It has been great feedback from you all and some people even asking me to post something on Test Approach , Strategy ....
Well, I would always love to give something what you want more than what I think you want as.
( Learning from Guy Kawasaki's book The Macintosh way )
Here is one such topic which has bothered and has been bothering me for the past few years.
As a Tester, if you had a chance to work under a Test Lead or expecting to be one soon, this post is going to list a few points what a Test Lead needs to know ( apart from what he knows/claims to know)-
I always would give practical examples ( as a tester ) to support whatever I write ... Here it goes for you -
__The Test Lead - Where are they leading you to ? ___
Due to my job as a consultant/contractor I have the rich experience of working with many Test Leads, both good and bad.( What's bad? )
I happened to work for an XYZ company and Mr M was my Test Lead , he had 5 years experience in support but somehow managed to cling to a Test Lead position.
There were 4 people working under him , of course including me.
The company recruited me anticipating a project which could come up for which I possessed the experience to test that product's wouldn't claim I was an expert in testing that product but still to some extend I had a confidence that I could match an expert's testing.
For 3 months of my joining there were no signs of the project kick off and it is the usual management strategy to keep their employees engaged with something when such kind of situation arises and so the new Test Lead ( new - test lead position was new to him too ) called for a meeting to clarify what the 4 working under them were doing. Only I was bold enough to tell him "I did'nt do anything productive to the company".
Of course I still doubt how others were productive when project was not in hand including Mr M.
"Pradeep , this is a time for you to improve your skills" Mr M ( usual gyaan anyone would have given)
"Thanks Mr M , could you let me know where all could I improve?" - I chuckled.
"Ok, I give you an assignment , write 100 test cases for the project we are planning",MrM.
"Mr M , it is not possible unless you let me know what project and some documents related to that" - again.
"I give you one week time, I am checking your skills in this domain" he went way.
One week later "So are you ready with the cases?"
"No !" obviously even you would have replied the same.
"You are junk, fit for nothing , I am going to complain , you are not respecting me , you are arrogant , you dont want to learn , you would hav to face the manager soon" the true colours came out.
There were a series of chain reactions and I and the other 2 in his team quit the job ( without a job in hand and confidence in myself).
1) We quit , not with a fear factor but keeping our career into mind as we spent more time on managing our Test Lead. ( the reverse way )
2) The project approval or kick off ... was yet to take place ( 4 months , mind it ).
3) We thought we had learnt great lessons and we all were pretty sure we would grow up to be Good Test Lead in the future because we know what mistakes are.
4) We also had a belief that someone would have faced the same situation and would understand us and give us a job.
Were we wrong ?
__ End of Test Lead - Where are they leading you to ?___
Points to ponder when you become a Test Lead for the first time or in a new domain -
1) Dont try to impress your manager by stressing on your subordinates , your manager is a single person and your subordinates are many.( In-dia , majority wins )
2) Your subordinates would love you more if you admit your lack of clarity in something and get technical/non-technical help from them.
3) It takes time to get respect and it cannot happen all of a sudden.
4) Just for the sake of getting close to your subordinates dont act , subordinates can easily make out the difference between an act and fact.
5) You should inspire your subordinate by showing him how fast and accurate you learn and not by showing him your powers always.
6) You should act as bridge between your subordinates and the manager/management and not act as a barrier.
7) Dont spy when you know your subordinates are talking ill about you, they would enjoy their success then.
8) Your subordinate knows you too are a man who makes mistake and dont abuse them as a super man when they make mistakes.
9) Admit your small/silly mistakes with your subordinates and instead dont crib infront of your manager.
10) Dont end up loosing your subordinates then you will remain a test lead without no one working under you.
11) Understand your subordinate before you even assign him something. You are paid to even manage a raging bull and sometimes the bull will hit you , dont fire the bull. Success is when the same bull listens to you after you managing/training it.
12) Please mind it - when you go out with your subordinates and especailly when you are New ( Test Lead or new to them ) dont talk ill about anything( even if you want ) everyone has their own sentiments , it could affect your relationship with them.
13) There is a way of saying "NO" , learn it.
14) Speak in English and not your mother tounge even if one of your subordinate does not understand your mother tounge.
" Everyone are Leads by birth , yes it is a fact , I Lead my life , What about you ?"
Till date I have watched Gladiator movie more than a hundred times , can you guess why ?
Maximus , the Hero of the movie orders to release the prisoners and does everything for the people under him even seconds before his death and that is a mark of a true leader, I would love to work under such a gladiator and be a Gladiator in the near future!
Thanks and Regards
Disclaimer : I am aware that there are Good Test Leads too and this post is not to complain against any organization/person in particular.Its just an expression or statements I wanted to make to Mr M/any such because a duty of a good subordinate is to help his leader to come out of his mistakes.As a tester who has gone through such a face I beg the new Test Leads to behave in a way that they gain respect and my fellow testers, learn from others mistakes and not by commiting such.I even know a friend of mine who was working in other company planning to commit suicide unable to bear his Leads torture.Today he is happy ! he isnt in that company.
Update : The mention of the movie 'gladiator' is not to show everyone should be ideal but just atleast close to practical if possible. Its true that I myself havent yet become a Lead so I may be wrong , still I would wish to learn from my mistakes too.