TestBash World 2022 - Panel Discussion: How To Get More Involved with the MoT Community with Louise Gibbs, Karen Todd and Ben Dowen

In this Panel Discussion, @bart_knaack will be joined by three Ministry of Testing’s community superstars to discuss how you can get more involved with this great community and how that can improve your testing career and knowledge.

  • Louise Gibbs (@lgibbs) has been involved with Ministry of Testing’s community for years now and she’s an advocate for sharing knowledge with fellow testers. Louise has spoken at several TestBash conferences and written blogs and she’s super skilled at note taking.

  • Karen Todd (@karen-todd) is also another great community member, who loves to bring people together and educate them about opportunities to support and build with one another. As she says ‘Let’s do this thing, together!’

  • Ben Dowen (@fullsnacktester) also known online as ‘The Full Snack Tester’, runs the daily celebration of the Testing Community called Tester of The Day. Ben is also an avid blog writer where he’s constantly sharing his knowledge with the wider community.

We’ll use this Club thread to share resources mentioned during the session and answer any questions we don’t get to during the live session.

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Questions did not get answered

from Callum Akehurst-Ryan

If I'm new and scared / shy, what can i do to get more involved?

How can the MoT community support Pride Month?

from Anonymous

Are the Essentials Meetups coming back to London 🙂 ?

please send link to resources for a tester who started making baby steps towards learning the craft of software testing

from Mirza Sisic

Best ways to give back to the community?

from Elizabeth Hurley

What do you recommend for members who are looking for one-to-one connections?

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Start small and observe how the different communities work. The testing community is made up of many other communities, you don’t have to be involved with all of them (attempting to be a part of everyone can be exhausting). Pick communities that you feel you relate to, and can provide what YOU want to gain from that community. Have a look at what content is being shared in those communities, and start to follow people who post content that interests you.

Once you have gained some familiarity, start posting your own content. This doesn’t have to be anything big like articles or youtube videos. It can be something a simple as a like on a post you agree with, or a comment.

You don’t have to post in-depth articles, or deliver conference talks. Contributions to the community can be small. Comments and likes are extremely valuble to the community.

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A very interesting question. The short answer is I’m not sure. However, I would like to address WHY testing communities should get involved in events like pride month.

Unconscious bias has a huge influence on the design of software applications which often negatively impacts the user experience for women, people with accessibility needs, ethnic and racial minorities and members of the LGBTQ community. As testers, we are required to provide feedback on these applications. This feedback can include design issues caused by unconscious bias which those designing the product did not think of.

Building up a personal awareness of the challenges people in other communities face is should be an essential task for anyone involved in developing new products and applications. As an individual, building up and raising that awareness is one way you can take part in events like Pride Month. I recommend the book ‘Technically Wrong’ by Sara Wachter-Boettcher which contains many examples of oversights and bias’ in the design of various tech applications.

The MOT could come up with a 30 days of testing challenge. I recall they have already done one for accessibility testing.

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Hi @mirza,

I’ve been thinking about this one, and I want to break it down into parts:

1. Bring yourself

I know it is the classic Tester response, “it depends”, truly everyone is unique and the best way you can give back to the community depends on you. Find something you love, you don’t have to be an expert! You just need to share your own joy, frustration, lived experience.

While taking inspiration from how others give back is also awesome, don’t feel you need to do it one way because others are, you do you!

2. Be respectful

While you are giving back, make sure to make room for others live experiences. There is a principle from improvised theatre, “yes, and”, where you accept the premise of others before you and build on them using and, not but or however.

Also, if you are inspired by others and you have learned from them to get to your current understanding, remember to mention that and recognise them for it. The last thing anyone wants is to have their work re-shared under someone else’s name, so make sure to give credit where credit is due.

3. The many ways you can give back

  • The Community loves content! Go create something your way, be it a Blog post or a Video!
  • Start a conversation, get the discussion going and bring others in, we love a good chat about testing.
  • Guest in a Podcast, or start your own.
  • Host something! It could be a something Ministry of Testing event or a local Meetup.

You can find out loads more ways to Contribute to Ministry of Testing, by looking at the Contribute page.

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@heather_reid wrote this classic page 30 Things Every New Software Tester Should Learn. This is a great place to start with a huge amount of links to other resources.

@deament Wrote a book called Starting Your Software Testing Career

These are both great places to start, there are many others. Please share what you’ve found useful!

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HI Elizabeth Hurley,

The best places I’ve found so far for 1:1 connections are:

  1. Twitter, follow the discussions posted by @ministryoftest and look for people who give answers you like. Then find ways to continue that conversation.
  2. Ministry of Testing slack, there are plenty of topical channels you can socialise and meet people that are not only discussions on testing. Like #food!
  3. Finally I’ve posted on my own blog abit about the wider Software Testing Community.
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GOODNESS I finally got a chance to hop on here now that the talks have been posted. Big shoutout to @fullsnacktester and @lgibbs for such great answers <3

If anyone has any questions now that everyone can see it on demand, feel free to thread!

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