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Is there a way for software test engineers to manage stress in this culture of hustle?

Is there a way for software test engineers to manage stress in this culture of hustle?


“Stress is the trash of modern life—we all generate it, but if you don’t dispose of it properly, it will pile up and overtake your life.”

Danzae Pace

Hey there, everyone. How are you all doing? I noticed the reply. Hmm. As a result, you claim that your situation is good. Do you actually feel good? Are you getting adequate rest? Having a healthy diet? Do you maintain a clear boundary between your personal and professional lives? When was the last time a production flaw occurred? When did you last snooze like a baby? When did you last take a trip? When did you last speak with your childhood friend? I apologize for asking so many questions. Now, let me know how you are feeling.

Do we still know the solution? If so, I’m pleased to hear that you’re doing well. If not, we need to make some adjustments to our job life, which will subsequently improve our personal life. It’s time to pause and consider your mental well-being.

As a result, in this post, we’ll discuss the hustling culture, the things that stress testers out, and how to deal with that stress.

What is hustle culture?

Work takes precedence over everything in the burnout culture known as “hustle,” and working long hours is regarded as incredibly productive. Because of this attitude, people are obliged to struggle and work, which hinders us from taking in the sights and sounds around us. We work hard to attain one objective, then sprint to the next, and so on. When will this cycle of pursuing the next high-end come to an end?

What matters is that we miss experiencing life right now and are always looking for something that causes restlessness and other risks. I believe that our objectives are crucial, but they shouldn’t consume your thoughts or interfere with your privacy or mental health. We must make a distinction between our personal and professional lives. We miss caring for ourselves and our loved ones as a result of our remote employment and conflicting schedules. Therefore, this epidemic made it significantly worse.

Do you believe this will ultimately be beneficial to you? Definitely not. Sometimes, we even fail to see that we are entrenched in the hustler culture. The first stage is to become aware.

What causes stress in this current environment?

“The truth is that stress doesn’t come from your boss, your kids, your spouse, traffic jams, health challenges, or other circumstances. It comes from your thoughts about your circumstances. ”

Andrew Bernstein

In today’s era of rapid digitalization, everything must be completed right away. The oil is added to the fire by the strict deadlines, toxic leadership, ineffective team members/other stakeholders, and inadequate details/budget.

Back then, the majority of the projects were built around waterfalls. Today, though, we require speedier delivery, so we’ve implemented an agile methodology. More minor releases with focused features are produced frequently, and this has undoubtedly increased the stress on software engineers – developers, testers – and other stakeholders.

Let’s discuss a few facts which are causing stress in a software test engineer’s life: 

1. Insufficient requirements/documentation

We are supposed to test everything for a few projects that need adequate details. It’s difficult to test without understanding the desired behavior. We can make decisions while driving based on our prior knowledge and experience, but this is only a workaround. It might be annoying and frustrating.

2. Rigorous timelines

These days, we are frequently required to work quickly and give results. We may not have enough time to test beyond the essential functionality because of this. So we might miss the out-of-box scenarios here.

3. Lack of communication

We frequently don’t receive information about modifications, deployments, and timetables. The majority of conversations don’t involve testers since it is assumed that they are not necessary. Software testing involves several different steps.

4. Constantly getting blamed

Insufficient testing is held responsible for everything that goes wrong in production. They anticipate a thorough examination in the absence of adequate details. This finger-pointing will cause us great harm. Make an effort not to personalize things.

5. Underpaid

However, many businesses still operate under the assumption that testers must work for nothing. Software testers are paid far less than other developers. Salary is a motivating aspect, and the disparity in salaries in this industry is demotivating for many. 

6. Constant upgrading of skills

As a result of technological development, we must continually learn about new trends to stay ahead of the competition. In the workplace, we must continue to hone our abilities. This is exhausting and stressful. We may also feel intimidated due to a lack of skills.

7. Less importance to testing and software test engineers

Few businesses are unaware of the value of software testers and testing. They continue to believe that software testing is optional, and in other circumstances, they believe that testing is not necessary for some applications.

8. The fantasy of Automation:

Management at higher levels likes elaborate presentations and figures. Automating as many test cases as is practical is a wonderful idea, but complete automation is a fallacy. Based on the tools, you are compelled to study programming languages. Based on the tech stack and the needs of the project, you may make a good tool choice here.

Read more on how to choose the test automation tool right for you here.

How to deal with it? 

“My key to dealing with stress is simple: just stay cool and stay focused.”

Ashton Eaton

You are not by yourself. These difficulties are being experienced by many software testers worldwide. I’ve also been there. I occasionally experienced anxiety and a lot of insomnia. It took some time for me to realize that I was struggling. I used to spend hours working in front of the laptop.

