So it has been a little bit quiet, but last week I attended a short but concise webinar on the “Test Lead of my dreams”.
I was interested in this talk from a personal level as well as I have just started to take on the role of Test Lead and wanted to compare myself to this dream list.
Two ideas that struck me were around oversight and approachability.
Often a Test Lead may be more of a general organiser of the test efforts across different teams and/or projects and as a tester you want to feel comforted that your Test Lead will provide you with relevant and up to date data about the project.
Also from another management level, these individuals will want to gain an insight on how the test effort is going and therefore this oversight is very important.
Approachable and availability can go hand in hand. Make sure your days are not filled with only meetings. If they are make your calendar visible so your team can find you – if you are approachable enough for them to want to find you.
Anna went on to mention that a main role of the Test Lead is to facilitate communication, but at the same time act as a gatekeeper so the team is not overwhelmed with information.
I think this is where my current failing may lie. I may overwhelm the team with details that are not needed. This comes from having been part of teams where you felt like you were being kept out of the loop which made me unhappy, so I am trying to find the right balance between relevant and enough information and passing on too much. Passing on too much can lead to nervousness and these feelings can inhibit ones working ability, because if you feel helpless you are not in control.
Anna Hoff talks about being a coach and motivate the testers to be a better version of themselves and improve. I have been told in the past that i am enthusiastic so I hope this comes across. I would add to this to be an example and constantly better yourself and share useful tools and ideas.
A Test Lead needs certain administration skills. Keeping documents up to date and providing metrics to the business. The most important part of keeping notes is actually following them up and giving an update to the team.
Another important trait according to Anna is being a problem solver. This also depends on influence if problems can actually be solved or not, in my opinion. Being able to identify the problem and know where to go to get it fixed.
I found it interesting that testing knowledge was discredited as being on the list. this will be picked up. But I feel without having worked as a tester it is very hard to understand the pain points a team may face.
But I do agree that technical knowledge may not be as important, because you should have good relations in the department/company and be able to get the information you need or point your team in the right direction always.
Radiating security was another good point. I am unsure if I manage this just yet. I do think though what should have gone hand in hand with this is protecting the team. You want to feel like your lead is on your side always.
Facilitating the integration of the test team with the developers if this is a problem should also be part of the Test leads responsibility and skills. This could be achieved through educating the teams about how they can help each other, sitting the testers with the developers etc.
This was a brief and nice talk that hit home some useful points and I am hoping to take these and make some of them an objective to improve on.
Any traits you think are missing from this list?