Finding My Voice As A Tester
We are six months in the year 2020 and with all the current events happening, to highlight small successes, I thought I’ll do a mid-year review/reflection of all the things that have had happened so far in my career as a software tester. Some of you might know that I’ve only started blogging late last year and if there is one thing that I learned from blogging, it’s given me the voice that I need as a tester.
I have been in the testing industry for almost 7 years now and I definitely learned a lot along the way. However, I didn’t really invest a lot of time putting myself out there and connecting with the testing community. I’ll attend a meet-up once in awhile but I wasn’t actively networking. I also tried to blog before but gave up only after 2 or 3 posts. I wasn’t active on Twitter or LinkedIn and would just ignore messages from recruiters or other testers.
Then last year, I was given the opportunity to talk at Women of Silicon Roundabout where me and my colleague Samer talked about Software Testing Trends and it was well received! It was a really positive experience overall.
The same year, I also accepted a permanent role at News UK to be a Principal Test Automation Engineer and I learned that I was the first woman to become a Principal. I took this as a challenge and as a woman in tech, I want to start inspiring others and amplify my voice in the testing industry. I also read this book Atomic Habits by James Clear and I started to write down ideas that I can do as first steps.
I started with getting my hands on again at blogging. To get started, my goal was to publish a blog post every month. My first contribution was this article here that I wrote for News UK technology's medium account where I shared how we transform the testing process at The Sun. Then I created this personal blog where I now post new articles once a week on average to share my thoughts on testing and tutorials related to test automation as a medium to help other testers with specific issues that they might encounter.
January this year, I found out that I was one of the Silver winner of the Applitools Hackathon. Out of all 3000+ applicants, I somehow managed to make it through one of the winning spot. The feeling was so great that it gave me more motivation to put myself out there.
The same month, I approached Billy from Xpertise Recruitment as they are looking for speakers to their new meetup group Quality Advocates. I wanted to improve my public speaking so I put myself forward once more. Because of Covid-19 happening, my first talk with Quality Advocates didn't happen but this was replaced instead with bi-weekly lunch and learn sessions hosted by TAQFull. I also applied to be one of the Cypress Ambassadors as I have been using Cypress on both personal and work projects and have great successes using it.
I also joined Ministry of Testing Community and attended my first TestBash this year. In all honesty, I wished I had done this sooner but the important thing now is I am getting involved and learning a lot of new things from different testers around the world. I applied some of the things I learned and within our team at News, I started to get involved with not only interviewing testers, but also developers. I've been connecting with other people in the company to find ways on how we can further improve our testing process and recently, one of our Engineering Heads said that they've identified me as a role model and wanted to see if I can mentor someone from the business.
Fast forward to now, I've delivered a handful of meetup talks which I wouldn't have done before! I get messages from fellow testers who have read my articles or attended my talks saying that I've helped them which is such an amazing feeling. I've been invited by companies to speak at their events. I've gotten messages from people that I admire to say that they love the work that I'm doing. Apart from gaining exposure, I gain new friends and acquaintances along the way. All of these led to me finding my voice as a tester. I still have a long way to go, but I can honestly say that the hard work is finally paying off and I hope I can inspire someone to do the same.
This post might sound like I am bragging but from quoting a lesson that I learned from Google's IAmRemarkable Workshop that I attended before, "it's not bragging if it's the truth". We need to celebrate small successes and self promotion 🙂