Posted by: ahmedashfaque | February 19, 2010

Creativity and Motivation on the job – Part 1


I had promised in my last post that I will move on to discussing automation topics. But recently I was reading blog postings of James Whittaker and liked his posts on creativity and motivation issues on the job. I am finding it irresistible not to discuss creativity and motivation issues on the job. So the automation topics I will discuss in a later post.

As human beings, we are always tempted to do things which motivate us. Now the good question is how we get motivated? Different people have different goals and aspirations in life. Some people are just happy to get assignments and find great satisfaction in completing those assignments. Some other kind of people find satisfaction only when they get challenging assignments and dislike doing routine jobs.

In real life, it is almost impossible to always get challenging assignments. The best solution for people who do not like doing routine jobs is to leave regular employment and become entrepreneurs. Some fortunate people of this category do get regular employment where they always work on challenging assignments. But not many jobs out there are of this kind and not many people fit into this category.  There are side effects to do challenging assignments. The biggest one is that when you are on a challenging assignment, you may succeed or fail. In both cases, the consequences are huge. If you succeed then it will lead to phenomenal career advancement. On the other hand if you fail, then your career will be doomed. Any takers?

So far we have talked about challenging and routine assignments and motivation to do these kinds of jobs. How is creativity linked to these topics? We will discuss it later. First let us discuss about how to deal with assignments and our motivation to them. We will stick to discussing these aspects from jobs which are part of any software testing related tasks.

In software testing, the usual tasks include making test case design, writing actual test cases, doing exploratory testing, executing test cases, analyzing test results, filing bugs, verifying bug fixes, making automation scripts, preparing test beds etc. I feel all of these activities and tasks are challenging. This is because every new project is different from the previous projects. That means the creativity and change factor is always there. Creativity and change factors together form a good challenge.

However some people loose steam after doing these activities day in and day out. I have a few suggestions for these people.

We will discuss these suggestions in part 2 of this article.

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