The Ultimate Tester: Sharing Knowledge
In the past three blog posts we have explored some aspects of being an Ultimate Tester: How we can add value, how our curiosity helps us to test the crazy stuff and how we can build quality in. We learn a lot about these things during work time (and hopefully during personal time as well), but as the Ultimate Tester we want to take this as a step further. What do we have beyond learning? Sharing knowledge!
In this post I urge you all to become a quality ambassador; to share more about the things you’ve learned. Help the testing community further by giving back what you know. Don’t say “but others know so much more than I do, what can I possibly add to it?”. You know more than you think and you can share knowledge in many ways. I will give you some options, ranging from very easy to needing a lot of effort.
There are many test communities that you can contribute to. Twitter has a lot of active testers, we have the awesome Ministry of Test website and community, the testing community on Slack. There is no easier way to start sharing knowledge or trying to discuss a topic than posting something on Twitter or a forum. Try it!
Another thing you can do is to write a blog. Many people love to read blogs, since it is such an accessible way to gain more knowledge. There are many awesome bloggers and blog feeds already. You can subscribe to lists of ‘good blogs from last week’, like Petri Kainulainen’s weekly test newsletter, Daniel Knotts Reading Recommendations or the Ministry of Testing feeds, to name a few examples. When you post your own blog, it helps to Tweet about it. It probably will get picked up by some other people who share blogs, so your words of wisdom can possibly reach a big audience!
Even more convenient to consume than blogs might be the podcast. Creating your own podcasts involves a lot more work than writing a blog of course, but you could send a request to share knowledge to one of the existing testing podcasts. It can be recorded via Skype so you don’t even need to be physically together with the host. Well known testing podcasts are listed on the Ministry of Testing website.
There are a couple of test magazines out there that would gladly publish your work: Tea Time with Testers and Testing Circus, for example. You can reach out to the editors if you have an article you want to publish.
Why not create video’s explaining some concept or lesson learned? A nice example in this category is Whiteboard Testing, created by Richard Bradshaw. In short video’s he explains a concept related to testing, while drawing it out. Very helpful indeed!
Speaking at conferences
In my opinion, speaking at conferences is a great way to share knowledge. It is terrifying in the beginning, yes, but so rewarding! After you’ve given a talk or workshop you have the opportunity to discuss everything test related with your peers, face to face! And you’ll have the opportunity to attend other talks as well. Going to a conference is already putting yourself in a pressure cooker of knowledge, speaking at a conference will only intensify the experience! It is a great way to extend your network and get yourself known in the community. If it is hard for you to go speak at a conference, you can also try speaking at a Meetup first. There are probably many tech related Meetup communities in your area, so look them up and join your peers.
The options are almost endless when it comes to sharing knowledge. The most important part is that you do it. An Ultimate Tester is a Quality Ambassador and gives back what he/she has learned. Stay hungry for more knowledge and keep sharing what you’ve learned to make the testing community more awesome!