaker Session Rating of 4.7/5
  • 3394 Social Media Interactions
  • 140239 Social Media Reach
  • 837389 Non-Social Reach

 

 

We were on cloud9 after hearing all the beautiful feedback for Tribal Qonf got really excited for the journey ahead.

Post Tribal Qonf, our virtual events continued in the form of Webinars, Virtual Meetups, Workshops, etc.

On a personal level, I connected with around 20 tribals during this time through Tribal Connect and tried my bit to make their lives better. Feel fortunate to know their story.

As we were cruising through the year, we got an adrenaline rush again when the idea of doing something big which involves as many Countries on Earth as possible came forward.

We kept on polishing the idea for a few days and arrived at TestFlix. First of a kind, global Software Testing Binge. Not your usual Software Testing Conference.

This discussion started on the 2nd of September, and on the 12th of September #TestFlix was live.

With TestFlix we experimented with many things and one of them was pre-recorded Atomic Talks of around 8 minutes each. We weaved them all together to form one big amazing movie, rather an uninterrupted Series as it was 17 hours long non stop binge.

Our aim was to get at least 100 Speakers for TestFlix from at least 40 Countries.

We surpassed that with 107 Speakers from 44 Countries. And imagine a conference of this scale stays free to attend.

TestFlix 2020 also saw:

  • 5200 registrations from 2400 Companies
  • Registrations happened from 91 Countries
  • 2148 Event Attendees
  • 4.69 Audience Rating out of 5
  • 4.64 average Speaker Rating out of 5

You may want to read TestFlix Roundup here.

You can also find all the TestFlix Atomic Talks here.

TestFlix surpassed even the love Tribal Qonf had received and became the most talked-about Software Testing Event of 2020.

We are still not completely out of the love and the amazing feedback we received.

We continued doing our routine events.

 

The Testing Lab Software Testing Workshop

 

 

 

And while we did that, we planned on something which was long waiting. Atomic Workshops are designed for in-depth learning on small but important topics. And even bigger one in the form of a Bootcamp, as so many of you had asked for the right training for your bigger upskilling needs, though it is Automation or anything else.

We waited for 7-8 months and did a lot of behind the scenes work before we launched our first Bootcamp, in the form of Automation Bootcamp with Selenium & Java.

It’s close to 100 hours of training with close to 50 hours of hands-on hours. You now know why we call it the most extensive Selenium with Java training on the Internet.

After initiating this amazing Bootcamp, we also did a TTTribeCast Webinar with the amazing RobSab, and you may see collaborations where we host Rob again.

As I write this closing note for 2020, I can’t thank YOU, the tribe, which is the source of all our energy and motivation.

In 2020, we did 28 Events in all, including:

  • 2 Conferences
  • 8 Webinars
  • 8 Workshops
  • 2 Hackathons
  • 4 Meetups
  • 3 AMAs
  • 1 Bootcamp

A lot of these you can watch for free on our Youtube channel here. Do not forget to subscribe.

While we did all this, our online Community continued to vibe awesomely with hundreds of amazing discussions. Yes, we crossed 5K members this year and as of now have 6300 Testers from across the globe as part of the Community. You should join us here if you are still missing out.

The number of events in a year may seem small to our previous scale, but the impact we made this year was a hundredfold more for sure and the credit goes to our amazing Think Tank, Team of Volunteers, City Heroes, and most importantly, You, our amazing amazing Tribe. Yes, I wrote amazing twice, intentionally, to show you how amazing you all have been. πŸ˜€

Would also like to especially mention Ajay and Geosley who have been an integral part of so many things planned and executed. Not to forget Balaji, Sandeep, and Kunal amongst others who always stepped up from time to time and did best as usual.

2021 and Road ahead

Congratulations on making through 2020 healthy and sound. Let’s march ahead now.

A lot of you may have questions about what The Test Tribe is planning for 2021. While I would avoid spilling the beans and let things unfold themselves at the right time, let me promise you that together, this would be our best year ever. We, You, and tons of learning with positivity.

We at The Test Tribe strongly believe in bringing value, originality, innovation, and coolness clubbed together, and we shall stand up to that.

Like you, we are also waiting for our Cities and Countries to open worry-free and to hit the ground again, but meanwhile, we will continue to do our best and add as much value as possible to your lives. #TogetherWeTestBetter

Let’s rock and make this the best year for us all. Ready? Give heads-up in the comments section.

 

 

Also, you have any experience, good vibes, or feedback to share, please feel free to comment or DM. I am always a DM away.

On that note, signing off.

