A week's worth of training

It’s looking like I will have a week to do quite a lot of training/self improvement and I am looking for suggestions as to what I could learn/read/do etc.

Rough thoughts so far:

I am a test lead/manager, should I focus on leadership, team empowerment, coaching, and mentoring


I am quite a manually focused tester, should I focus on getting some scripting, automation, or technical testing skills under my belt (perf, security, etc.).

I welcome your suggestions.

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In what area(s) would you say you are most lacking?

If you were to coach/mentor someone, would you have both the ability to give them the knowledge and support they need, as well as the technical understanding to give it all grounding? If not, that is what I would focus on.

For myself I try to give myself half a day a week on self-development, and recently I’ve been wanting to improve my communication and presentations skills. Otherwise, no matter what I know, if I can’t express that information in a way that others will understand, or seem unapproachable so no-one wants to come to me for my information, it is all for nothing.

One thought I do have in your circumstance is, how much will you use your technical skills as a manager? How hands-on will you be (or even, can you be)? Where I am, managers don’t test, and it is more around resource management, support, those kind of tasks. They can be approached for how to go about an action, but more in a way of the tester covering themselves if something were to go wrong, or just so the manager is aware of what is going on.
If you are in a similar situation, than the more managerial skills will be useful. If you don’t know those technical skills, would you know who to approach within your team and get that knowledge to the person(s) who need it?

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Hey Shey,

The first thing to do is buy yourself a Pro Dojo account! Great for you, supports us.
Perhaps scan the TestBash achieves and see what videos take your fancy, then base future learning on that?

If the leadership angle, consider Cynefin. I know a lot of people in similar places are really enjoying this space.

More technical, how do you see the future of testing? Will there be a role for someone who doesn’t have technical skills? I personally think there will be, especially testing systems with ML and AI. However some basic programming knowledge can’t hurt.

In conclusion, go Pro, but knowing you, I would like to see you follow the leadership, coaching angle


Where does your future lay? In more hands on testing or in more of a managerial capacity? I think the intersection of where you’d like to be and where you think you’ll be is the ideal space to target.

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I’m currently reading through two great books - “Don’t make me think! Revisited” an update of the original classic on web usability which now also features mobile web usability and “The Lean Startup” - a book I’ve heard referenced many times over the years and which I’m finally reading through.

Both of these books are very well written and give plenty of food for thought as you progress through them.

As others have said, you either need to focus on a known weakness/development area OR on where your future ambitions lie.

I think testers often get to a point where they have to decide if they’re going to focus on being a better tester (more technical) or go down the management/leadership route.

You can turn back, it’s not a final decision but at some stage you need to put your development focus in to one or the other.