How being a parent makes me a better tester
I have put together a 30 minute talk which focusses on my role as a parent of two children and how this responsibility overlaps with my role as an agile tester.
The talk is not solely aimed at parents or at testers, but rather takes hold of some of the universal truths that I have learned throughout my time of being a parent.
I start off by looking at what it really means to be a professional scrum developer and how anyone on a scrum team can extend themselves within the team.
As a dad, I am required to play the primary roles of provider and protector, but I have learned that there are a number of other very important roles that I am expected to play to some extent... the teacher, the policeman, the plumber, the doctor (and I have some quite humourous stories that go along with each of these).
Basically what I am getting at is how we can play the role of anyone on the scrum team to some extent, without neglecting our primary role of tester.
I then move onto the second part of my talk, which looks at some of the soft skills that I have learned as a parent. I speak about:
- how we can ask the right questions at the right time.
- how to listen properly.
- how to deterine wants vs needs.
- how to play nicely together.
- how to deal with the playground bully.
- how to manage your time.
- and how to live in a state of permanant learning and curiosity
The last part of my talk focusses on how to prepare for the worst situations that could go wrong and how to learn from others and yourself when things do go horribly wrong.
I received the following unsolicited feedback after presenting this topic at the Cape Town Testing Meet-up, last year:
Before the presentation started, I had very low expectations based on the topic. I am not a parent and I thought there was no way I could relate to this topic. I also thought the styling of the slides was very strange, not easily readable. To my surprise as the presenter started talking about the different roles we take up as testers I could not help but agree with what was being said. I have read about t-shaped testers before and I really enjoyed how the presenter was applying the principle in a different context, knowing a little bit about different roles can only contribute to be a well-rounded individual. I enjoyed the practical tips that was shared. “Understanding Wants VS needs” and the “Play together nicely” examples were of particular interest to me. To be honest this is probably the best presentation I have seen out of all the meetups. Strong Message, Good Content, Good Visuals, Well-Rehearsed