Hi everyone! I'm playing with the email format again. I hope it's readable!
Hope you're all having a good week - I'm off to DevNxt (a development conference) this week, and very much looking forward to it! Please come say hi if you're there!
👕 T-Shaped Testers
On the subject of conferences - I've had a couple of conversations this year, with testers, about attending developer conferences.
These have been frustrating conversations. Because these people had the label or role of 'tester', they felt they didn't belong at an event for developers (or product managers, or designers).
This is not true at all!
In Agile circles, there's this concept of the 'T-Shaped' team member.
If you've never heard it before, it refers to a team member having a broad set of skills, and specialisation in one particular area.
When you map it out, it can make a 'T' shape:
In this example, this person has a 'deep' set of skills in testing, and 'shallow' skills in other areas.
I think it's really important that testers embrace this idea of having a breadth of skills as well as depth. Testers now have to interact more and more with other disciplines in a business, and advocate for quality from different perspectives.
How to go about getting that breadth?
Here are some starting points:
- Attend events from other disciplines. I've found a ton of value from Product Tank meetups, Dev conferences like DevNxt or Yow, and courses from UX Gym.
- Read books from other disciplines. I strongly recommend Steve Krug's Don't Make Me Think for learning about Web Usability. The DevOps handbook is another good one, and I'd even recommend checking out The Phoenix Project for something a bit more fun.
- Follow influencers from other disciplines. A few of my favourites: John Cutler, Gergely Orosz, Corey Quinn, Cassidy Williams, Julia Evans, Kent C. Dodds, Ania Kubow. There's plenty more.
- Learn from your co-workers. One of the biggest blockers to growth for testers, is when they're siloed to a team of testers. Spend time with your developers, product managers, UX/UI designers, SRE - learn what they do, and what's important to them.
That's not an exhaustive list at all - I'd love to hear from others what your recommendations are for getting a broader skillset as a tester.
Ultimately, the message for today is that there are no borders - when testers get involved, and learn about other areas, it makes them better testers!
🖥 Neat stuff from around the internet
- I stumbled across Terms of Service, Didn't Read this week - a site that rates the 'terms of service' of various popular websites. It's a little frightening.
- Hiring and retention are hard right now. Andrew Maddever has a great piece of writing with some tips on dealing with the tech crunch.
- This was a really interesting read from Adrian Roselli about building a shopping cart table that is supported by screenreaders. It really highlights how challenging it is, and how important it is to get it right.
- Jason Yip breaks down some of the 'lesser known' highlights of the Spotify model. Three really important key points here, I like it.
- Atlassian had a pretty nasty outage (14 days!!). Here's the writeup.
- Tend is one of my favourite NZ companies, so I really like hearing about their story. CodeHQ interview Cecilia Robinson about her journey as a founder and co-CEO.
- I also really liked this episode of Making Tech Better, featuring Karl Dickman. The theme from both of these podcasts is really - do things that matter.
- Someone's just put me on to Shenzhen I/O. It's a bit old, but it's new to me so it might be new to you too. It's a programming game, and so far, it's kinda fun.
🎟️ Events coming up
AWS Auckland are hosting two talks - one on step functions for scaling, another on AWS Private Link and AWS Private NAT Gateway. Great learning to be had!
OWASP New Zealand - Auckland-area Meetup (May 10, Auckland)
OWASP are doing a series on the OWASP top ten, AMA style. This one is on Cryptographic failures. If you're looking to build some security skills, this is the place.
Co-Creating an automation curriculum (Starting May 10, Online)
Interesting one - Ministry of Testing are 'crowdsourcing' an automation testing course. There's a few events, but as far as I can tell the first one is May 10. Will be a really neat thing to be part of!
Expert Talks are hosting this online session on "You Build It, You Run It" - what does it actually mean?
End-to-end DevOps in the Cloud with GitHub (May 12, Online)
Full Stack Dev New Zealand are hosting Damian Brady from GitHub, to talk DevOps processes. Codespaces, GitHub actions and more.