EverythingSoftware Testing

Tester Advocacy Part 4 – The code

Some of you that frequent this place might remember that I did a series of loosely-related posts on Tester Advocacy last year. I decided I was going to come up with a tester’s code of conduct by which a tester might conduct oneself.

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3

A change of job, a change of country – a change of many things actually, has given me pause to think about this once again. I think I’ve come up with a list that works.

Rule (of thumb) #1

Be useful.

That’s it. That’s my list. That’s my tester’s code of conduct. At all times do your level best to be useful.

How? Who to? What do you mean by useful?

I mean make it your mission to be as useful to the people you report to (the people who matter) as you possibly can. What can you do right now to be the most effective you can be in the way that your handler(s) need you to be?

Sometimes that is going to be doing what they ask you to do (even if you don’t like it). Sometimes it’s going to be doing something other than what they’ve asked because you are 100% certain that what you are doing is more useful to them. Sometimes it’s test execution, sometimes it’s teaching, sometimes (often, I hope) learning, sometimes it’s doing boring paperwork.

Be useful.

As a software tester, what is the most useful thing you can be doing right now? At the end of the day, I want to know that the actions I took have contributed to improving the quality of the product I worked on, or the company I work for. I want to know that I have improved the effectiveness of the people who work for me, or that other areas of the company received something of value from the testing team.

Be resourceful, be enthusiastic (or not), be proactive, be whatever you want as long as it’s also being useful. Note – being useful might not be appreciated. It might get you fired. Refusing to do something can sometimes be the most useful thing you can do. It might not be the wisest career-move (at least within the current company). If you can’t be useful, then maybe you need to be somewhere else.

Edit: Also – Happy new year, everybody. 🙂

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