Monday, 15 July 2013

How to go above and beyond in your role as a QA?

I often try and think of ways that I can offer value to my company by going above and beyond that of a standard QA.

Whilst this will vary from company to company, I've decided to list ways that I try and go above and beyond in my company and my role to help out and offer as much value as possible.

These are in no particular order, but here goes:

1 - Share your domain knowledge, whilst this should be a given, all too often this isn't the case. If someone asks for help on a particular subject, help them, don't just say I'll do it and let you know when it's done. If you show them then they will hopefully learn and be able to help others, and become less reliant on you and your time.

2 - Offer your help whenever you can, if you do have an expertise in a particular system, or something you have worked on in the past, when issues arise, don't shy away from offering advice, or offering solutions to problems. This will get your name out there and people will take notice of you.

3 - Read up as much as you can, read and join in communities and share what you learn and apply it to your day to day job. We need to be forward thinking as a QA community, and really drive best practices and try out any methods that you think will offer value to your business/QA department.

4 - Learn your systems, whether it's something you work on regularly or something you only work on sporadically, learn it, you will be able to help others and you will further the overall picture of the system architecture and how it might affect something you are actually working on. All too often, people get pigeon holed into working on one system, and it can be difficult to get out of that. Which may offer value to your company at present, but it won't offer much value in your next role at a new company. A good example of this is currently I know a lot about FredHopper and it's integration with Asos, however, whilst this offers an awful lot of value to my current employers, in the future it won't really do me any favours. So by learning new systems and new skills, which I am currently doing, I offer value to both my employers and also to myself in the future.

5 - Offer support to other teams, if you can offer support to other teams, in anyway possible, be it answering questions or running some tests for them, then you should. It will be appreciated, and teams will be more likely to return the favour.

6 - Learn new skills, I've spoke about this in the past, but all too often people just sit on their laurels and don't learn anything new, thinking they know enough to get where they are, and just lack the drive and ambition to go further. I want to achieve as much as I can in my career, I want to make people proud of me, and want to provide for my family as best I can, to do this, I try and learn new skills as much as I can, as who knows where my career will take me.

None of the above should be limited to the QA department, or even IT, we should offer the business as much value as we can, and why should that be limited to QA/IT?

How do you think you can go above and beyond in your role? What do you do that marks you out as a QA that goes above and beyond?


4 comments:

  1. Good approach Gareth, I bet that you not only become more valuable to your team, but you also make your job much more interesting.
    You sound like a T-shaped tester, the ones I like to work with. I described T-shaped testers @ http://bit.ly/1dgOFRO if you are interested.

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    1. Wow that's a really interesting and insightful article! I fully agree with it, and think everyone should strive to be a T shaped tester, especially in an agile world!



      Thanks!

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  2. good one lots of things to learn from this thanks..

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    1. Excellent! I hope you can learn and put some of the above into action!

      Good luck!

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