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My dog taught me this about QA!

Here’s a list of stuff that my dog, and my role as a dog owner, taught me that I’ve been able to apply on my everyday work life in the field of QA.

  • Test everything multiple times. Time has a way of changing software and especially the behavior of it as the time passes by. Just because the software acted one way (that might have been the right way) once doesn’t mean that it will continue to do so forever.
    • My dog on the other hand has flipped the pancake to just because my owner said No once doesn’t mean he won’t change his mind if I just try again.
  • Always challenge a problem functionality or whatever it might be from at least three angles. If you can’t come up with three angles you probably have to think again.
    • Let me just say the word puppy and I think I speak for all dog owners when I say: they will find new ways to test your boundaries at home!
  • Exploratory testing is a lot more fun than traditional test cases for a manual tester. It allows the tester to think outside of the box and really challenge him/herself and the product.
    • My dog likes to explore the stuffed animals my children love. She especially likes to explore the outside and the inside, and that the inside would look like if it became the outside!
  • Celebrate all success! A tester should always be proud of discoveries and see themself and their discoveries. It is always better that the tester discovers a bug than the end user stumbling across it once the product is live.
    • Shared happiness is the greatest of happiness! My dog is always happy to see me and that makes me happy. When she nails a new trick, we’ve been practicing we both get happy, and I get happy when I get to talk about my dog’s progress.
  • Don’t hide the dirt beneath the rug. Honesty is the way to go even in software development. Hiding an error is usually not the best way to handle things in the long run. Fixing issues at a late stage, perhaps so late that it was the end user that made the discovery is both costly and it might end up decreasing the trust of the label on the market.
    • My dog is four and she still does stuff she knows she’s not allowed to do. I still find her with my children’s stuffed animals and when confronted she’s usually ashamed and begs my forgiveness by showing me she’s sorry head and tail hanging low.
  • I am born and raised in Sweden and one thing swedes aren’t the best at is taking a compliment. It’s important to be able to feel proud when you have done something good and it’s important to give other people compliments!
    • Dogs are a great example of creatures that can feel proud and it’s a great personality trait! A good job done should be rewarded and the reward should be something the person (or dog) appreciates. Remember to mix up the rewards to feel even more inspired to do good in the future as well.
  • Everybody makes mistakes, and it’s okay! Try and solve the problem together that led up to the mistake weather it was an ugly comment, a tantrum or a temporary brain shot down.
    • Dogs doesn’t hold a grudge, but some people do. Fix your problems right away in order to move on for your and your project’s sake.                 
  • Context driven test is about adapting your test process in a heartbeat in order to solve a problem, adapt to sudden changes etc. Remember that just because one way of working was great in a previous project, that might not be the case in this one, at this very moment.
    • Dogs adapt extremely quickly, it’s one of their superpowers. We should all strive to be more like dogs on that note!
  • As a test leader you are just that, a leader. It might come down to you protecting your team, your work and your standards.
    • Dogs protect those they love no matter if it’s a person, a puppy, a toy or a home.
  • Seeing a friendly face in the hallway, the elevator or the kitchen can brighten up even the saddest of days. When you are happy people around you will notice and feel happier as well.
    • Smile, or wave your tail, whatever comes easiest to you!
  • Balance your life. When you’re at work you should be there with a hundred percent presence. When you go home you should leave the work load behind.
    • Dogs sleep about 50% of every day. They tend to have an on/off switch. When they sleep, they sleep deeply and once they’re up their energy knows no boundaries! Make sure you rest the right way and feel rested when it’s time to get up again.
  • Don’t be afraid of a little dirt! Even a lead must step in and do the floor work when needed. Keep a tight communication with your team of tester so they feel comfortable asking for help, protection and guidance. I remember once I was in a project where testing included a lab and oil. One day I had to help my team on the floor wearing a white shirt and light pants. Not the best of outfit choices but necessary for the team’s success.
    • Dogs are always all in no matter if it’s mud, grass, water or sand. If it’s funny, it’s worth getting both wet and sandy no matter how terrified my owner gets!
  • Remember that just because the test results look good doesn’t necessarily mean that all is good in the world. As a test leader I would get more worried if my testers don’t find anything instead of finding a bugs, no matter the size of them.
    • Don’t judge the book by its cover, or the dog by its fur. Take time to figure out what you have in front of you first.
  • Having fun at the workplace is important. Companies and project teams should always consider both atmosphere between co-workers and skills when hiring/putting together a team. Having fun makes your days go by faster and keeps your employees motivated.
    • Dogs almost never stop playing no matter their age, the playtimes just adapt and change!

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