As a tester, I sometimes feel bombarded with the sheer amount of stuff I’m “supposed” to have mastered. In one article I read recently, at least 15 different technologies, toolsets, areas of tech etc. were mentioned that testers “need to know”. Whilst to some that probably seemed like a great challenge, to me it just felt completely overwhelming.
Its important to keep reminding yourself that you can’t know it all, and ultimately what is more important is having a growth mindset.
Growth vs. Fixed Mindset
A few years back, I watched an amazing Ted talk by Carol Dweck called “the power of believing you can improve”. Whilst it was aimed at children in education, I believe it translates well into those upskilling in the world of software testing. If you believe you can learn something, but you’re just not there yet, you will be a lot more likely to practice it and master it than if you think you’ll never get there.
I still have to battle the instinct all the time which tells me “you’re not a proper coder” / “you don’t have a CS degree” / “you’ll never be as good as that guy” – because you’re actually only competing with yourself there. What is more important to recognise is that everyone is learning new stuff, all the time actually, and if you keep chipping away at it it does get easier.
Peter Simons did a great talk a few years back about learning automation, and this was his first slide:-
The message is clear – don’t be put off starting anything because you don’t know everything. Begin with small steps, accept it doesn’t have to be perfect, and learn one thing at a time. Refactor and iterate.