Wish you all a Happy and Successful New Year.

Mahesh Chikane
Founder Tribal- The Test Tribe
8 takeaways for Testers from my recent TribalConnects

Throughout the journey of building The Test Tribe Community, I am habitual to connect with many of our community members, whether it is they approaching me or otherwise. Took a step forward recently and opened a formal channel which makes it more obvious that I am open to conversations with Tribals and helping them wherever I can. Called it TribalConnect. Over years I found out that when my set intention right, I find it super interesting interacting with people(even though I am an introvert), know their story, share good vibes, and if at all I can, help them with their problems or questions. I discovered this gives me joy.Β 

I am meeting 3 Tribals every week for around 45-90 minutes each (Just in case you are new here, Tribals is the official proud Title of The Test Tribe Community Members. :)). I have TribalConnects scheduled for October and will continue to have them through most of November as well(not charging for these by the way). In the last month or so, I did TribalConnect with 15+ Tribals, and how wonderful the experience was. I met tribals from 9 different cities, different companies of course, and varied experience and expertise. I feel fortunate to know their stories.

Listing 8 takeaways for Testers from my recent TribalConnects

When I look back, each conversation gave me so much joy. Was candid at the core. Not getting published anywhere, not getting streamed anywhere. With a mutual promise to genuinely converse, share good vibes, and listen.

I revisited these conversations in my head and had few realizations or re-realizations. Thought of anonymously bringing a few takeaways for you all so that everyone benefits. Let me try to express a few random takeaways as my mind revisits these discussions in no particular order.

 

Importance of having your Vibe-Tribe

Some call this Vibe-Tribe, some may call this a Mastermind group, some may call this a Breakfast club. I recently heard Jennifer Bonine call a similar concept a ‘Personal Board of Directors'(I liked it). I heard from James Bach that he calls it ‘Collegial network’. All these basically boil down to having the right set of people around who can listen to you, your ideas, your problems, your questions, give genuine opinions they have on it, and most importantly, make sure everyone grows.

This is a group where everyone gives by the way. If the others are helping you, you as well help them. Your skills, interests, and goals can be different from each other or complementary to each other, works just fine as long as you all align well to help each other so that everyone gets benefited.

Having these people around can take you out of any big or small question. Whether that is on life or career. Whether that is an idea validation or quick feedback. Or just a few pair of ears to listen when you need.

I have experienced this myself, and I continue to see so many people who do not have people around them where they can comfortably share their ideas, thoughts, and get feedback. In a world full of people, this is not a great stage to be in for humans, right? Let’s try changing.

Do you have your Vibe-Tribe? If no, start building/finding one. May take time but would be worth it.

How to find/build one? Add value to the lives of other people and keep your eyes open for the right people. When you help others and add value to their lives in some way, they will give it back. When this continues for enough period, you will realize with whom you gel very well as a person beyond just the helping part. To gel well with others, multiple things like values, complementary skill, nature, interests, etc. matters. You know if someone is in your vibe-tribe or not only after giving that relation enough time. It’s very close to the process of becoming a best friend with someone, but with few limitations, like you may not share very personal things with these folks, but you can certainly be all open when it comes to your growth, career, or related dilemmas and questions.

 

Feeling “I do not belong here”

We think about attending some Event, Function, or try participating in some ongoing conversation. In a few cases, we actually attempt and show up at these events/occasions as well. What happens is, sometimes only on thinking about showing up, and sometimes on actually showing up, we may get an immediate feeling that we do not belong here. Let’s be honest, this has happened with all of us, irrespective of the fact that we are Extroverts, Ambiverts, or Introverts., right? ?

Over years I noticed this has happened with me, and I have seen this happening with a lot of Testers, or people in general around me. As our audience is Testers here, let’s discuss the case of many Testers who always wanted to attend some Testing Event, but either they never showed up, or when they did, their first-time experience was not good enough for them to think about doing the same again.

Let’s understand why such things may happen at Events:

  • People/Hosts of the Event you are attending are not inclusive enough
  • Bad luck. The Hosts of the Event you decided to attend were not having their best day
  • You did not make any attempt to get involved
  • You decided too early that you do not belong there
  • It’s possible that you don’t belong there, and perhaps, belong somewhere else.

In the first two cases, you can’t really do much apart from being patient enough.

However, the 3rd and 4th case is something totally under your control. I came up with a scale that before deciding any event/networking is not of your type or that ‘you do not belong there’, give it at least 3, and at best 5 chances. That means, attend these events(from the same host or different), at least thrice, at best 5 times.

