Thursday, 7 October 2010

Self motivation key for self maintenance!

Recently, I noticed that there is been a slight de-motivation and distraction in my behaviour, attitude and in my work (sometimes consciously and sometimes unconsciously). This raised an alarm in my mind and decided that there is a retuning needed.

The changes that I noticed apparently in my attitude and thinking:
  1.  Distraction on every aspect
  2.  Lack of interest
  3. Very mechanical
  4. Discomfort as I was not able to justify my action and if I did it was lying to my conscious.
  5. Not dealing with my responsibilities to the level of my satisfaction
  6. Negative thoughts had more power than my self-confidence about my abilities
  7. There was a day where I was almost at the verge of Resigning L.

Out of all these, the last thought triggered a huge alarm that there is something wrong and there needs a corrective action. I choose to work all these days because I like my role and I was passionate about testing!

So started testing myself, questioning myself and finally realised it’s just lack of motivation which was the main cause for this terrible phase.

The way I handled it:
  •        I started to challenge myself at every stage and tried to overcome 30% of my problems. (Because I love taking up challenges and learn things in that mode)
  •        Experimenting and trying new things motivates me – so started doing things a bit different – Simulated paired testing.
  •        Reading blogs and articles generally motivates me – so spent lot of time reading (though can’t read books, hate them to the core so avoided it)
  •        Training – I believe its sharing ideas, information and learn; so did some training too and kept myself busy and opened doors for new ideas.
  •        Time bound challenge – Learn selenium in 15days! I generally prefer manual testing as I get to think lot more than automation, but still wanted to do this to see if any forced task might not get me back down.   

The result, I am confident and back in track. This whole rework took about 2months time and it feels good. Outcome to the effort is I am recharged, read a lot and learnt new things, know how to use Selenium, have played with it.

So I feel, every person has got to go through this phase sometime and it’s good to identify ways of self motivation and share it. Because next time if I come up to same stage the same old tricks might no more work J

Simulated Paired Testing:
As solo tester in the project paired testing was not possible. I choose paired testing because it gives us chance to learn from others, highly productive, creative and quicker to analyze.

So I tried to stimulate 2 testers from within me.  There can definitely be a better way to do this but this is what I tried.
  •        Time bound exploratory testing sessions were run in the complete test cycle.
  •        First session was to gather all the key areas / functionality / testing types to be covered. These were listed down and made chits of these. The consecutive sessions were picked from the chits to randomize the order /sequence of thoughts in the whole product testing. (This might not work very well for a big product)
  •        Debriefing twice a day rather than end of each session – Analyze, organize and get the coverage measures!

  •        Functionality and product stability validated in 4working days (Generally took 5 working days)
  •        Complete coverage achieved
  •        Debriefing helped to redo certain sessions to get complete coverage
  •        Risk based / Priority based testing was not possible – as aim for the session was randomly picked.
  •        This might not be suitable if we have got to test on multiple platforms, Getting the test setups ready might take longer time every other sessions unless you set it up everything at one go!