Exploratory-testing evangelist Jon Bach once told me this:
- Only one tester in ten that he’s interviewed claims to do anything at all toward professional improvement.
Well, one way to get better is to pay attention to getting better.
So: when I take on a non-trivial testing task, my employer should get three things:
- A test result.
- A reusable test artifact.
- A better tester.
When I approach a new task, I ask myself:
- How can I shape this work so it makes me better?
- What new skills will I acquire? (And retain!)
- What new knowledge?
(Hint: If I can’t think of anything else, I try to learn — really learn — two or three new keyboard shortcuts. I look for what mouse moves I’m repeating, and replace them with shortcuts I look up on the web.)