In this episode of PLATO Panel Talks, our host Mike Hrycyk is diving into the importance of learning and growth in IT, particularly in software testing. He is joined by two panellists driving learning opportunities at PLATO Kevin Swaine, (Director – Delivery, Atlantic) and Amrit Bhattacharya, (Director – Delivery, Prairies). Together, they discuss the role of individuals and organizations in fostering growth, the balance between technical and leadership skills, and the importance of continuous learning. The panellists also provide their top three growth topics in testing today for individuals looking for development opportunities.
Mike Hrycyk (00:00):
Hello everyone. Welcome to another episode of PLATO Panel Talks. I’m your host, Mike Hrycyk, and today we’re going to talk about learning and growth. Learning and growth is a key skill topic in IT. Always has been because there’s always technological improvements, new tools, new skills, and new domains. And for testers especially, this has been really important because there’s always something new to understand. So I’ve put together a panel of experts who have made this core to their own career path, and I think that we’re going to have a great conversation. So I’m now going to turn it over to the panel and let them introduce themselves.
Kevin Swaine (00:33):
Hi, my name is Kevin Swain. My role within PLATO Testing is that of Service Delivery Manager in Atlanta, Canada. I’ve been here at PLATO for about six and a half years and been in the IT industry for over 20 years, but we don’t need to get exact. Many experiences over the years, both in development and testing and really enjoying my QA life right now.
Mike Hrycyk (00:54):
Awesome. Thanks, Kevin. And I would add that one of the reasons that Kevin got invited to this is he’s really taken a front role in building our site that holds our training and knowledge and making that a place that everyone can go to and increase their own learnings. He’s got some passion for it. Alright, Amrit, how about you introduce yourself?
Amrit Bhattacharya (01:13):
Sure. Hey everyone. So, a little bit about myself. My name is Amrit Bhattacharya, and I’m the Director of Testing Services Delivery for PLATO Prairies. Although my journey with PLATO started a little over two years now, I am almost two decades old in IT, specifically in the testing and quality assurance space. I started off as a developer, but soon realized that more than developing, I have a keen interest in breaking things. So, kind of carrying it over from my childhood. But yeah, eventually, I transitioned over to the world of QA and I can say that I have had the privilege of helping individuals and organizations through their digital transformation journey through my advisory services, and I think I did fairly well there. So yeah, that’s about me and I’m really excited to share my views and learn as well.
Mike Hrycyk (01:58):
Awesome. And I wanted to add, one of the reasons that Amrit has been invited to this, beyond being a great tester and quite brilliant, is that recently at PLATO we have taken and tried to add some focus to each of our regional leaders, our regional delivery leaders – so our testers that own their regions – and to give specific areas that they’re responsible for, to make sure that they get the focus that we require. And so with Amrit, he’s owning the growth and learning within our testers. So this is a new role for Amrit, but his brain has been expanding around this for the last little while.
Amrit Bhattacharya (02:33):
Yeah, thanks for that, Mike. Yeah, definitely. We are right now building a skills development framework and then a roadmap of things, but it’s still in the ideation phase, but we’ll get there soon.
Mike Hrycyk (02:44):
Well, maybe this discussion, will give you some extra ideas for your ideation. Alright, let’s get started. Let’s dig in. So I’m going to start this one with a quote. Albert Einstein once said, “When you stop learning, you start dying. The brain is like a muscle. The more it’s used, the stronger it gets.” And I’ve always liked this and I said, ah, so when you stop learning, you start dying. And I said, well, I should Google that and see what it is. I’m like, wait, that was Einstein. That’s awesome. Cause I really do believe that. Once you stop being creative and you stop learning, you start to go downhill. But I’m going to throw that quote to the two of you and ask you what you think about it. What do you think about training and the necessity in general? And so we’ll kick off with you, Amrit.
