Sunday, June 16, 2013

Why I Am Going To RST

In about a week, I will be on my way to the Rapid Software Testing (RST) course. It is a three day hands-on intensive course.  And this particular course will be taught by none other than James Bach

The main reason I'm going is exactly because of what it says on the RST website, "The ideal student is anyone who feels driven to be an excellent software tester".  That's me. 

I've been a Software Tester for over 10 years, but here's a true confession. During a lot of those years I was a naive tester. A tester in the dark.  Like a lot of us, I didn't have a lot of formal Testing training. I had no idea for almost all of those years that there were ways and people to learn testing from. I never worked anywhere that taught or trained Testers. I knew nothing of people like James Bach, Michael Bolton, Pradeep Soundararajan, Elisabeth Hendrickson, and many others.  I didn't know there were books or websites or trainings.  I didn't know there were test groups like Association for Software Testers (AST), Ministry of Testing, Satisfice, and others. Knowing what I know now, this all sounds crazy to even admit all of this. But it's true.  Sometimes you don't know what you don't know.

I just did the best I could.  I picked up tips from other Testers along the way or I made it up as I went along.  Maybe because I'm anal by nature, I would find lots of bugs.  The things I loved about testing kept me doing it, like finding things that were wrong with the software before our customers did.  But I was miserable in a lot of ways.

So, about a year and a half ago I sat myself down and had good long talk with myself. I thought that if I'm going to stay being a Tester, I needed to really LEARN how to be a Tester, what it meant to be a Tester.  Not just do the 'job'. No one was going to do it for me. No one.  My big break was that I somehow found James Bach's book "Secrets of a Buccaneer-Scholar".  I have to say, this book is a gem and a life-changer.  It woke me up in a very big way about my own responsibility of self-learning.  I can't recommend it enough.  And my journey at that point started in a big way.

I started googling anything to do with Software Testing.  I found people like Anne-Marie Charett who were generous in coaching me about different things to do with testing. I started a blog. I discovered this great test community on Twitter. I started reading about testing from blogs, articles, and books.  I learned about Context Driven Testing.  I found out about and became active in Weekend Testing.  I took the BBST Foundations course. I even took some HTML and CSS courses to help me in web testing. I stumbled onto Ajay's Balamurugadas' first online training and never missed a day, as well as discovering a wonderful test community happening in India.  There was a whole world out there that I never knew existed!  And now I'm constantly doing something every week and most days to keep growing and learning.

And that brings me to the RST course. It's time to take this journey of mine to a whole new level. To accelerate my learning. I want to finally grasp heuristics, learn how to tackle any product instantly, and to grow in my confidence as a Tester. I want to continue on my journey of becoming an expert Tester, but more importantly, FEEL and KNOW I'm an expert Tester. And I have this strong feeling that I will someday look at this time as the before and after of my journey and skills as a Tester. The way I look at it, if you want to be a better Tester, you can't just wish for it.  You have to work on it everyday. RST is a major step in this process. 

Wish me well!

Teri Charles
http://bouldertester.blogspot.com/
@booksrg8

14 comments:

  1. Good luck,enjoy, learn - and make sure to write a follow up post about your experience

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    1. Thanks, Phil! I appreciate that. And I will definitely do a follow up!

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  2. Rock and roll Teri! \m/

    What Phil said. ;)

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    1. Thanks, David and fellow Pythoner! :-)

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    2. Oh, cranking through the lessons... but Code Academy doesn't respond here on client site! So my lunch time lessons are doomed. Grr... ;)

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  3. Best of luck Teri!!
    I hope that this inspire testers like me to do something about actually attending a proper course in person :D

    And yes what Phil said :)

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    1. Thanks! I had thought about it for a while and just made the decision that I was going to do whatever it took. You can do it! :-)

      Teri

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  4. Read your story as it was mine. I'm on my journey now for only half a year. But RST is definitive on the plan too, some day.
    I wish you good luck, have fun and take as much as you can.

    Patrick

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  5. Thanks, Patrick! And good luck on your journey. There are so many more resources now for Testers than when I was starting out, so I'm excited for you. Here's another post I wrote that might have some more ideas for you. http://bouldertester.blogspot.com/2013/05/a-software-tester-pays-it-forward.html

    Thanks again!

    Teri

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  6. I'm so pleased for you Teri! Taking courses like Rapid Software Testing whether or not it's at a conference or its own class, you gain not only wonderful information but you recommit to your own learning efforts. Congratulations!

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    1. Thanks so much. I really appreciate that. And I agree with you 100%. It's up to us to be committed to learning and there are so many ways to do that. I wish you well on your own journey!

      Teri

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  7. Thanks Teri, for sharing your experiences. Its been the same for me from past a year. I started as a lone tester. I am trying to learn more to make me better tester than a day.

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    1. Thanks, Srinivas. That is great you are striving to learn and wanting to be a better tester every day. That is what will get you there. You are there! Knowing you want to improve and doing something about it is one of the most important things. Good luck!

      Teri

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