Practical Ideas to Stay Creative in Software Testing
As Software testers, or for that matter in any profession, we are frequently chastised of being monotonous in our line of thought, lacking in ingenuity or plainly speaking, being dumb altogether. To top it all, we are frequently reminded to think "out of the box" ( as if that sounds very imaginative..;P). However creativity is not a trait sovereign to a select few and can be inculcated through minor attitudinal shifts. The following are not a set of guidelines to become the next Einstein, but will certainly aid you in your endeavour to become the next torchbearer in the field of testing.
Old is Gold:
You are 5 years into your job as a hardened testing professional. You'd think your long forgotten Java skills are as useful to you today, as a typewriter might be in today's times. Right?....WRONG. For you to grow into an A-league professional, a developer's insight into de-bugging problems is worth its weight in gold. Sharpening those coding skills from college will help you adapt better and customise the use of a testing tool. Getting involved in app developing contests as a pass time will throw you into an ocean of bugs which are in tune with the latest methodologies deployed towards making glitch free software applications of today
At the time of creating a test case, you are normally provided with an excel sheet, enumerating the various guidelines from the developer team and the requirements from the client. For once, chuck 'em out of the window (not literally of, course). Get your pencil and notebook out (yeah just like the good 'ol school days).For five minutes, think of all the test case scenarios you can dish out of your mind. Jot them down and review. At the end of it all, what do we have? A plethora of test cases without even glancing at the mundane list of client requirements.
The Programmer community:
It always bodes well to have an ear for the latest IN thing which the Developer team is discussing. What latest tools and languages they are deploying to make major efficiency gains and value additions in their products. Be in the loop. You don't have to stop with the development teams, maintain a good rapport with the designers, the DevOps engineers and the like. While you are it, be on the lookout for any glaring gaps they are overlooking, the critical bugs which they keep encountering regularly. Try to eke out ways to rectify them.
Coding, a hobby, really?
Getting involved in app developing contests as a pass time, will throw you into an ocean of bugs which are in tune with the latest methodologies deployed towards making glitch free software applications of today
Peers and that theory of getting more by giving:
It's essential to keep abreast of what your colleagues are up to. One way of effectively keeping tabs is to engage through Social Media, being part of conferences and forums. They say, knowledge improves by sharing it further. Point is to share your own solutions while at same time picking out on the brains of others
News, news and some more news:
Thanks to the tsunami of knowledge which has engulfed us today, finding information is not so hard. Cherry-picking that, which is relevant to our need is the hard bit. Handy tools like RSS and Evernote can help us capitalise on our hunt for new ideas, by keeping us up to date with the current events in the field of Software Testing. Rummage through old dusted owner manuals and forage through the history of testing problems which still hold relevance.
Creating your own ideas and building them up with others' after reviewing them, will unleash THE CREATIVE tester inside, that you always dreamt to be.