Amrit Bhattacharya (03:24):
Yeah. This quote from Albert Einstein is absolutely true and I agree to it. It aptly signifies the importance of continuous learning throughout our lives. I mean, there are a gazillion things that we have learned and we still learn in our lives regardless of the age or the state of mind. I mean, I jokingly when I discuss this with my wife, we always say that we will keep learning till our deathbed. So yeah, I mean, learning allows us to expand our horizons. We gain new perspectives, we analyze, we think. Our brain literally perspires. We feel fatigued, we get a nice sleep, we wake up, we rinse and repeat. Isn’t it an awesome schedule? It’s like our brain is another Arnold Schwarzenegger, right? So yeah, it’s key for the development of our cognitive abilities.
Mike Hrycyk (04:15):
Great. Kevin, anything to add?
Kevin Swaine (04:17):
Yeah, I definitely agree with everything Amrit said. Whether it’s learning or staying active, it’s just like your body, your brain needs to stay active and stay involved. And as far as your career goes, if you stop learning, you become stagnant and you don’t progress in your career. So other people who are learning will pass you and it’s really, really important.
Mike Hrycyk (04:36):
That’s been a huge topic across the last, I don’t know, 10 years. If you’re a pure manual tester and you are unwilling to learn anything about automation, the discussion has been, well, your career is going to die. It’s all going to be automation. Now, we haven’t really seen that come to fruition, but we do see that everyone, as you move to DevOps and etc., if you’re not expanding your growth, then you are stagnating and you’re being left behind.
Amrit Bhattacharya (05:00):
I absolutely agree. Again, applying this to our mainstream profession, with this ever-changing world, it becomes all the more important to stay up to date with the latest and greatest in the industry, rght?
Kevin Swaine (05:11):
And the other thing too is that you may have known something five, 10 years ago and maybe it was all and well then, but there’s new ways to do certain tasks that maybe weren’t done 10 years ago because of technology or whatever it is. And if you’re still doing something the same way you did it 10 years ago, it might not be the most efficient, the best way to do it anymore. Even though based on what the technology was back then, it was.
Mike Hrycyk (05:32):
Like a prime example, even outside of the technology is if you were a tester 10 years ago and you’re a tester today, look at what agile has done to your career. There’s no one that agile hasn’t impacted in some ways, so that means you’ve grown in some way, or if you didn’t, you’ve probably been forced out of a job and been moved off because those concepts have been core to just about everything.
This is a good segue into the next question. What does growth and learning mean in testing? What are we talking about? Let’s set our stage, and I think we’ve talked about why is it important, but we can add to that if you want. So let’s just start with you this time, Kevin.
Kevin Swaine (06:10):
I found the question pretty interesting. Originally I thought of it as a senior person, how do they continue to grow and stuff? But then when you look back at how a junior person starts their career, that’s when you see the major growth. So from a junior person, they’re learning all the time of ways to do new things and everything’s new to them. They’re learning how to ask the correct questions, they’re learning how to learn processes. So as a junior you start that stuff, you really don’t know much, but then as a senior a lot more, but you’re never perfect, right? You’re never going to be at a hundred percent, you’re always going to be at say like 90% or 75%. If you just continue to learn and continue to get better at it, that’s where your growth is. You’ll just continue to get better and better and better.
Mike Hrycyk (06:51):
And I think there’s a point there that’s really poignant in that you don’t just learn things once either because when you learn them, when you’re a junior, you learn them with the context you have then and then 5 years later, if you go back to learn the same lesson, you’re going to learn more and different and more nuanced.
Kevin Swaine (07:07):
Yeah. The other thing too is you may have learned something on the project you’re on today, but the project you’re on tomorrow, it’s not the exact same. So you’re learning a new way to do it there, and maybe you learn a better way because there’s always a different situation.
Mike Hrycyk (07:20):
And you’re successful if you can learn to take all of that wisdom and apply it as you grow and move into different things. All right. Amrit, same question for you. What does growth or learning mean in testing and why is it important?