Why I thought about this is at times it is our own mental block or fear of getting out of our comfort zone which stops us from seeing the beauty of Networking and learning with others. And we may not even give enough chances to something before quitting it.

Let’s think about a few possibilities:

  • Someone from the Hosting Team was about to attempt talking with you but you got a Phone call
  • The person sitting next to you was about to start a conversation but then you started looking in your phone
  • Someone who was equally uncomfortable there but you both could never open up
  • It’s possible that you are wanted there, but people you’ve met don’t know how to make you feel welcome.
  • It was always a matter of just one “Hello”, but it did not happen ( sigh)
  • While I was discussing this topic with James, he added a wonderful perspective. If someone feels like an outsider, it’s probably because they really are outsiders and a solution to that is becoming an insider by offering something of value to the network/set of people in consideration.

Give Life a chance. Every profession has its own boring things and challenges, and walking together with like-minded people will only help you feel better and do better.

Next time you go to some event, online or offline, remember to say “Hello”. Remember to be open enough to receive a “Hello”. And most importantly, remember to be patient with yourself, and do not give up before you attend at least 3-5 Events.

Biased Note? (Nah πŸ˜‰ ) – We at The Test Tribe make try our best to make sure our Community space and Events stay as inclusive as possible while still not compromising on our values and guidelines. Being an all-inclusive community is at our core. Give yourself a chance, give us a chance, and let’s see what we can do together. Join the community here. Or, if you prefer networking 1-1, feel free to explore TribalConnect in case you want to converse with me.

Let’s not deny the demand(and need) for Automation

The industry is obsessed with Automation. Companies around us are in love with it, or if not, automation is their most recent crush. This obsession may continue for a few years before they understand Automation alone is still not solving their basic problem of “Shipping Top Quality products Faster”. It is definitely solving the problem of lengthier regression cycles through quick feedback by Automation regression runs, but it’s not here to solve the overall problem Companies want it to solve. Hope the realization comes sooner.

But till then what? We have to understand it is a temporary obsession and look at Automation as only one of the weapons in our Arsenal. We should as well understand that the demand for this arsenal may stabilize to the need stage(currently it is at the hype stage) in 5-10 years probably. Meaning industry will hopefully see it for what it is.

In short, We should see that as one required weapon for us and at the same time understand industry may soon come to the realization that they love something else now.

Can we really say it is not important and Testers should/may not learn it? I think that would be misleading, unless you are a Tester who have found your niche expertise in Security or Performance or Accessibility or Usability, etc.

Saying Automation is not important is easy, but if your current job and next few jobs demand that you should know how to do good automation, no point in shying away from it.

Note: I am not advocating Automation replacing thinking Testing heads. I am rather a strong advocate that this fad will go away in a few years creating/retaining high demand for thinking Testers. I am talking about practically approaching the current market trend which demands you knowing Automation. Did I say there is no harm in learning it?

 

How can Testers be more valuable?

  • We attend Requirement Gathering Meeting
  • We probably take Notes
  • We then write Test Scenarios / Cases
  • When Story is ready we execute the test cases
  • We repeat

Have I mentioned the most obvious tasks for many of the Testers?

I think these are not the only steps through which we can add value as a Testers. The game completely changes when we keep asking ourselves “how can I do more valuable things at this stage?”.

  • More value by going prepared for Requirement gathering and asking questions
  • More value through meaningful brainstorming
  • More value by prioritizing exploration over test case marking
  • More value through different types of testing
  • More value through design feedback
  • More value through owning build deployment
  • More value through maintaining our own environments
  • More value through better Bug Reporting
  • More value through Deeper Bug Investigation
  • More value through speaking Technical Language

I know there is a lot to this particular point. I am parking this for an independent blog post sometime soon.

 

Being introvert is a weakness?

Nah. How can this be a weakness? Being an introvert myself, I have enjoyed it most of my life(apart from those awkward first days in a new school or class). We introverts speak with ourselves so well.

I strongly feel being introverted is power as you can sense how others around you are feeling better and can change your approach/behavior towards them if needed.

Being an introvert has been a very crucial part of my journey of building The Test Tribe into a successful and inclusive community. It has helped me massively.

The key is to not feel pressurized and try to represent ourselves as unnecessary as extroverts and do things that we neither love nor enjoy. Be soft on yourself and accept the fact that ‘the beginnings’ which involve interacting with people/world would always be a bit tough for you, whether the world sees that difficulty or not.

If you are an introvert(even otherwise), you should definitely watch this amazing TED talk- https://www.ted.com/talks/susan_cain_the_power_of_introverts

Further, just google “power of introverts” and you will find many top resources to learn from.

