1) Diligence – I never give up. If I set out to do something I am 100% committed to it. There is NO second best
2) Passion – I have never wavered in my belief that software testing is a noble, worthwhile and honourable career. After more than 20 years as a professional tester I am still as passionate as if it were my first day
3) Humour – If I can’t enjoy my time at work then I shouldn’t be there. I was once asked to tone down the laughter in my team because if we were having that much fun we couldn’t possibly be working
4) Humility – I strive to be the best I can, but I’m very clear about my limitations and never promote my ideas as the best or only way. I have learnt from bitter experience to NEVER over-promise – if I can’t do something, I’m very explicit about why I’m not the best person for the job
5) Flexibility – I have always been willing to do ANY task I have been asked to do (within reason – I wouldn’t try to perform brain surgery!!). Being precious about (apparently) menial tasks is totally unacceptable if you want to be successful. I would never ask one on my team to do anything I wouldn’t do myself
6) Tolerance & Understanding – I believe that everyone is trying their hardest to achieve the best that they can. Yes, there are poor Managers, Analysts, Developers etc., but there are also poor Testers… I’m not immune from making mistakes either
7) Working Efficiently & Effectively – I have developed tools and techniques that help me solve problems quicker, achieve outcomes more effectively and meet deadlines
8) I am not an Island – Every action I take creates a reaction; awareness of my decisions on others has always been at the forefront of my consciousness
9) Logic – I have been blessed with the ability to think logically and to be able to distill things down to their basic concepts
10) Prevention before Cure – I have always believed that preventing a poor outcome is better than trying to fix something once it’s broken; effective Static Testing will save on Design and Build, while effective Dynamic Testing can only report on the quality and risk associated with a finished product. Prototyping and modelling are great tools.
11) Context is Everything – Unless I fully understand the context within which something has occurred I am unlikely to be able to provide objective and insightful feedback. I never assume, I always ask or clarify.
12) Understanding Others – Human beings are a diverse and complicated species and doing my best to understand everyone around me is an essential part of my daily routine
13) Understanding Me – Being aware of my strengths and (more importantly) my weaknesses has allowed me to grow beyond what I ever imagined. Of course I still have weaknesses, but I know how to compensate for them
14) Problem Solving – Any problem (no matter how minor) is a great opportunity to improve my ability to find weaknesses
15) Sensitivity – I’m totally aware of others needs and beliefs; we are all equal
16) Listening – Learning to really listen is as important as learning how to breathe
17) Preparing and Predicting – Unless I prepare thoroughly for a meeting or discussion I have no chance of achieving a predictable outcome
18) Playing Games – I have always loved playing games. They sharpen my mind and senses and provide a challenge. I still hate losing (something I’m very aware can be a weakness!!)
19) Learning – My education is ongoing, I (still) try to learn something new every day. I have also endeavoured to learn as much as possible about the organisations I work for and the people I work with
20) Seek out Experts – In my experience the really gifted people are very approachable and more than pleased to help. We all like to be asked our opinions….
21) Take Responsibility – I have always taken responsibility for my actions; if it’s to be, it’s up to me
22) Be a Team Player – I have played team sports for as long as I can remember and this has helped me understand the importance of sharing and depending on others around me. I am NOT the centre of the universe!!
23) Don’t Be Afraid – Be very clear about the worst possible scenario – what’s the worst that can happen? If I make a mistake I tell someone quickly and then focus on rectifying it ASAP; I NEVER got fired for admitting I made a mistake
24) Visualisation – I learn and think in a visual sense. If I’m trying to solve a problem or achieve an outcome I visualise exactly how I want that to look. Then I create an image of the outcome to share and discuss with others.
25) Be – Live in the moment. The past has gone, the future isn’t here yet. What I am doing right now is all that matters. Focussing on the now brings clarity and a sense of calm
Dateline: Melbourne; Monday December 2, 2013