Amrit Bhattacharya (07:32):
Yeah, it’s the same answer from my end as well. Just wanted to add basically, growth also involves specifically, with testing parlance, growth is by acquiring new skills and knowledge as testers. Staying up to date with the latest testing tools, for example, techniques, methodologies that’s what is growth for an individual from testing background, if you ask that way. Imagine if we are using the method, same method that we used to follow 15-20 years back, as Kevin just mentioned a few minutes back. I remember back in my days, early 2000s, organizations used to follow a more structured waterfall development method and testing cycles were long and sequential. That gave us enough time as testers to manually test each and every scenario. Automation at that point in time predominantly was just a record and play tool of user actions. It was so naive at that time. You cannot apply those methodologies that used to work best during those days, during the current days because release cycles were slow, which is not the case in today’s world. So again, nothing can replace manual testing, but testing everything manually is certainly a bummer if we need to accelerate things to keep up with the time to market. So growth from that perspective is definitely important.
Mike Hrycyk (08:50):
I think that maybe you’re colouring your early days and testing with a big sunshine-y crayon. If you were working somewhere where they gave you enough time to test all of the things, then I don’t know where you were working cause I’ve never encountered that.
Amrit Bhattacharya (09:05):
Yeah, no, I experienced that.
Mike Hrycyk (09:08):
Well, you have lived a favored life then, my friend. <laughter> So we’ve sort of talked about it at a high level, but what does growth actually look like? How do you know you’re growing? What is it? How do you approach it? Let’s start with you this time, Amrit.
Amrit Bhattacharya (09:23):
Yeah, again, just stretching my answer from the previous question is basically mastering, say for example, testing tools or understanding the nuances in the software development lifecycle or even becoming proficient in a specific niche in testing like security or performance. Oh, not to forget, we are seeing a surge in artificial intelligence and AI-driven things nowadays. So, one can learn AI driven testing tools. Like my knowledge of limited here, but Tricentis Tosca is one of those AI-driven, model-based test automation tools. So that’s just an example. So, again, growth happens through a combination of self-led learning or formal training or better yet on-the-job experience, nothing can beat that. But then, also while you’re working, you’re also collaborating with your peers, and your mentors, and these are all the different dimensions from where you can grow. Basically, it’s a dynamic process of acquiring new skills and experiences.
Mike Hrycyk (10:22):
So it’s more than just sitting down in a classroom. It’s more than just doing an Udemy course. Growth can be simply what you’re forced to do because you’re learning a process in your company, right?
Amrit Bhattacharya (10:32):
Mike Hrycyk (10:33):
Kevin, anything to add, change, or disagree with?
Kevin Swaine (10:37):
I don’t disagree with anything. Everything is spot on. But to add to it for me individually, how I felt growth or how I knew I grew was you go on a project and they ask you, “Hey, can you lead this?” And the thoughts that are going through your mind are, yes, I can lead this, or Lord, I don’t know what I’m doing. How am I going to get through this. To then the next project you go on and they ask you the same thing and you feel confident, you feel more mature about it. You feel, yeah, I can do this. I’ve done this before. I’ve learned things. Well, the last time I did this project, I made this mistake and another mistake. I’m not going to make those mistakes again. I’m going to learn from them and you will make other mistakes. But again, you learn from them and you take it to the next project.
Looking at growth for people that I’ve worked with, and I think we’ve all probably seen this within our organization, when you look at somebody who you notice that they’re more confident than they were two years ago or three years ago, that they made mistakes in the past and they’ve learned from them, and again, they’re going to make mistakes again, but they’ll learn from those as well. They’ve learned new ways to think about problems and things like that. Rather than asking, how do I do this? They’re coming to you and saying, this is how I plan on doing this. What do you think about it? So you notice maturity in the confidence in growth in them.
Mike Hrycyk (11:43):
Cool. We’ll start with you Kevin. Should growth and learning always include a certification? And to this, I’m going to expand the question a little bit that one of the things that you guys said that I think is important that we talk about is experiential learning better or worse or the same or different than training, learning?
