Humble inquiry as a QA Coach tool

25-minute New Voice Talk

Being a QA Coach, do you want to change a testing process within development team? Start with mindset: yours and theirs.

Virtual Pass session


10:45 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. Thursday 16th


Room F3 - Track 3: Talks


Testers, Developers, Engineering Managers


  • As a QA coach, be curious, not judgmental
  • Ask instead of telling
  • Start a change of mindset, not QA process
  • Even if there is a real need in a change, people will first defend themselves

Be curious, not judgmental

You are an experienced QA engineer with 6+ years of experience. You know a lot about quality, automation, different techniques of testing and test documentation. But suddenly, you find yourself in a position where you are the only QA in a company supposed to coach development teams to do testing. Well, just tell them what’s the right thing to do and what’s not. What can go wrong?

Ah wait… That’s what happened to me. I couldn’t understand why it didn’t work when I just approached developers during my first coaching weeks and said “Hey, you know what? Your testing process doesn’t work, let’s change it!”. That’s where I encountered first obstacles: - the team was focused on defending themselves instead of solving existing problems even though the testing process really didn’t work - I found out that my willing and authority alone are insufficient to drive the process change, it should have been started with the mindset shift - being too direct had negative impact on my relationship with the team There might be some solutions.

What if I stopped being judgmental about processes and started being curious? What if I should be asking instead of telling? Let's talk about this with the backend developer I work with and go through some real-life scenarios which might happen in your organization too, and ways to solve them.

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