TestBash SF 2019 Live Blog: Cultivating Your Tester Ecosystem: Growing a QA Department from the Ground Up

First off, I want to say congrats and welcome t all of the first time speakers that are coming out to speak at TestBash. Since it is a single-track conference, every talk is effectively a keynote and everybody speaks to everybody. Matthew Record is one of those first-time speakers and he’s coming to us to talk about growing your test team optimally.

I’ve been in Matt’s shoes where an organization decided it needed testing and testers and I was going to be the first. Seems like a dream opportunity, I get to make my optimal test environment. Think this was an optimal situation by the time I finished? Yeah, no!

Our job as testers is to minimize risk. Therefore, one of the best things we can do to make ourselves relevant is to make sure. Imagine being given the opportunity to start from scratch and create your ideal testing job in your company.

How would you do that? What would you want to put out there to encourage growth and learning? There are lots of opportunities to share what the team is doing and how they can be encouraged to take on new challenges and new opportunities. What we need to look at is to think about what we do well (collect information, learn about the product, focus on risks, etc.) and make it possible to keep growing and leveraging those opportunities.

My own experiences in being a lone tester and encouraging the growth of a team have encouraged me to tell people to get people to stake out initial expertise areas. At first, it makes sense to start out with individual expertise areas and then over time teach others to learn a bit about your area of expertise. Additionally, consider ways that you and your teammates can collaborate and help others see the value of testing in your team. The more they see you and consider your value, the more lily they will be to invest in you and your team.