 

Developers are your friends

Many have said this before and I will repeat. Developers are your friends.

They can help you gain the knowledge and get comfortable in an area which many of us flagged as not-for-me or not-my-cup-of-tea. That’s the Technicalities of Software we test, and the technologies it is residing on.

Obviously, I have a habit of researching new terms I hear and ask questions to myself as well, but credit for a lot of my technical knowledge goes to all the conversations I had with Developers in my team over years.

Ask questions. Ask a lot of them. First to yourself. And if you do not get the answer just in time, ask it to your Developer friends.

Try it. It works.

 

Trying to speak the common language

I have seen a few teams where the conversations between the Testing team and Dev team while they work are unhealthy, unenergetic, demotivating. They share information with each other for the sake of it. They have decided in their heads already that whatever I say the next party is not going to understand it.

Over years I have heard many testers complaining that they do not get the respect they deserve and even if they do not say so, they are pointing to Dev teams here.

The primary reason for this disconnect, in my opinion, is because we do not have a common language or in better words, we do not have Interactional Expertise(James helped me with this term which conveys the meaning much better compared to ‘Common Language’). In other words, the language Testers speak is not technical enough and the language Developers speak is not simple enough for Testers to understand.

Both Developers and Testers have gone through the same Education, work on the same projects, are together most of the time, but still, the language we speak is so different.

Being working professionals in the Technical field, our language has to be technical enough. If not for others, for ourselves.

What do services mean? How caching work exactly? What’s the structure of the build we ship? What is our technical stack? What is our Web Server? What is the app server? How are those configured? How do all the technologies involved talk to each other? How many APIs our application has and where is their documentation? Can we read it? What was the RCA of the bug the developer just fixed? What exactly they changed, and in which file(s)? How does build deployment happen? Can we read console logs or network tab calls? Can we make sense of backend logs? Can we debug at least a few things on ourselves and most of them at least 50-70%?

Just a few random questions on top of my mind. There can be hundreds of such questions.

Through a continuous process of “Questioning and staying aware” we all can get here, but more importantly, we can get here when we understand there is a strong need for it.

 

Imposter Syndrome

The big issue to talk on and there can be many contexts to this. If I have to restrict myself to the discussion I had, I can summarize in the below statements:

You may feel this way if for any of the below:

  1. Surrounding does not compliment the skills you have
  1. You do not love yourself enough for what you are
  1. You could not express yourself well enough yet
  1. You do not have skills which your environment can compliment

In our software world, 1 & 3 are quite common. 2 & 4 are rare but possible.

At times even when you are super talented, you may still have similar feelings as #4 a few times.

This may help anyone who ever had similar feelings:

  1. Each of us is unique, with our own unique traits. A journey to discovering ways in which we are unique becomes a part of our lives. It consumes a smaller part for the lucky ones, and considerably bigger for others. We also need to study ourselves and understand what is our preferred medium and preferred environment to express. If your preferred medium is a close room with a known group, it is absolutely fine. Over a period of time just to try to make this room and group big enough. Do not rush yourself into the Conference stage feeling. Your uniqueness may not need external validation if that does not come naturally.
  1. Express in ways you feel comfortable and try to be consistent. There are people who are comfortable just writing, just audio, only 1-1 conversation, or only calls. That’s fine. Try to break your comfort zone slowly but as a challenge, not by seeing it as a weakness. For that, it is no weakness and only your unique channel to see and interact with the world the best.
  2. Validation naturally comes from adding value. For that, whatever your comfortable circle is, start by letting them know directly or indirectly that you are open to help. Keep expressing through your discovered preferred ways (1-1 convo, Blogging, Social Media, Video, Audio(Podcast), Team conversations, 1-1s with your reporters, etc.) and let your world know about how can you be of help. Put your thoughts out, again through your preferred way, without beating up yourself.
    By consistently doing this, everything else shall take care of itself I believe.

 

There are so many other things that are worth sharing from all the conversations I had. But for the interest of my writing time and your reading time, this is it for now. ?

Feel I can be of any help to you? I have opened my calendar till November mid as of now. Help freeze the time for us to meet through TribalConnect here.

Talk to you all soon!

Review Credits: I thank James Bach for reviewing this article and helping me make it better, and of course, for introducing me to some interesting new terms.

03
Power of Storytelling with Examples | A Community Roundup

Ever heard about the Importance of Storytelling? I am sure you must have heard it many times. What I am not really sure about though is, how many of you took it seriously and evaluated or practices the Power of Storytelling.

