Bloggers Club: Implementing Change

I’ve written a fair bit about implementing change in the past, including two articles at the Ministry of Testing site on Introducing Colleagues to Exploratory Testing and going about implementing change when you’re not a manager.

However, in this post, I would like to dive deeper into how the status quo bias makes implementing change rather difficult.

Status quo bias is evident when people prefer things to stay the same by doing nothing or by sticking with a decision made previously.

One of the key aspects of the status quo bias that makes it so difficult to implement change is that it’s generally easier to do nothing i.e. to not try and implement change in the first place. Even if people are unhappy with how things are, you’d be surprised by how the same people may not be open to ideas to change – that would help fix what is making them unhappy.

Continue reading “Bloggers Club: Implementing Change”

Learning how to hold retrospectives

A few months ago I volunteered to help hold retrospectives in our cross-functional team. Up until then, we had a delivery lead hosting most of the retrospectives and from time to time a process designer would also come in and host retrospectives.

The thing is, while we were going through the motions of having a retrospective, including creating actions – I couldn’t see any improvement that resulted from having these retrospectives (there was no follow-through with the actions). After talking to the tech director about the possibility of helping host retrospectives, I also spoke to the delivery lead about it (who was more than happy to be relieved of that responsibility as he already had plenty on his plate).

Continue reading “Learning how to hold retrospectives”

Why it’s important that it’s safe to fail

When my daughter started to learn how to walk, we immediately started buying corner protectors and had multiple scans of our apartment to see if there were any dangers lurking that we had to remove or cover up. We wanted to make it safe for her (to fail).

When it comes to software development, I think it’s also important to make it safe for people to fail.

People make mistakes.

It happens to everyone – and in my opinion, it’s not a bad thing.

Continue reading “Why it’s important that it’s safe to fail”

Waterfall, Baking and Slow Feedback

One of the things that frustrates me the most about baking is the fact I don’t tend to find out whether or not my baking was a success until the very end when I slice into that cake or bite into that cookie.

Even attempts to check out how things are going don’t guarantee good results – you can look in the oven to see if the cookies look like they are the right colour before you take them out, or you can use a fork to check the doneness of a cake or muffin, but these checks are only looking for one aspect of quality – doneness.

Continue reading “Waterfall, Baking and Slow Feedback”

Bloggers Club: First day in a team

I’ve had many first days in a team since I started my testing career almost nine years ago. But it’s always been daunting and there’s a lot to take in.

New faces.

New names.

New context.

New project.

I’m often trying to gain my bearings and not necessarily looking to start testing on my very first day. (For getting started on a testing project, read this)

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Feedback: Solicited vs Unsolicited

I tend to be wary of giving unsolicited feedback in general, even with the best intentions, it doesn’t always go down well.

Let me give you an example: I used to work with a tester who wrote the bare minimum when it came to bugs. There was hardly ever any information on steps to reproduce, no information on OS version, screenshots sometimes were provided and actual result vs expected result were never there.

Continue reading “Feedback: Solicited vs Unsolicited”

3 Things I’ve learned: Adjusting to my changed identity as a (paid) working mother

As I write this my daughter is having a nap, and I’m trying to enjoy my first day of vacation.

Keeping a baby/toddler entertained without just turning on the TV is a struggle (we’ve made an exception for cutting her nails, she can watch a cartoon then). Continue reading “3 Things I’ve learned: Adjusting to my changed identity as a (paid) working mother”

Bloggers Club: What’s the best career advice you’ve had?

When I was in university, I signed up to a mentoring program. Back then, I actually had no interest in pursuing a career in IT, I was actually a lot more interested in a career in management consulting – so this piece of advice can apply to all disciplines, in my opinion.

I spoke to the careers advisor at my university  about what I was thinking of doing in the future and she suggested a guy called Dan to be my mentor.

There’s one piece of advice that he gave me, that still sticks with me. Continue reading “Bloggers Club: What’s the best career advice you’ve had?”

4 Books Which I’ve Found Useful for my Testing

 1. Thinking Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman

I heard from quite a few people how beneficial this book was for them. About six or seven years ago, I tried to read it, but couldn’t get into it – then I tried again about two years ago and really enjoyed it.

It’s an intense read and focuses a lot on cognitive biases – a lot of which I come across in day-to-day testing. Continue reading “4 Books Which I’ve Found Useful for my Testing”