I once had to ask a student “Why is there a marble in your nose?” This question was a learning experience for me, and it led me down a path of questions I hadn’t realized I needed to ask. These questions revealed that the real challenge wasn’t the stuck marble – it was that the student had outgrown naps and needed something to do while his classmates were sleeping!
People in tech come from a wide variety of backgrounds that influence how we carry out our roles. As a tester, I often rely on the expertise and core skills that I learned as an early childhood teacher. For instance, the skills involved in helping children transition smoothly from recess to naptime has enabled me to successfully lead department-wide process changes. My experience teaching math to elementary students with an “I do, we do, you do” approach has helped me coach software engineers learning new tools. And of course, my experience with the marble taught me the importance of asking questions and applying my curiosity, which has made me a better advocate for users and engineering teams.
Every experience matters! Having a wider breadth of experience allows us to expand our perspectives and understanding as we work, and I hope that my talk inspires the audience to understand how their previous experiences can improve the way they work in testing and tech.