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Look for the helpers

The Len’s of Helpers is helping me do that. By focusing on those who move forward who work to build and to help, there is a path forward. We build the path together, not ignoring our differences, but respecting them and seeing how they can complement each other.

  • Its not about winners and losers
  • It’s not about right versus left
  • Its not about good or bad, right or wrong
  • Its not about pass or fail, testing versus checking, manual versus automation

Its’s about the helpers. Always look for the helpers.

It’s scary at the moment. Hell, everything seems to matter. The consequences of outcomes seems to be huge. And my tiny brain struggles to manage it at times. It’s enough to make me want to curl up under the covers and not get out of bed.

What helps me? I look for the helpers. The people who keep going and keep working to make things happen. Here’s a list of my helpers

  • My awesome husband Andrei
  • My business partner Deepika
  • My family in Ireland
  • Colleagues Catherine Karena, Phil Jostsons
  • The Women in Testers Slack Channel (too many too mention)
  • Fiona Charles and Margaret Dineen

These are my helpers. People who remain constructive and positive. They help me focus on the future. And when things get low they help me put one step forward at a time.

I’m a helper too. Something I can easily forget, so it’s important to remind myself of that fact.

In the past the software testing community has had its own divisiveness. At an aspirational level, the context driven testing community was created to improve the art and science of software testing. It was unfortunate that in doing so, it created division. Certification versus Non-Certification. Automation versus Exploratory. Schools of Testing were invented, to formalise paradigms with the (well-intended) purpose of generating debate. Unfortunately, the result was polarisation, division and arguably not a lot constructive debate. It’s taken a long time to heal, but heal we have.

All of this is (at least for me) water under the bridge. It’s time to move forward. But if that time taught me anything, it’s the need to focus on construction rather than deconstruction. To look for similarities not differences. To focus more on synthesis less on analysis. All ‘schools of software testing’ are required to help us deliver quality software.

The Len’s of Helpers is helping me do that. By focusing on those who move forward who work to build and to help, there is a path forward. We build the path together, not ignoring our differences, but respecting them and seeing how they can complement each other.

There’s so much strength and courage and forgiveness in helpers. It inspires me be a better human being. What about you? What helps you?

By Anne-Marie Charrett

Anne-Marie Charrett is an internationally recognized expert in software testing and quality engineering.
She keynotes at international conferences on the topic of Quality, Coaching, and Leadership.
Ex-Head of Engineering at Tyro Payments where she transitioned testers to a quality coaching model
Consultant on Quality Engineering, developer of the quality operating model. Invented and rolled out a consulting model for quality engineering.
Consulting across FinTech, Media, Government, Insurance, Banking & Telco Sectors
Creator and Lecturer of Enterprise Software Testing course at UTS Australia. Co-developed a coaching model aiming to transfer testing skill and know-how using the Socratic method.
B.Eng (Hons) Electronic Engineering (I really am a quality engineer!)
Based in Sydney, Australia works – internationally.

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