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How to become a great tester?

Huib Schoots
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Keynote Romanian Testing Conference, May 2015

This is my story about the most beautiful “game” in world called testing. For me software development is like a team sport where collaboration is essential. In this talk I want to share how I questioned and changed my beliefs over the years. Consider my testing career as a journey, filling my backpack with experience, skills, techniques and tools. A long exploration learning more about testing, asking myself how to become a great tester. Finding ways to help my clients and other stakeholders with the best testing possible. I learned by making many mistakes and trying many different ways.
My first steps on the testing path were in a happy-go-lucky way. I didn't know much about testing and common sense helped me to do my work. Next I learned about structured testing methodologies. As a tester and later as a test manager, but also as a teacher I observed many people test and learn to test. I struggled with the testing I did and saw others do. I started doubting the testing I was taught and teaching myself: it just wasn't right... There is much more to testing that wasn't told in the common testing classes. And why weren't we testing actual software in these classes?
On foreign blogs I read about agile and context-driven testing and I found out there is much more to testing then I could guess. I learned new, exciting and interesting aspects, which I hadn't considered before. I started reading more about topics like social sciences, critical thinking, heuristics and exploratory testing. Some of these ideas where considered controversial by my colleagues. Being curious and driven by my passion for testing, I discovered my blind side. Join me and learn about the intriguing journey I took. And at the same time question your testing like I did?
Many people ask me: how do you become a great tester? I think it can be split into two important things: skills and attitude! To be the best you need to learn all aspects of your job. We need to practice continuous learning. Become skilled in various ways of testing. This talk gives ideas to become a better tester: examples of resources to study, practical tips you can start doing right now!