If you have not given it enough attention yet, let me tell you that for a Tester, it is even more important to learn the art of Storytelling and use it to the fullest.

Do you wish Stakeholders listen to you? You wish when you speak about the quality of the product under test, or about a particular bug, your audience listen to it with interest and value it? Well in that case, irrespective of how powerful and insightful the information you have, you will have to convey it as a story to let it gain deserved attention and importance.

Knowing what Storytelling is, practicing it, and using it regularly is a MUST for any and every Tester who is serious about their work as a Tester. Leveraging the power of Storytelling is a MUST if you want to be a better Tester who gets respect in every narration of his/her.

 

via GIPHY

Our topic for this article is to see how powerful Storytelling is in general, with an example. Hope you find some inspiration and start practicing it asap.

A few days back, in The Test Tribe Community,Β our Mumbai City Hero Geosley Andrades started an amazing thread wherein he shared a random image of He and Ajay Balamurugadas discussing something during TestAway. The challenge was to challenge your Storytelling skills and share the possible stories based on the image shared. Here it is:

Storytelling with Example

You see the reactions and comments count? Does it tell how awesome the entire thread was?Β 

 

via GIPHY

 

First to get the ball rolling was one of the best Poet/Shayar Tester I know, Rahul Verma. Here comes his first attempt:

 

Power of Storytelling

 

Next to hit was Ajay Balamurugadas(who also happens to be one of the characters in the Story image). Read his story which has a funny shade.

 

Power of Storytelling

 

I decided to go next and share my version of the story. But let me confess something first. I wrote the story without observing the image carefully. Maybe with Chapora fort(Image location) what struck me is a very serious conversation about life(I seriously hope you have watched Dil Chahta Hai ! If not, please do it. It’s a gem! ). So lost in my own world, I wrote my version of the story after a quick glance at the image. I later realized the image does not look serious enough to suit my story. πŸ˜€ Anyway, here it is:

 

Power of Storytelling

 

Next to attempt was Trina and she talked on one of everyone’s favorite from TestAway, that is Mafia. Hear her out. πŸ™‚

 

Power of Storytelling

 

Meanwhile, (heard of a creativity flow of an Artist?) Rahul came up with his second story. Here it is:

 

Power of Storytelling

 

Priyabrata entered the competition and showed his poet side with some good message.

 

Power of Storytelling

 

Sharath is here. Ohh my! He has talked about both RCB and Ambani in one story. You know the winner between both already right? πŸ˜€

 

Power of Storytelling

 

Priyabrata is back. And this time with even deeper and moving story.

 

Power of Storytelling

 

Niraj also thought of sharing something and came with a fictional want for TestAway tees. πŸ™‚

 

Power of Storytelling

 

And Rahul is here again. Witty side this time. You are going to love this one(if you understand Hindi πŸ™‚ ).

 

Power of Storytelling

 

Food and Food is always welcome. Here goes Ashish.

 

Power of Storytelling

 

Meanwhile, Anandi has picked a usual Dev-Tester argument and framed a story around the same. Wonderful how imagination works, isn’t it?

 

Power of Storytelling

 

By now you already know Rahul and his diverse storytelling skills. He is here again and he is here to make you nostalgic. Thank him later.

 

Power of Storytelling

 

I did not notice Geosley’s glasses look actually like that till the time Ajay posted this. Reminder: Have put your glasses on?

 

Power of Storytelling

 

Nikita shared a small but effective(and scary? :D) story. Ajay seems to be shocked already.

 

Power of Storytelling

 

Knowing Ramit for some time now, I kind of knew his Artist side. He entered the thread with a beautiful piece of writing.

 

Power of Storytelling

 

The extraterrestrial story is here. Anita is the one who brought this with her imagination.

 

Power of Storytelling

 

Mayank was late but how strongly he entered. He has talked about lots of things which are a buzz word nowadays and how wonderfully he has framed the conversation. Deep πŸ™‚

Also happens to be the longest story of thread.

 

Power of Storytelling

Power of Storytelling

Power of Storytelling

 

So we are done and Geosley is announcing the winner.

 

Power of Storytelling

Let us know in comments who was your Winner. πŸ™‚

Do you see how powerful storytelling can be? Imagine with this power you are narrating your Test Ideas, Test Stories, Bugs, Risks, etc. Believe me, it would bring so much power to your narrative and, most importantly, you would be heard. People would want to hear from you.

Please search, read and practice Storytelling and apply it in Testing.

Feel free to share how you found this post and even better, share your version of the story in comments. Thanks for reading.

via GIPHY

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