I decided to come back this month as I already finished some of the other challenges I’m taking recently and also I am feeling energized and up for the challenge of tackling this topic “First day in a team“
In fact, there are many other reasons that motivated me to write about the new start:
- I’m also looking forward for my new job change coming soon in few months !
- Last week, someone in twitter asked me for advice as she is a new in a team and she want to make a good start, I answered her in this racket “3 Things to consider when you join a new team as a software tester” and by coincidence that same day the challenge was announced by Aine on the club.
- Last year, I attended an excellent talk that inspired me how to be a first time QA Manager (will share my sketchnotes at the end of this blog) it could gives you more ideas.
So, with all those reasons, let’s jump into the blog topic and I’ll share with you what I think is necessary when a tester join a new team in his first day or even first period:
[People] Know your team members
As the famous saying “people and interactions over process and tools”, although processes are important (I’ll comeback to this point later) but first consider people around you, those are your future colleagues and the ones you will meet everyday, spent lot of time with.
For that get to know them via team global meetings or even plan a special 10 minute one-on-one chat with everyone of them:
The tester in you
- Present yourself to them as a person
- Present yourself also as a tester, tell them about things that you like the most about testing, your vision as a tester
- Be couragous and ask for details and for help when things are not that clear to you, don’t hesitate to ping them when you feel blocked in a problem in your daily work ask them for help, they will do their best to help you succeed
- Be a good communicator having a creative mindset and be that critical thinker while collaborating with everyone in the team, checkout the #21stskills4testers for tips and ideas on how to apply the 4C in your daily work, it’s a collection of stories related to (inter)human skills for testers that Ard Kramer and me collected into a book by adding a link between them and our thoughts.
Learnings & communities
- Be that learner and try to adapt quickly to the environment and tools they are using !
- Discover the exisiting internal communities and get involved
- Tell them what are your limits, “don’t make yourself like the one who know all the things, as it’s never true, it’s like you said testing will find all the bugs”, in other words “Be yourself” 🙂 !
- Also tell them things you are planning to achieve/learn to improve your technical skills on something and tell them that you are happy if someone want to pair with you in that learning journey via that community
After knowing them much better, think about the product you will be testing or even play with, “play with what?“
[Product] Know the product you will play with
Indeed, you will not just test but play with the product, as testing becomes funnier when you think it’s like a game and you want to be that curious tester and find the unknowns unkowns while exploring. I personally enjoyed the “Advanced Cypress” training by Filip Hric on how he describe the automated test he is doing and everytime he said you can play with .. or let’s play with .. it shows how passionate he is about testing and how testing is not just a job for him but like part of his hobbies ! (I highly recommend this course by the way)
What’s more ?
- Understand the domain, the different functionalities, remember that one of the testing purposes to identify and mitigate risks to the user and to the business.
- Ask many questions, maybe it seems trivial for you but it’s not always the case, Being that QA: “Question Asker”, as mentioned in Agile Testing Condensed Book, can make you a better tester and it helps you plan your testing, because asking the right question at the right moment will give you not just a better understanding about the product, but that fresh new eye understanding the product will make you explicitly exploring the product with the right target and implicitly finding new bugs and the gap between expectation and reality. Maybe you will find a new discovery with the answer you got where the whole team can get benefit from it.
- Try to use some Mnemonics and Heuristics while playing with the product
“A mnemonic device is a mind memory and/or learning aid. Mnemonics rely on associations between easy-to-remember constructs which can be related back to the data that is to be remembered.” Wikipedia.
as an example:
Bug Advocacy Mnemonic by Cem Kaner
Replicate it, Isolate it, Maximize it, Generalize it, Externalize it, And Say it Clearly and Dispassionately
“A heuristic, is any approach to problem solving, learning, or discovery that employs a practical method not guaranteed to be optimal or perfect, but sufficient for the immediate goals.” Wikipedia
Test Oracles by Michael Bolton
Familiarity, Explainability, World, History, Image, Comparable Product, Claims, User Expectations, Product, Purpose, Standards and Statutes
More interesting examples are mentioned by the end of this blog.
- You can also suggest to the team to make a game every Friday after work the whole team together around a lean coffee in a less formal way, you can even take the testsphere deck and every week you pick 2 or 3 cards and make a discussion around it with the opinions of everyone with examples from the app you are testing for more discoveries and team connection
[Process] Know how things work
And to finish with my last point, the third one is your team PROCESS and strategies
- I invite you to get that deep knowledge about the team current process and try to understand every little details
- Depending on your context, try to understand what are the different tests they are doing
- How collaborative they are between developers / testers and business, how amigos are the 3 amigos ?
- Checkout if there is a culture of pairing between different testers or between developers + testers (or even between more roles) you can also suggest other ways of pairing/ mobbing if they don’t have a well developed culture yet.
I refer to the great resources by Maaret Pyhäjärvi.
- Learn about the culture of quality within the company, I invite you read simon prior thoughts about it: “Growing A Culture of Quality”
🎯 Culture of Quality: “A shared cross-team focus of delivering high quality software that meets the users needs, is the highest priority, and all our practices support this”simon prior
My sketchnote from his talk last year,
- And I also invite you to read the agile testing condensed full of interesting tips on how to succeed with testing and build a quality culture in an agile context.
Back to the challenge “First day on a team”, but what I mentioned is more than just one day.
So my answer to the challenge “Your first day should be more about knowing the team: [People] and just start the discovery of the [Product] but of course it requires more than just 1 day to get the whole understanding of what you are going to test and the [Process]”.
but I wanted to make this blog more general about the things you need to know in your first period !
More ideas about how to start your first 1-90+ days as a QA Manager
It’s worth sharing more ideas via the below sketchnote, I did last year at #TMATLC2020 about being in a new team, not just as a tester but as a QA Manager for the first time !
Excellent story by Priyanka Halder telling her first time being a QA manager and giving lots of recommendations to start your journey and how to design your road map for each period.
Looking forward for what others think about being in a new team, challenge available during the whole month – July 2021 in the blogger club sharing lounge.
Oh you make it till the end ? Hope you enjoyed reading my blog! Don’t hesitate to share your feedback about it and what you would add to what I mentioned, by the same occasion good luck for everyone new start if it’s the case for you too in a new position or a new team why not a in a new company !