Friday, 2 September 2016

Be the Positive Tester!

Being positive is becoming increasingly difficult, in a world where negativity is all around us in the form of News reports, just looking at a popular news feed a large portion of the articles are of a negative nature or in a negative tone, then there's the fact that people love to moan or gossip about someone not doing what they are supposed to do and similarly people are far more likely to leave a negative review for a product or service than they are a positive one! So how can I be more positive and why does it matter? All I do is test?

Firstly, never ever say or think "All I do is test", you do so much more, and we all do so much more, it's about showing everyone just how awesome we can be and how great we are!

Secondly, why does it matter? Well a Tester can have every attribute that is needed to be a Tester, but if they have a negative attitude it can all be for nothing. I've found that by merely having  a positive attidue it can take an Okay Tester and turn them into a bloody good Tester! Dumbledore said it best with:

"It is our choices, that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities"

So yes, Dumbledore is fictional...but it's a true statement, and one that fits nicely in to this blog post!

So why does it matter? Well, positivity is very contagious, I've worked with positive people, people who are insanely positive, and it rubs off on me, in fact it rubs off on everyone around them, so if you're positive and working in a team, by being the positive person it will help the team be more positive and in turn make them happier! Let's not forget that Happiness more often than not equates to success.

Also if you are happy and positive in negative situations, then people are more willing to listen to and help someone who comes to them with solutions to problems rather than just moaning about the current situation and not really be willing to do anything about it! Persuasion is an important skill, one that is often overlooked, postivity feeds into that, persuading someone is far easier when you are positive!

So, it's all very well talking about why it's important to be positive, but unfortunately, like most things, it's just not as easy as that, we can't just flick a switch and instantly become more positive... What we can do is do little things that will hopefully all feed into making you feel and be more positive!

One of the things that I like to do is to spend time reflecting on the day, this doesn't have to be at the end of the day, it can just as easily be at certain points in the day, look back and thing about what's gone well so far, what have I enjoyed about the day and what is happening in the near future that I'm looking forward to. This isn't necessarily a physical reflection, just by thinking about these things makes me realise that success happens far more often that you might think!

We can also set ourselves goals, not just daily goals, they can be weekly or even longer term, what are some things I want to achieve? One goal that I have wanted to achieve was to speak at a public conference, I achieved that this year, and am looking at doing it more often in the future, by having this long term goal I can look at small things I can do to help me achieve it. I know it's cliche, but it's good to know where you want to be in 5 years time, so you can then work towards it.

People often think of Testers as negative people, we love to break things and point out the negative things about software, but we need to celebrate when these things happen, it's far better to find a bug in test than in production! We also need to celebrate and learn from our failures, this isn't always easy, but if we fail fast and learn from it, then is it really a failure? We've learnt something which should be celebrated!

As mentioned earlier as well, we need to look at problems as opportunities, and have solutions ready for any problems we might have... If we don't have enough time to test something, what can we do? Can we do some Risk Based Testing? Or can we work through lunch? Or can the entire team get involved and get it tested?

Finally, just be friendly and enthusiastic, and adopting that positive mindset will follow, especially if you start reflecting and setting yourself achievable goals and actually achieving them! It will make you feel better about yourself as well as make the team feel better and happier! I was watching a TED Talk the other day that we can make ourselves feel more powerful by adopting "Superman" Poses, and I see this being no different we can make ourselves more positive just by reflecting and thinking about what went well and building on that!

Just to summarise the blog post, here's a nice MindMap!


  1. i'm wondering this articles topics, testing is one life cycle of every product delivery. Development and Maintains always required testing, but doing by tester or developer became as testing !!!

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