Not Sailing At All

As we’ve posted last month, times are challenging. Who thought we wouldn’t be able to sail for such a long time? When we wrote about bad sea conditions, preventing us from sailing, and proposed alternatives, we were thinking more like 1-3 days. Now, in many countries around the world, it is forbidden to freely move around, and this includes sailing. For many it might turn into a months-long period. It all depends on the COVID19 situation in your country, or area.
This should not stop any of us from being busy with sailing. Even if we don’t actually sail…
For those who can go to their boat, it is a good time for maintenance work, preparing the boat for future sailing. This can include all those chores we always delay (clean that water tank, Joe).
For those who can’t even get to their boat, it can be a good time for learning. Read books, watch videos, participate in webinars, anything to know more about the sea, the wind, handling sails, the boat’s motor. There’s so much to know and learn. You can practice knots at home!
Then, when things finally open up – and they will – you’ll be able to jump on your boat and demonstrate your new skills and new knowledge.

Not Testing At All

Same goes for software testing. There can be 3 types of groups, given current global turmoil:

  1. ‘Not affected’ testing projects: These are the luckiest. Nothing changed, working as usual, all testers still employed, budgets are as they were. Paradise.
    It is still a good approach to get ready for any near-future possible changes, and consider again the priorities of the different testing tasks, taking into account that perhaps not all testers will stay with the group.
  2. Somewhat affected testing groups: Groups that still work, their software testing project is still ‘live’, but there were changes made.
    Changes might be less testers, lower budgets, working from home, uncertainty of the project’s future, or any combination of these.
    Here too, adjustments should, of course, be made. With limited resources, plans should change accordingly. How to test, what to test, and when to test. All of that should be revisited and re-planned.
  3. Cancelled testing projects: The unluckiest ones. It could be projects that were cancelled, or ‘frozen until further notice’, it could be testing groups that were fired or, at best, sent on an ‘unpaid leave’ (without any time stamp on it), and it could be a whole company that closed.

For the third group, things are, of course, bad at the moment. It is never easy to lose your job, and it’s worse in times like this. But one should not stop getting ready for better days. This means that unemployed testers can, and should, make use of the time they now have and get themselves up-to-date with new technologies, learn to code, get familiar with testing methodologies, acquire formal education, even if just doing the ISTQB test(s).
Who would have believed I will have the time for that, but the other day I heard a lecture about the physics (!) of how sails actually move the boat, including terms such as wind velocity, Bernoulli effect, attack angle, aerodynamic lift, and more. And the formulas, oh. Jokes aside, this will help me next time I go sailing. Understanding how something works, enables you to use/do it better. Why not do the same for Software Testing?

All those YouTube videos with those testing experts you always wanted to listen to? Now is the time.
All those books on software testing, security testing, load testing, etc. you never had a chance to read? Now is the time.
All those forums, blogs, online groups you wondered who has the time to join and participate? Now is the time.
That online course for Python? The automation testing webinars? The Selenium tutorial? Now is the time.

Then, when things settle – and they will – you will be ready to hit the ground running at full speed.

Good Luck, and Keep Safe!

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