of community, they want to share their testing experiences with testers from other project teams. This creates shared common knowledge across the teams. If one team finds a tool they think can help another team, they share their innovations to save time and energy. This kind of respective knowledge sharing is good for the organization. Testers get the support they need and plenty of help solving the toughest testing issues.
Once a tester no longer thinks of herself as isolated, or a victim of process, but instead as someone as with power to help the team, she can start to take charge of her own development. As part of a learning organization, she will be encouraged to read articles and professional blogs, write articles of her own, present successful team initiatives to other teams, participate in larger community organizations such as local quality or agile groups, attend conferences or maybe even present at one. Participating in a testing community within the organization, as well as larger testing and development communities on local, national and international levels, helps us and our development teams continually find ways to work better.
Expanding Your Horizons
As you can see, testers need never be alone, even if they don’t belong to a separate QA team. They have a giant support group ready to help them if they reach out and find it. Even more importantly, testers bring their expertise to a development team where everyone, not only testers, is passionate about quality. It takes courage to get out of your comfort zone and team up with developers for the first time. You may need to learn new skills to help customers specify their quality criteria for each new piece of functionality.
Open your mind to the new possibilities. Team up with developers to solve testing problems in new ways. Maintain a strong connection to your tester community to exchange experiences and good practices. Take advantage of all the resources on the internet, in publications, in local and online user groups, and keep learning. You may find you enjoy your job even more than when you were part of a QA team.