You have to believe in change for it to happen

After delivering my talk at EuroSTAR last year about weekly releases I got lots of positive responses, but also some intense negativity and skepticism about the subject.

It wasn’t just “wow – that must be so tricky” it was more along the lines of “you are full of ****” and “what a load of ************ [insert your own expletive]”.

The responses were mostly ones of sheer skepticism combined with aggression. A few people believed it wasn’t possible to release often and that appeared to stir some frustration.

Yet that’s the interesting thing. If you can never picture change happening, or you don’t believe it’s ever possible to move to faster and have more frequent releases then the chances are it wont ever happen.

“It would never work here”

“We could never do that”

“We don’t have the right people”

Three years ago we were releasing yearly and the quality could have done with improving. We could have sat down and looked around and said it’s not possible. But we didn’t.

We believed there was a better way of doing things and we tried.

If you never believe that the development and testing at your company could be better then it simply wont improve.

You (or someone) have to believe things can be different.

It’s my belief that testing standards and best practices are the result of this closed thinking; they assume things don’t change.

The reality is technology is changing all the time, the companies we work for are always changing and the markets we sell in to are always changing.

So couldn’t your approach to development change also? Couldn’t you look for new ways of doing things? Couldn’t you open your mind to a future that different?

3 thoughts on “You have to believe in change for it to happen

  1. Rob, I am amazed, and somewhat disappinted that the inspiring story you told can have been met with negative responses. I think it is an exemplar of how things can change for the better if there is a collective spirit to improve, and drive to succeed. I know it is hard and that’s why people fail (and sometimes dont try). It is sometimes simpler for people without conviction to criticise effort and forecast failure, Those people should however, learn from those around them who succeed and perhaps show some humility in their disbelief…

    1. Hi Mike,

      Thanks for the very kind comment.
      You hit the nail on the head : “It is sometimes simpler for people without conviction to criticise effort and forecast failure,”

      Isn’t that sometimes the stereotype of a tester? 🙂


  2. Ha – good retort 🙂 …
    Seriously though, I guess not a stereotype in a company with good leadership – if the leaders have conviction then the testers would normally inherit the positivity those with belief bring (I hope anyway). By way of example I doubt NVM have that kind of behaviours in their strerotypical testers. In the absence of good leadership, i would like to believe stereotypical testers can question stories without prejudice. Obviously this is not the case from your experience, I guess this acquired through experience, like a lot of life skills. I am interested to see if I get a similar response on Wednesday at the TMF 😉

    see you there

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