Kevin Swaine (12:03):
I definitely don’t think it should always include a certification. Like you said, experience learning, obviously you’ll not always get that, but there’s a lot of good ways to learn without going through an actual training course. Like listening to a podcast, doing a webinar, that it’s an hour long webinar that you really more hear of somebody else’s experiences, but you learn from them, right? Yeah. Not all growth, not all learning is measurable either, right? You learn things on the job, you learn things through going through different processes in your career.
Mike Hrycyk (12:32):
Okay, so I’m going to throw this to you, Amrit, but I’m going to tweak it a little bit. And going back to Kevin’s example where you’re asked to lead something, and you lead it, and you start with a place of, I don’t know, and you grow, and you learn while you’re doing it, and the next time you’re asked to lead something, you start at a different place because you already know what hangups they’re going to be, what questions you need to ask, where you need to start from. So with the context of that experiential learning is really important. So does that colour the answer you’re going to give to my overall question – which is better experiential or training, and do you need a certification for it to be real?
Amrit Bhattacharya (13:07):
Well, yeah, I mean, I, 100% percent, agree to what Kevin said, and we are like-minded here. And I know many people may not agree with me fully here or Kevin’s answer here, but if you ask my personal opinion, I wouldn’t say certifications are always needed to gauge your growth. Certifications can be valuable in certain situations. They provide a definitive path of learning for you and you get an industry recognized stamp in the end in most cases. But learning just to get a certification so you can display it in your resume without understanding whether they actually add value to your overall experience and skillset or whether your line of work really justifies the credibility of the certification – I’d say it’s a waste of your quality time. Again, exceptions may apply here, but coming to the experiential part, yes, I again agree here because what you gain through actual working on the job through your experience, and then you start right at that level where you have reached. You started from level one to level two. Now, next time when you encounter that kind of situation, you start from level two, right? And you grow forward. So yeah, I mean, experience definitely counts. I’ll just tell you my example. You might have noticed I’m a Certified Scrum Master, or shall I say, I used to be one. Now, why used to be? Because it now expired. It needed money from me to keep it active instead of relevant experience. And although I gained lots of insights about Agile Scrum and the way the methodology works, what the role of a Scrum Master is, I realized that I was not doing justice to that certification that I earned because I was not always an integral part of a scrum team, or I was not playing the role of a scrum master. I mean, I hardly played the role of a scrum master probably just once in my lifetime. So in this case, this is a perfect example that although I used to have the certification, I couldn’t do justice to that. So I let my CSM certification expire. Experience matters.
Mike Hrycyk (15:16):
I like to applaud that. I find that really responsible Scrum Masters in testing, we discuss that a lot, whether it’s a useful skill or not, but I think that a certification like that that you’re not using, that you’re not actively leveraging, having it claimed as a certification is less than truthful. So I applaud that.
So I usually wait till the end to tell our listeners “let’s continue the conversation and provide feedback” and stuff. But as you provided, the statement of certifications aren’t very necessary or however it was that you said it. I would like to remind everyone that you can direct your comments to us, through our social channels. <laughter> You can disagree as vehemently as you like. I know that that is a topic that people do feel pretty passionately about, but I think all of us here are in agreement that the most effective training is training that you’re using, and however you get that growth, you need to apply it day to day for it to really take hold. Alright, so let’s shift back. Is an individual responsible for growth, or is the organization they’re a part of responsible for their growth?
Kevin Swaine (16:25):
Yeah, I feel pretty strongly about this one. It’s both that are responsible for it. The individual is responsible for their career and trying to progress their career, but it’s also the organization’s responsibility to help them progress their career and move it forward. The individual probably wants to spend a little bit extra time maybe doing a certification or doing some studying to make themselves better in whatever field they decide to go down. But, the organization should also provide them with opportunities to progress. And, the example I think of is if you have a junior or an intermediate tester on a project and you leave that person in that junior or intermediate role for a long, long period of time, they don’t necessarily get the ability to move on to the next stage. So once you’ve mastered being a junior, you should be given the opportunity to be an intermediate. And, once you’ve mastered being an intermediate, you should be given the opportunity to become a senior. And in some certain roles that doesn’t exist. Certain roles, it does exist because you can continue to progress yourself and move yourself forward in different projects, but not always. So it’s up to the organization to provide the opportunity, but it’s also up to the individual to know what they want to do and to try to push themselves forward as best they can as well.
