Mentoring and coaching the developers, and other testers, in testing is a lot of the same as being a cheerleader. We all have to think and test as a team, and collaborate with our customers.
One of the agile testing principles is testing as a team, we also have developers in the team, so how do we engage developers to be more interested in testing?
Testers are much like cheerleaders, we cheer when we find bugs, because we know we have done something right, but we also cheer when we have tested every possible outcome and it looks like the developers code is working well. Cheerleading is not about pretty girls dressing up with poms, it is one of the hardest and most dangerous sports. It is all about blood, sweat, tears, and most important of all; teamwork. When I test, the developers and I can cry of joy when something finally works, and sweat when it looks like something is wrong. It is the teamwork between the developer and tester that can decide if the project is working well or not.
My master was about large scale agile and the success factors in it, with focus on whole team thinking, about how the whole team must work together with the same mindset. In large scale agile there are several teams, and for my team the testers and developers almost worked like they were separate teams. Whole team thinking is something that I feel works well when I think about how I want my development team, or cheerleading team, to work. There is no I in team. Just like we testers do not have anything to test without developers developing the code, the flyers in cheerleading cannot fly without bases lifting and throwing them in the air. Getting the developers to test also help with their interactions with the customer, because they need to understand the system they are testing and developing.
I would like to share how I can use the things my team and I do in cheerleading, in my development team, coaching and mentoring the developers in testing as a team. No matter how hard we work, we could still find mistakes, but we could also get lucky. And why should we testers not cheer for our developers? If we cheer for each other we can get better understanding for each other, have a better environment, less stress, and a better product to present to our customer.