30 Days of Agile Testing – Learning Culture

Note that this post is part of a series where I am ‘live blogging’ my way through the ministry of testing’s 30 days of Agile Testing challenge.

Today’s challenge is about contributing to the learning culture in my company.  I work at a pretty big company that is split into a lot of different divisions so I don’t know that I can speak to the learning culture of the company as whole.  Instead I will focus in on the learning culture of the testing team I am a part of.

Testing Team Learning Culture

On our testing team, we approach learning in a few different ways.  We are currently a distributed team spread across 4 offices and so we try to foster learning in ways that accommodate this distributed nature. For example, occasionally during team meeting we will discuss an article that we have all read.  This helps us think about things that might be outside of what we usually do and lets us discuss different viewpoints and approaches to testing.

We also use retrospectives as a learning opportunity to try and see how we can grow and learn from shared problems.  Looking back on problems we have faced as individuals and discussing together ways to address them or think about them is a very helpful learning tactic

Another things we have tried recently is sharing ‘tips and tricks’ at our weekly team meeting.  This is a way to share a quick little tip or tool that you have come across that might be helpful to other testers.

One other, very important way we foster a learning culture is through group testing sessions.  We use these sessions as an opportunity to learn new things about the product and to help each other get better at interacting with and testing the product in various ways.  This also gives us the opportunity to observe other people testing (we use screen sharing during these sessions) and thus to learn from their actions in that way as well.

As a testing team we realize that an ongoing commitment to learning is an important part of become an ever better tester and so we invest time into this.  Don’t get complacent with where you are.  Keep on learning!

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