Mike Hrycyk (17:34):
So if you’re in a stage where you have to do the same regression tests over and over again manually, so you’re not able to demonstrate that you’re growing, so your manager won’t necessarily understand that, hey, you could do more than going out and proving that by getting your own certification. That’s a way of highlighting and saying, yeah, I’m doing that and I’m doing that well, but look, I could do more. And this is my proof. Amrit, same question.
Amrit Bhattacharya (17:57):
I couldn’t agree more with what Kevin just said. I mean, definitely individuals, they have their own personal stake in their professional development, and it really becomes their sole responsibility to take the initiative to learn and grow. Organizations could play a key role here. They could create a favourable environment that supports learning, like training or internal certifications. We have the same thing within our company PLATO and even through the Centers of Excellence and then common forums for people to come together and collaborate and maybe get answers to their questions from the experienced folks. Basically, building up, and fostering a culture of continuous learning. Organizations can provide the support, but the onus should be on the individual.
Mike Hrycyk (18:43):
No, I agree. And if you think about it from a slightly different perspective, if you’ve got five people under a manager and they’re all kind of the same, maybe they’re doing slightly different things, and there’s going to be a promotion for one person, you need to have set yourself apart somehow. And so you can do that through doing great work. But what happens if everyone’s doing pretty good work, then that way of highlighting yourself is maybe you’re the person who went out and got a scrum master. Maybe you’re the person who got a certification in Tosca in your spare time or free time. And for me, as a manager, even better than that is you took that, and then you came back with ideas that improve your organization. Maybe it’s, I can automate this little thing, can I try it? And then you do that and demonstrate it. So, growth and your willingness to grow are probably the best way to stand apart, aside from doing a great job.
Amrit Bhattacharya (19:31):
Very true. Yep.
Mike Hrycyk (19:32):
Alright, so you’ve decided that you need to grow. You’ve decided that you need to learn things. When you pick where you’re going to grow – so we’ve sort of talked about it. Sometimes the growth is thrust upon you because it’s what you need to do to do your job. But let’s say you’re looking at additional growth. Does that growth need to focus on the needs of the organization that you’re at? So you’re picking a topic, there’s different paths, you could pick a topic because it’s something that really interests you, or is it something specific about your industry or your technology or etc? And how do you focus, and how do you pick?
Amrit Bhattacharya (20:04):
Okay, you see organizations belong to specific industries or niches. They have their goals. So I believe growth and learning topics should definitely align with their goals and industry that they belong to, right? It’s always better if the skills and knowledge acquired, you can correlate it directly with your job, the mainline profession that you’re doing. But that said, there are other skills that we call transferable skills. Leadership skills, team player skills, communication skills, or critical thinking or analysis skills are all transferable, and they’re always applicable to different organizations irrespective of the industry or the roles. So, I believe there needs to be a balance between this kind of specific and generic learning topics for the individual’s growth from all dimensions.
Mike Hrycyk (20:58):
You’ve given me a good follow-up question, but, first we’ll get your thoughts, Kevin.
Kevin Swaine (21:03):
Yeah, I definitely feel that if you keep your learning topics and your growth within the organization that you’re with, it’ll probably accelerate it to a certain degree more so than learning something that your organization is not involved with just because you’re using it, right? And that’s probably the best way to learn, but I don’t necessarily think it always has to be. I know myself, I do fair amount of webinars with PMI, and sometimes I pick topics that have absolutely nothing to do with QA or anything to do with our organization just because I think, hey, that looks interesting. Sometimes I get something out of it that I can relate back to my organization and sometimes I can’t. I still learned and grew out of it, but I don’t think it’s nearly as effective as when I do a webinar that’s directly related to something that I do every day or that our organization’s involved with.
