How To Be An Open-Minded Tester?
Hello everyone 👋
Hope you are doing great.
As a Tester, you might have received a lot of feedback from different people. Have you ever thought some simple tips can help to sharpen your testing skills? Yes, changing your mindset can bring a lot of changes to your daily routine work, thought process, and career.
Have you ever felt that being open to the current bad situation caused less stress and impact on you? Are you reacting to every mishap around you? Do you punish yourself when things go wrong or are not as expected? Do you hear about other people’s beliefs/perceptions?
For today’s blog, we will be covering a few tips to have an open mindset as Testers. Being an open-minded person is different from being lethargic. There are some qualities that will help you stay open-minded and bring spring and sun shine.
What is open-mindedness?
The definition of open-minded is “receptive to arguments or ideas”. Different people define “open-mindedness” differently.
Open-mindedness is generally considered an important personal attribute for effective participation in management teams and other groups. It is usually encouraged in group settings, within different cultures, and in new environments.
“An open-minded person sees life without boundaries, whereas a close-minded person can only see what’s beyond their eyes.” ― Kaoru Shinmon.
What are the traits of open-minded people and how Testers could adapt to this?
“Curiosity is a willing, a proud, an eager confession of ignorance” ― S. Leonard Rubinstein
Curiosity helps to stay energetic and which in turn helps you to perform efficient testing. This curiosity will motivate you to do better and better every day. You will try to understand more about the application/flow. You could also start exploring the features of the application to be tested.
You will try to learn new things, which could land you up in learning new tools/technologies in Testing. This helps to stay on top of things. You will be curious about the latest trends in the Testing space, and you will be up-to-date. If you are keen and curious, you will listen to your team even when you have a strong knowledge/expertise around that area/topic.
If you are landing in a new role/new project, you need to be curious to know what’s happening. Only then you will ask the right questions and you can proceed on the right path. Sooner you can settle as one of the good testers on the team.
In a nutshell, this curious feeling in you will bring out the best “Tester” version of yourself.
“Empathy is seeing with the eyes of another, listening with the ears of another, and feeling with the heart of another.” ― Anonymous
Empathy is the ability to understand others’ feelings. Once we are open and put ourselves in others’ shoes, we can connect easily with the people around us. We, as Testers, need to work with multiple stakeholders. Not everyone is the same. So before concluding things, try to understand the situation of the opponent and react. Don’t conclude hastily.
For instance, if a developer is rejecting a defect try to talk with him and gather more knowledge. Simply judging him and being stubborn that this defect is valid, is not helpful. We need to reach out to different stakeholders if still things are not working as expected.
If any of your team members are having a hard time, we should help them voluntarily. Sometimes even not disturbing them will also be a great help. So try to be polite with everyone.
Admitting the mistakes:
“Apology is not about saying I’m sorry, but it is about the meaning you put behind the apology and admitting that you are the wrong part.” ― Unarine Ramaru
Learn from your mistakes. But admitting the mistakes to others requires a lot more gut. We cannot be right all the time.
We as Testers should be strong-headed and able to admit our mistakes and try not to repeat them. No one is perfect, we might miss some details while logging a defect. If other stakeholders are inquiring, agree that you missed it and try to create a checklist in the future so that no one in our team is making the same mistake again. If you are stubborn in not admitting that you did that by mistake, you will never think of the best practices to avoid that in the future.
Even as a Leader/Manager, while we are admitting our mistakes we set an example to our team. This doesn’t mean that the leaders are always right. At the same time, we are working towards a single goal “Quality”, and anyone that is getting deviated from the track can be pulled back with the right mindset.
“Be humble, don’t have too much pride, and think you’re too good for anything.” ― Angela Yee.
Humbleness is a quality of being modest or unpretentious. When you are humble, you will have better visibility over the things around you. Most of the time, pride will make you blind. This will cause a great loss of knowledge/wisdom. But when we are humble we will be open to learning new things from different people. We will have something to learn from everyone. So being humble is helpful to us in many ways.
We have a lot to learn from our fellow testers and developers. Being humble helps you to learn new things. When you think that you are already mastering a tool/technology and believe that you know everything about it, this attitude blocks you from learning new things. But at the same time, when you think that, I am good at this tool/topic, let me try to learn what I am still lacking.
I was once working for a developer who is very humble and he taught me many things. We were testing the mobile app, he used to explain how he is generating every build and what are the tools/apps he is using. That gave me a clear picture of my testing process, and for some bug, I could easily find the root cause. Here, if I would have been so stubborn thinking that I know everything, I might have lost some special learning from him.
This mode will help you to be receptive and you will learn more and unlearn the biasing you had.
Asking questions to understand other’s opinion:
“The important thing is not to stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for existing.” ― Albert Einstein
Blindly judging people or shutting them down is going to be a loss for you. We should learn to listen to people. Once hearing their side of the story will always be a wise choice. Being a Team Leader doesn’t mean that you know about everything. Whenever there is a discussion coming up, we should be able to ask questions and understand what others think.
We shouldn’t start the conversion in defensive mode. Because going defensive will hide you from seeing the truth. During the team meeting, if there’s a conflict on the decision, try to think and analyze the different solutions provided by the team. Instead of trying to prove them wrong, ask questions and understand how efficient the solution is. This will help to build a good team rapport, and everyone in the team will feel that they are valued.
Open to new ideas:
“The mind that opens to a new idea never returns to its original size.” – Albert Einstein
Everyone in the team works from a different set of backgrounds. When there is a problem statement, interact more with the team, talk to the business, and do constant research. Most of the time, complex problems will have simpler solutions. For a single solution, we might receive different ideas from different people. Always do a brainstorm and come up with the best solution. We should have an open mind and heart to invite all the silly, stupid and crazy options as well.
If you are open to trying new tools/approaches, you will have loads of learning. Build your knowledge base out of the learnings you receive.
Try open source tools, which are a unique opportunity for testers to contribute to the testing community at large. Contribution can be in terms of improving the quality of the code or adding new enhancements and features that could help improve the test automation efficiency for teams worldwide.
How is it beneficial for Testers?
Overall how this open mindset is going to help us:
- Be happier
- Learn the roots
- Implement efficient testing processes
- Build smart/best practices in the team
- Worry less about the things which are not in our control
- Build greater teams
- Keep ourselves motivated
- Ignore the self-doubt
- Inspire our fellow testers
- Improve productivity
- Be more optimistic, thus, plan better
“If you don’t go through life with an open mind, you will find a lot of closed doors.” ― Mark W. Perrett
Being open doesn’t mean that we are weak. We are letting the new thoughts flow in. Nowadays testers are going through so much stress – what to learn, where to learn, what are the career options available, what tools to learn to grab a highly paid job etc. Most of us are facing this.
Carrying the stress/burden will have an impact on our health and career. Starting with simple changes can make a lot of difference. It’s not that easy to stay “open-minded” in all situations. But we can train our brain and heart to stay easy.
Wishing you good luck with your “open-mindedness” process adoption!!