On Agile Testing Days 2019, Damian Synadinos gave a keynote with the topic „More Than That“. His basic message was, everybody could put more than one „label“ on herself. We’re more then testers or developers, we’re also human beings, parents, children, husbands, wifes, players, musicians… and so on.
Another important advice Damian gave is „un-just yourself“. And he means that we should not make ourselves small. We’re not „just“ testers; we are testers. That resonated strongly with myself, already during that talk.
Why? I think I’m using „just“ way too often. For example at work, when I’ve filed a bug, and a developer or project manager approaches me and asks: „How the heck did you spot that? That’s such a difficult thing to find!“, I used to reply „I’ve just done my job.“. And thanks to Damian I now have a totally new perspective on that: I found that bug by doing my job, by being a tester. I’m in that field for nearly 15 years, I learned it, from the ground, attented trainings, workshops, meetups & conferences, I’m reading books & blogs, I’m practicing testing to constantly get better at it.
I’m a professional software tester, that’s why I’m able to spot that difficult-to-find-bug, that a lot of other people would not have found. I’m a tester, not „just“ a tester.
After that talk, during visiting other talks at the conference, I noticed how often other speakers were using „just“ in their talks, and by that diminuishing something they did, they achieved. By that, people are also making their own achievements make appear smaller than they actually are. Also, most probably, this is not good for one’s own self-confidence.
I even think that’s my most important takeaway from this year’s Agile Testing Days: Un-just yourself!
See also what labels Stephan Kämper is putting on himself: Calling Me Names — New Labels