21st century skills for a tester

Our journey, the result, your tips!

What are the skills that you need to survive the digital 21st century? Soft Skills! In our talk and workshop, we will tell you how we explored these skills and we need your tips to help others!

In this fast-changing world, you can ask yourself, what are the skills that I should have to be able to make a difference with the colleagues around me?

Some will think that hard skills will make the difference but when you look around in your organization and what kind of persons are successful as in appreciated, valued, and just nice people? Mostly, people who are able to use their soft skills! And these soft skills are seen as the distinct skills to excel in the 21st century.

The summary of the skills of the 21st century can be defined with 4 C’s; Communication, Critical Thinking, Creativity, and Collaboration.

With this knowledge we started our journey with a simple question: How do those 4 C’s relate to testing: are testers already applying those skills or have they thought about how to apply them in the future?

Our journey that we, Emna, and Ard made, consisted of discussions, experimenting, failing, and having fun. During our talk, we will tell you more about that journey and how we applied the 4 C’s even during that journey. The result of that journey was a book: “the 21st-century skills for testers”. A bilingual book (English as well as French) where testers all around the world answered those two questions. They shared their stories about how they communicate, how they apply critical thinking in their organization, how they collaborate with team members, and how they apply critical thinking as a tester. In our talk, we will share some stories and quotes from the book and we end with the conclusion: based on the input of the writers, how would the ideal 21-century tester ‘look like'?

The conclusion of the talk is also the starting point of the workshop: we are very curious how the attendees of the Agile Testing Days apply the 21st-century skills in their work. We want to go even one step further: can the attendees of the ATD give tips for others on how to improve those 21st-century skills. The result of the workshop is going to be used to write the first extension of our book with the title: “tips on how to apply 21st-century skills as a tester”.

So what are we going to do during our workshop? First, we will cross the bridge from the talk to the workshop: after a short introduction of the workshop we will start the first round, we will challenge the attendees to have a discussion about the 4 C’s and write down their thoughts and experiences how they apply these skills at their work right now. These thoughts and experiences will be the inspiration for the second round. This round is focused on gathering all kinds of tips from the attendees to improve every skill. They will have the opportunity to write down the tips on flipcharts. The results of the flipcharts will be the input for us to write the extension of our book and we will mention everybody that participated in the workshop.


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