On Wednesday evening I had the pleasure of co-hosting the inaugural WeTest Green meet up.
WeTest Workshops, an initiative started by Katrina Edgar and Aaron Hodder to provide a forum for passionate Wellington testers to get together and share their experiences and learn from one another, has quickly become a staple in the Wellington testing community.
WeTest Green is an attempt to entice testers who are new to the profession and who don’t necessarily know many testers beyond their immediate company to come along and meet some of their peers, share their stories and provide a “safe” stepping stone to the wider Wellington test community.
As a relatively inexperienced tester myself (I started, via the Assurity Graduate Programme, in January 2011) I volunteered to host the event alongside fellow Assurity graduate alumnus Alice Chu.
While the turnout for our inaugural meet up was cosy (our table was, rather unfortunately, tucked away at the back of the pub so less persevering attendees may have gotten lost) we had three intrepid young testers joining us for the evening, and it immediately felt like a really worthwhile forum and an event that I think will provide a great deal of value to Wellington’s young and inexperienced testers.
After the formalities and usual war stories were exchanged, we quickly fell into discussing the ways in which the young testers present were interested in developing themselves – with many professing a desire to pick up technical skills and looking to their employers to provide real practical opportunities to enable this.
We also discussed the varying career pathways that they saw as being available to them, and I was quick to challenge the notion that to “specialise” as a tester you had to either go technical or move into management.
These discussions provided the perfect opportunity to plug the regular WeTest workshops as a fantastic opportunity to broaden your horizons both in terms of skills you can develop as a tester but also by chatting to colleagues who have been in the game for many years and can share valuable experience on what opportunities are out there.
What was most refreshing for me was that each person who turned up displayed a real passion not just for testing but also for the pursuit of knowledge relating to their craft and the desire to better and broaden their skills.
It was a genuine pleasure to be able to share my own experiences with these guys and to hear their ideas and their reactions to the early stages of their careers in testing. I’m sure that if they’re brave enough to attend the full WeTest Workshops in future they’ll find the knowledge they’re looking for, and if they – and others – continue to join is for WeTest Green, we’ll soon be swelling the ranks of Wellington’s testing community with plenty of new blood.
Thanks go to Katrina and Aaron for the inspiration behind WeTest Green, Alice for being an excellent co-host, The Royal for being an excellent venue and Assurity, who sponsor WeTest Workshops.