Sunday, July 13, 2014

It’s Not Just About The Testing!

by Teri Charles

There are many aspects of being a Tester, and for me, not all of them are about doing the actual testing. One of those aspects is mentoring. There is no better feeling for me than to know I’m helping someone. We all know something, have learned something new, and have a passion for something that we can pass along to someone else. We all have the capacity to listen to someone, to be empathetic, to guide, and to pass along our experiences (some that we have learned the hard way). To me, it’s a waste of being a human being on this planet if I’m not passing along what I’ve learned in my life to someone else. And I think most mentors feel that way.

I am thinking about all of this right now because I just finished a wonderful mentoring session with my Per Scholas mentee this fine Sunday morning. Watching her journey, not just as a Tester, but as person who’s wants to grow, has been one of the most satisfying things I’ve done. She touches my heart with her integrity and spirit. She’s new in this field of ours and that’s not always easy. But watching and listening to her perseverance is powerful. And knowing I can be there for her is powerful for me.

This morning she told me that she has started her own local Meetup for new Testers. She had the first meeting yesterday and 10 people showed up! I am beyond proud of her. Here is a new Tester that wants to now start paying it forward herself. She wants to help others with what she’s experienced and learned!

She tells me I inspire her to be better. Well, let me tell you how this works. She inspires me to be better as well. Pretty cool how that happens, isn’t it?

So for me, it’s not just about testing that’s part of our job. It’s all the good juicy stuff like mentoring and helping others that’s some of the best stuff. Try it out and see where it takes YOU!


  1. Thanks for a great post! There are so many great aspects to a career in testing and mentoring is one of the many rewarding ones!

  2. Thank you so much, Joe. Your comment is so true! And I appreciate your kind words!

  3. Teri that is great how you are sharing your love for testing with new Testers and how they are paying it forward! Well done!!

    1. Thank you so much, Bernice! That means a lot to me. It's an amazing thing to give back after others have given to me and then to see that being carried forward!

  4. "There is no better feeling for me than to know I’m helping someone."
    I agree. In fact, for some (me) that is the primary motivator. I no longer chase money, titles, etc. but rather search for opportunities to help.

    Interestingly, I've also found that I, too, learn a lot from the mentoring experience. Have you discovered the same? If so, what thing(s) have you learned?

    -Damian Synadinos

    1. Damian, thank you for your comment. And I love that you said "search for opportunities to help". So much comes back to you when you do that, don't you agree?

      And I learn so much when I mentor. For instance, when talking to my mentee yesterday, one of the things I suggested to her regarding her new Meetup group was to know what the intent was for her new group. Why have it in the first place? What is its purpose? I realized later on that perhaps I need to re-look at those same questions for a local testing Meetup that I run. Always room to keep learning and challenging ourselves!

  5. I've got goosebumps Teri, this is so inspiring! To think that your mentee has already had the courage, motivation and drive to start a local meetup - that's amazing.

    Well done to both of you, and I'm constantly in awe of Per Scholas and all that they do.

  6. Thank you so much, Kim! That means the world to me! And I too am always in awe of Per Scholas. I envy people that get to go through their program! :-)

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