With most professions, it’s easy to fall into a rut. You may have an annual picnic or major product launch to help snap you out of the daily routine, but most days are “business as usual.”

The software testing world is no different.

You probably have modular training workshops here and there to bring you up to speed on platform developments. But how often do you really invest the time to re-familiarize yourself with the latest methodologies?

If the answer is often, you’re a rare breed indeed. And the software test management world is lucky to have you.

But if you’re like most of us, you only get back to your roots when it’s absolutely necessary. Every few months, you have to learn the ins and outs of a new application or new programming language. But rarely do you stand back and look at the big picture. Rarely do you hit “reset” and wipe the slate clean.

There’s no shame in this. Like I said, most of us are guilty of this in one way or another.

Fall Cleaning: Re-Learning Software Test Management Tools

It’s time for spring (or rather) fall cleaning.

As students across the globe get ready to head back to school, take a few hours or days to really reconnect with the latest software testing tools and methodologies out there. Do this before your own projects and workload become too cumbersome.

And believe me, it doesn’t matter how veteran you are. There’s always room for growth. This is especially true given how rapidly improvements and updates emerge in the software world. Some applications are obsolete before they even hit the shelves.

There’s no grading here. No tests (pun intended). It’s re-learning for re-learning’s sake. But the benefits are very tangible. When all is said and done, you’ll be a stronger and more capable software tester, which in turn, helps your team deliver better and more reliable products.

And isn’t that the ultimate goal?

We’re problem-solvers by nature. Meticulous and driven, we do it for the hunt. For the thrill we feel when we resolve the unresolvable or detect the undetectable.

So What Does Software Test Management Relearning Entail?

Fortunately (or perhaps unfortunately), there are a million and one different ways to bring yourself up to speed.

It’s fortunate, because you have options. Unfortunate because you might not know where to begin. Too much choice can be paralyzing.

Here are some very simple tips to get you started. Some require substantial investments of time and money. Others are more hands-off:

  • Go back to school or take workshops on new software testing management methodologies. This is probably the most comprehensive approach since you’re really immersing yourself in formal instruction.
  • Build up your network, learn, and share. There’s no shortage of online and in-person communities dedicated to pushing boundaries and discussing the latest and greatest in software test management tools. LinkedIn Groups is a great place to start.
  • Many software test management tools offer trial versions or free introductory subscriptions (including our own). Try them all. The beauty of this approach is that it forces you to break out of your shell and see how “the other guys” approach software testing.
  • Sure, your current software testing tools may be more than adequate. But living in a silo can be dangerous. New ideas, new problems, new solutions – they help us grow.

    Believe it or not, I encourage many of our Testuff clients to try rival methods and products. I do this for 2 reasons:

    • I’m confident that our software test management tools can stand up to the competition. The overwhelming majority of clients come back, even after exploring all the other options out there.
    • Our suite benefits from the feedback that these returning clients bring. In a way, they do much of the homework for us, helping us constantly remain abreast of new methods and testing practices. We weave these insights into future releases, making Testuff better and better.
  • Create free Google Alerts with keywords like “new software testing methodologies” or “software test management trends.” 100% automated, Google Alerts will send updates directly to your inbox any time a newspaper or blogger highlights a recent development in the community.

Re-Learning Software Testing Management Should Be Enjoyable

So where do you start? What’s the best method for learning new tools, new methodologies, or new strategies?

My advice – pick a method that doesn’t overwhelm you. One that really speaks to your learning style. If it’s not enjoyable, try a different approach.

The goal is to hit reset and really dive into more focused learning. This, in turn, complements all of the ongoing learning that we typically experience year round with each new product update or breakthrough technology.

Hope you enjoy the journey.