Mike Hrycyk (21:51):
You’ve segued directly into my question, which is what’s the balance you should have between technical topics? So we’re in testing, like automation, performance, tools, all of that kind of training always seems to relate really, really well. But, then Amrit, you brought up the leadership training, and so how should you approach that in making your decision? But also, importantly from the perspective of a manager, which are you going to value more? One is more nebulous.
Kevin Swaine (22:22):
So as a manager, definitely it’s completely different than say a technical trade or technical learning. Right now, I probably value a little bit more, for myself, I value the management and how to deal with situational things and that type of stuff, but that’s more because of the role that I have. Now in the past 15 years, if I was more technical, I’d probably prefer the more technical stuff. I think it kind of depends on what you’re doing, what your role is. But regardless, you do always want to learn more, I feel, about becoming a better leader because whether you’re a technical person that does 95% of your stuff is automation, even in that path, you want to become a leader or a tech lead or whatever. So you always want to develop those leadership skills so that you get better even at a role as a developer or an automation type person.
Mike Hrycyk (23:10):
So, as a manager of your reports, if you’re talking to a junior resource and you see that they’ve done four certifications or four training topics in the last year, and all of them are focused on leadership, is your advice going to be, “hey, keep learning about leadership”? Which kind of sounds like what you just said to me, right?
Kevin Swaine (23:30):
No, probably not because at that point they probably want to learn some more technical skills. Probably at that point in their career, they probably want to be a little bit more technical, but yet having some leadership or leadership training in there just so that they’re learning that as well at the same time.
Mike Hrycyk (23:46):
And I think knowledge of context is important too. We talked about learning something when you’re a junior and learning it later when you’re a senior. If you’re learning a leadership concept when you’re a junior, it’s valuable. It’s infinitely more valuable when you’ve got eight years behind you, and you’ve observe all the things. Alright, Amrit, same questions.
Amrit Bhattacharya (24:04):
I would want to give an analogy to this particular situation to basically explain what I think, and it’s that of an amortized loan, right? So when you start your loan during the initial few months or the years, the maximum portion of the monthly installment that you pay goes towards the interest and less towards the principle. And when you keep paying it over the years, it reverses. So, it’s the same thing with technical versus managerial or leadership skills. And it depends, really depends, on the track. So if we are talking about technical track, for example, a test architect, or senior test architect, they are heavily focused on technical. So, in that particular scenario, yes, acquiring technical skillsets, it’s more important, one should give more priority to that. And that doesn’t mean that one should totally ignore the other transferable skills. They should do that, but focus should be given onto the technical thing. Similarly, it reverses when you are on a managerial track. So from tester, you become test lead and then test manager, and then take the senior level managerial roles. There you basically you should acquire the leadership skills more. So your communication, your critical thinking, your skills regarding mentoring and coaching, others, juniors, that should be on the front foot. So yeah, it’s basically on the individual, how they would need to weigh in and strike a balance between bothsides.
Mike Hrycyk (25:45):
I really like that analogy on lots of different levels. You can investigate it in a lot of different ways. Upfront, you pay a lot more interest and that’s your technical skills. And the technical skills you learn today may not be as applicable in five or 10 years. So that’s why it’s the interest, it’s the stuff that’s going to go away, whereas that foundational stuff that will be there for your entire career and help you no matter where your career goes, is how to lead, how to interact, how to communicate. And so that’s your principle. And, then, as you move towards management or as you move towards being very senior, you need to expand and grow that more. So I really like that. Thanks for that example, Amrit.
Alright, so last question before closing. I’m going to put you guys on the spot. What are the three most important growth topics in testing today? And so, a nice granular answer. You don’t get to hum and ha, and say it depends on where you’re at. Give me your top three. I’m going to let Amrit go first, so it’s harder for Kevin to come up with the unique answers.
Amrit Bhattacharya (26:43):
Okay, start the timer. Test automation, security testing, performance testing.
