Scientia potentia est
"Knowledge is power" Jerry Weinberg cites courage as the most important trait in a tester. Quoting Kipling, Jerry says testers need to “keep your head when all about you are losing theirs and blaming it on you.”
But I see a another type of courage at play in software testing. Testers are foremost learners. Through enquiry,they learn about a system. The information they gather facilitates many kinds of decision making from releasing to designing new features.
Observe great testers and you will discover an insatiable desire to learn more, not only about the product, but the world around us, often incorporating what they learn into their testing.
For many of us, discovering that our learning is within our control and within our means, can itself be a road of discovery. It takes courage to start that journey, but it also take courage to continue along its path.
Young Luke Skywalker found the ‘Force’ early on in life. Yoda helped him connect with that power, but even then, he needed guidance and a reminder to ‘Use the Force’ when up against the evil Empire.
Some of us need that reminder now and then. We know we have the ability to learn, and we know of its power, but we forget to use it. Especially when things get tough.
"Knowledge is power"
When things don’t go the way you want, when the pressures of daily life cloud your ambitions and goals, it can be easy to lose site of learning. Here’s what I’ve discovered though, through focusing on learning in these times you gain great strength.
Will the actual knowledge you learn help you succeed? Perhaps. What really counts is that through learning comes power in the form of ownership and self belief. You may not be able to control the situation at hand, but through being open to and owning your learning, you regain a sense of control and a sense of focus.
So when the dog bites, when the bee stings and when you’re feeling sad, remember there is solace in learning. It’s not only as an escape, or way of learning how to deal with the situation, but helps you take ownership and responsibility over the next step. Who knows, learning may be the just the ticket you need to recharge those batteries, giving you the juice to continue on your journey or perhaps, dump it for a different destination.