Working is essential since it provides for your family’s food. Your health is presently suffering from stress, so you need to focus on some practical issues. Don’t imagine that we would require action to carry out a revolution.

“You don’t have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step.”

Martin Luther King

So let’s see some simple and effective stress management techniques in detail:

1. Plan your day ahead

When everybody else is sleeping, you work. The excellent book 5 AM Club by Robin Sharma may offer more explanations of the benefits of an early morning routine. This one behavior will significantly improve your life.

2. Block your calendar for “After office hours”

Always show up for the required meetings, and if you are the test lead or manager, encourage the team to do the same. You can ask the meeting’s participants to record it so you can listen to it the next day during regular business hours. So, even if you work from home, attempt to schedule and reserve time on your calendar in advance.

3. Automate whatever, wherever, and whenever possible

Try to automate and establish a procedure for any repeated project management or team management duties. You can free up your mind by doing this. In my mind, there are numerous threads active. By automating my daily duties and setting reminders, I can avoid thinking about undesirable things and train my brain to focus exclusively on the desirable. I used to do it to train my brain.

4. Eat healthily and get enough sleep

Ah, I know that sounds simple. However, I believe we can establish this habit by avoiding a few bad items. When it comes to sleeping, you ought to be egotistical. Anything would be worth it to me, but not sleep. Your body works on auto-healing while you’re sleeping. Getting enough sleep enables more effective and productive work. In the end, we might not be able to debug anything because the scripting errors couldn’t be found.

The identical script can be quickly fixed the next day after a restful night’s sleep. Could this speak to you? I hope this has persuaded you of the value of getting enough sleep. Although 8 hours of sleep every night is recommended by science, it can vary. Personally, I am good with 6 hours of sound sleep. 

5. Reduce your screen time

We spend hours using other smart devices after spending the entire day in front of a laptop screen. The eyes, neck, and brain are all put under stress by this. So make an effort to cut down on your screen time and do something that doesn’t involve any of them.

6. Read, read a lot

When we were kids, we consumed a ton of morality-based literature. You today are a product of those ideals and values. Pick from some recommended readings and try to read them. There are numerous recommendations from dedicated readers available.

7. Pick a hobby or learn something new

Although it may sound silly, this greatly aids in calming your senses. Any straightforward activity, such as learning to sew or picking up a new greeting word in a foreign tongue, qualifies. Discovering and practicing a new card or board game, preparing your food, starting a blog, creating videos if you’re passionate about it, learning to meditate and practice yoga, baking, etc.

8. Self-appreciation/Self Care

We all need to practice self-care the most. Have weekly “me” time scheduled. You could use this money for some form of activity, or you could just sit around and sip coffee. To treat yourself, you can schedule a massage or a pedicure. Selfcare isn’t selfish. 

9. Practice Gratitude

Until you count your blessings, you will not realize the extent of your talents. Make it a routine to write in your notebook and to list all the things for which you are grateful. This may appear silly, but it has a significant positive impact on your mental health.

10. Talk to a friend/mentor

Yes, express yourself clearly and passionately. You can talk to a person who will listen to you, such as your partner, a friend, or a mentor. Engage in genuine conversation and ask for assistance when necessary.

11. Workout/Exercise

Exercise causes our bodies to release happy hormones. So go for a jog or a walk. Just move, whatever it is.

12. Idle Time:

Doesn’t that sound intriguing? Yes, clear your thoughts and spend some time not thinking about anything. This isn’t about falling asleep. You must be awake and should not be doing anything productive.

13. Laugh out Loud

Last but not least, we no longer laugh as often as we once did. So please, watch your favorite comedy show and get a good chuckle with your loved ones. This might sound simple, but it is effective.

Conclusion:

“It’s not stress that kills us, it’s our reaction to it.”

Hans Selye

The world is under stress. Some of us are adept at handling it, regardless of how important or straightforward the endeavor is. Few of us attempt to fit into this hustle culture and struggle. This is harmful, and we need to dispel the stereotype by normalizing some things.

You cannot alter everything in the world on your own. However, internal alterations are possible. Once your mental fortitude increases, you won’t be affected by or influenced by those toxic outside forces.


“When you find yourself stressed, ask yourself one question: Will this matter in 5 years from now? If yes, then do something about the situation. If no, then let it go. ”

Catherine Pulsifer

Your work is crucial, crucially crucial. But resist pursuing anything at the expense of your own well-being. Be more careful. Take better care of yourself. You’ve earned it.

I wish you better days ahead!

More related reads: A blog written by the software testing expert Mukta Sharma: How to become an automation tester with no stress? 


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