Posted by: ahmedashfaque | February 21, 2010

Creativity and motivation on the job – Part 2


In the previous post, we discussed about effects of challenges on the motivation to do jobs in our every day life. In this part, we will discuss software testing related tasks and how we can our assignments challenging.

As I see it, this is one of the most interesting aspects of our jobs and everyone of us likes to fulfill our ambitions to have a very satisfying career; it makes sense to know to find how important people think about this issue. So in this post, I have also included a poll so that we can find how many people agree or disagree about the need to have challenges and creativity in our task assignments. I invite all of you to participate in the poll. I promise, I will publish the report once poll results are ready.

We listed tasks like 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. as the components of testing assignments. Let us discuss these tasks to see if they can be made more interesting and boost our motivation to do them better (if you have high motivation for a job, you will definitely do it better).

  • Test case design: For test case design, you need to understand the application under test, which parts of it need to be tested (UI, modules, mobile components etc.), how testing is to be done (exploratory, automated, test case based etc.), what needs to be tested (performance, functionality, security etc.). I guess all of these sub tasks bring change and need creativity on your part. So these tasks are challenging enough and you will be motivated to do them well. One issue may crop up when doing these tasks. I have observed that sometimes these tasks need high level of creativity and due to the newness, many people find it difficult to surmount the challenge. This bogs them down and they start loosing interest. Thus their performance suffers. One good solution for this is to have brain storming sessions with your peers. You can take help from the senior members of the team who you think can help you out to understand those aspects better. Never sit on the problem and take proactive approach. I am sure, after these sessions, you will come out of negative feelings and will be high spirits again.
  • Writing test cases: Writing test cases can be a mixture of challenge and routine work. Challenge because, you will be writing new types of test cases; routine because some parts of testing may involve sale kind of stuff, you have done before. I have also found that many people find it loathsome to write. This aspect makes them unmotivated when it comes to write test cases. One suggestion here is that, if you are into a tester job, writing test cases is an integral part of your career and you should better develop a liking for writing. If you find it difficult to write because of your lower than satisfactory linguistic skills then you should enroll in courses which hone your writing linguistic skills.

We will continue to discuss the issues related to boosting motivation on the job in our next part.

Here is the poll about motivation challenges:

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