Community: Self-organized network of people with common agenda, cause, or interest, who collaborate by sharing ideas, information, and other resources (businessdictionary.com).
Community, hanging out with a group of people that make hanging out an enjoyable experience, something you want to do. It’s more than that though, look at the definition I’ve chosen, the key attributes, self organising, common agenda or cause or interest, collaboration. It occurs to me as I write this that community is a good description of an agile team (honestly, that is a side thought, not why I started this blog). When I read these attributes it reinforces to me why many people like to be part of a community, to feel a sense of belonging to a group in which they have common goals or interests. Working together to achieve great outcomes is a good feeling. It is a give and take activity and that’s one of the things that, in my opinion, makes community special.
The Test community, in my mind, is a special one. It is full of diverse people, diverse experiences and attitudes and the majority of them are in to sharing and caring. I think most testers see themselves are being on the periphery of software development. Not really understood by many outside their testing peers.I think the Test community is quite special in the way it helps others, it’s not like any other community I have been a part of. You can connect quickly with people in the Test community and they share experiences openly and honestly.
Seek true positive energy, a place where you can help build the community in a caring and authentic way. Spend time finding those testers that will support you, you won’t need to give them anything because their reward is an enormous feeling of satisfaction through helping someone solve a problem or improve the way they do something. Making a connection for no other reason than being a decent, caring human being, for most, is a genuinely satisfying reward.
In closing I want to send a big thank you to those in the test community that have provided me with great support over the journey. Of late there are too many to mention but a few really stand out. Lee Hawkins, a truly great bloke, a great thinker, a brilliant friend and integrity beyond question. Michele Cross who has been a great friend and has listened to a few rants (she does seem to like a rant). Michele is genuinely funny and always at just the right moments. Jyothi Rangaiah, editor of Women Testers who gave me an opportunity to become a reviewer and has provided incredible support, positive feedback and the opportunity to engage with the test community in a very satisfying way.
If you’re reading this, and you’re a tester and you don’t identify with the test community, make a move to join it in some way. Twitter, LinkedIn, test meetups, join AST and involve yourself in their offerings, whatever you might select, just get into the community and talking. You wont regret the investment.