Our old friend James Bach recently fielded a question on his blog from a new tester seeking advice on what her daily routine should include so that she can grow in her new field. James seems impressed by the new tester’s discipline (she did willingly ask for daily testing “homework” after all) and dedication to the craft. He outlined five tasks he believes every tester should practice on a daily basis, here’s a quick summary of his tips:
Write every day
Whenever I find myself with a few moments, I make notes of my thoughts about testing and technical life.
Watch yourself think every day
While you are working, notice how you think. Notice where your ideas come from. Try to trace your thoughts.
Question something about how you work every day
Testers question things, of course. That’s what testing is. But too few testers questions how they work. Too few testers question why testing is the way it is.
Explain testing every day
Even if no one makes you explain your methodology, you can explain it to yourself.
I like these tips because they aren’t the typical recommendations you run across, like “test whenever you can,” “read an array of testing books” and “be open-minded when it comes to techniques.” Those are great tips too, just nothing special. Of course, James didn’t just give one sentence explanations for each of his pointers, so take a few minutes and read his complete blog post to get the full impact of these smart tips.
And as a little extra, here are a couple more tips James’ readers left in the comments section.