Mike Hrycyk (26:48):
Alright. Now that he’s taken those, Kevin, what are your three?
Kevin Swaine (26:52):
I actually stayed away from the specific things like that, performance or automation, and I kind of went more down the path of analytical skills, communication skills, and time management.
Mike Hrycyk (27:02):
Interesting. I like that because as people are figuring out the balance, that gives them six unique paths And they have to figure out which way they’re going to go.
Alright, so I think that’s great. What I’m going to do is I’m going to circle back, and I read my starting quote one more time. So when you stop learning, you start dying. Your brain is like a muscle, and the more it’s used, the stronger it gets. So, having the context of our conversation overall, talking about growth, what are your closing remarks for this discussion? What’s your advice that you would give someone listening to this, whether they’re a junior, or a senior or a vice president?
Kevin Swaine (27:36):
It’s very important advice. It’s kind of strongly worded for sure, but it is true. And especially in your career, if you stop learning and you stop moving forward, you are basically falling behind. I don’t even know if you’re staying stagnant because you’re probably falling behind because other people are probably pushing forward. And I don’t think there’s any such thing as wasted training. If you take a topic that when you’re done with it, you think maybe I should have done something else, maybe it would’ve been better. You didn’t waste your time, everything was good and you probably learned something out of it that you probably used down the road. But yeah, it’s really, really important to keep on learning, keep on getting better. It doesn’t matter where you’re in your life.
Mike Hrycyk (28:08):
Well, I think there’s an important nugget in there is that it doesn’t matter what training you take, as long as you’re actually thinking about the things you learned, and putting them in context with the other things. Because some people sit through hours of training, and then it’s just gone, right? You remember the way we used to in university? You’d study, study, study for an exam, pass the exam, and then you didn’t have to think about that anymore. And as you’re an adult and you learn stuff, you have to stop doing that because you don’t have the time to invest and throw away learning. So, every learning has value, but only if you look at and use the value. Alright, Amrit?
Amrit Bhattacharya (28:42):
Yeah, I had the same thinking here. Learning and growing is all about staying adaptable and staying sustainable in the market. The more you invest in your growth, the richer your experience becomes. So, this is also true in the field of software testing and quality assurance, like staying up to date with the latest and greatest in technology process tools. This will make us excel in what we are best known for. Quality advocates or quality stewards. That was the new word I came across sometime back quality stewards. So yeah, I mean, it’s imperative.
Mike Hrycyk (29:16):
I’d like to point out that I don’t think it’s necessary that if you’re a manual tester, you retrain your entire paradigm and suddenly you’re a performance tester who knows all the things about performance testing. That’s a way you can go, and that can definitely keep you relevant and help you find the next job. But I think as long as you can keep learning and you can keep growing, and you can add skills, and so maybe it’s not the total in-depth capability, but maybe you’re adding the ability to manual test with API whereas you didn’t have it before. As long as you can remain relevant and remain useful, you’ll stay valued and employed. And I think so embrace that. If the idea of training to the point of changing everything you’re doing is terrifying, just embrace the fact that as long as you keep growing slowly, steadily and maintain your value to your organization, you’ll do just fine.
Alright, well, thanks folks. This has been a very interesting conversation, and I would like to thank the listeners for tuning in once again, we love to have you here. I think that this was a great conversation and a topic that is important and has been near and dear to me throughout my career. And I think in the technical pursuits in IT, this is true all the time. And I hope that it’s true in other pursuits in other places, but it’s essential in testing.
If you had anything you’d like to add in our conversations, we’d love to hear your feedback, comments and questions. You can find us at PLATO Testing on X, LinkedIn, Facebook, and other social channels. You can find links to all of our social media and our website in the episode description. And if anyone out there wants to join in one of our podcast chats or has a topic they’d like us to investigate, please reach out, and talk to us because we’d love to hear from you. And if you enjoy our conversations about everything software testing, we’d love it if you could rate and review PLATO Panel Talks of whatever platform you’re listening to us on. Thank you again for listening, and we’ll talk to you again next time.