Getting Feedback as a Software Tester

To start with, I think getting feedback as a Software Tester is very important.

In general, I think it’s great to solicit feedback to see what you’re doing well, what you’re not doing so well and what you could just stop doing altogether.

A man from our office gave us a presentation on personal radars and how to be awesomer, then asked specifically for feedback after the presentation and then again in an email the next day- thanking us for our time. Good stuff. No ambiguity involved. If there was anything that I think he could’ve done better, I had a green light to let him know. And what he did well? I made sure to tell him what I thought regarding that too. And you know what?! I did it Toastmaster Stylz! That’s right. The CRC approach- Commendation, Recommendation, Commendation.

I think that learning is a very important part of being a software tester.

You need to learn:

  • How to adapt
  • How to get along with people
  • How to get your message across
  • How to interpret information
  • How to experiment with different technologies

Among many other things.

OK so I’m of the opinion that to a certain extent, people are aware of what they’re capable of and what they’re good/weak at. But then, that opinion of yourself -chances are- is  not perfect. Maybe you place too much emphasis on certain weaknesses or overlook some weaknesses or maybe you underestimate the value of one of your strengths.

Therefore, because of that – getting feedback is very important.

But how does this tie in exactly to being a software tester? You might ask.

Since testing is a constantly learning journey throughout your career, I think it’s important to make sure you’re on the right track sooner rather than later. Why should you have to wait until performance review time to get that feedback when you could just have a conversation?

Now I’m going to guide you through two scenarios where I think it’d be appropriate to seek feedback:

a) Regarding your communication skills
Say, as a software tester, you’ve been having difficulty convincing other people in your team to see things from your point of view. Either the defects you are raising are being ignored (i.e. you didn’t provide enough information in the defect) or people are asking you about things that you have already covered (i.e. they don’t understand what you mean when you talk).

Asking for feedback, specifically on how to deal with situations like this, could really help.

b) Regarding your test estimation
So your test lead/manager asks you, how long will it take to write these test cases/ execute these tests/ finish testing this part of the functionality… Umm.. Ahhh.. 4 days? Yep. 4 days sounds about right.

4 days later – you’re not done. Go and ask not only for feedback on this area – but advice too.

Assuming testing timeframes get increasingly squeezed, I think knowing exactly what you can accomplish in a limited timeframe is very useful not just for you – but the person you report to as well.

Tell me, what do you think is the value in asking for feedback as a software tester?

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