“Only through communication can human life hold meaning” is a quote by celebrated Brazilian educator Paulo Friere. Communication and hence human expression is one of the most important aspects of life. In the current times this has risen to a whole new level of significance. As we operate in remote work conditions, cut off from face-to-face interactions, clear communication is of paramount importance. Coming fresh from the experience of EuroSTAR 2020 conference I have been thinking about the significance of interacting with others, the impact it has on our state of mind and motivation levels. In the conference I played the role of a reporter and blogging is the core part of it. As someone who has always enjoyed the expression in the form of writing I have been reflecting on my own journey of blogging and why I would suggest someone to blog not just software testers.
So here are my top ten reasons for creating a software testing blog:
1) One thing leads to another
Back in 2018, inspired by a talk delivered by Testing Guru Dot Graham at UK STAR conference, I decided to write a blog titled ‘10 Cs towards being a testing professional’ for 2i Testing. This blog gave me opportunities to be a speaker, as I delivered talks for MoT Edinburgh and DevOps Summit 2018 with the same title. Both experiences were invaluable as public speaking is an art, a challenge and a confidence booster. So, from personal experience I must say blogging can prove to be a door opener for opportunities.
2) Share your story
This is a suggestion from most experts in testing I have interacted with – they urge all testers to come forward and share their story. Your story is unique and best told by your own self. The narrative of a person’s journey, resilience and outlook might spur new ideas in someone else. You never know what impact it might have on others.
3) Hear and be heard
There is a further benefit I believe we get from hearing each other’s stories – to get important perspectives and to widen the horizon. We need know the various opinions that exist, be open minded about them and to able to respect them. Tolerance is an incredibly important aspect of any ecosystem and awareness is an essential ingredient of it.
4) Influence and collaborate
The ability influence others positively is a great strength and in some way a responsibility of a good professional too. It is a trait to develop and focus on in any career path – it is fulfilling, it is enriching and it has tangible benefits too in terms of personal development. Blogging gives you the power to create that sphere of influence and gives a platform to strengthen a narrative. This influence can trigger collaboration which is the basis for most working environments in the current day global world.
5) Invisible audience
One of the biggest benefits of writing is that it is a great alternative to delivering talks. While I am not refuting the benefits of public speaking, I am conscious that not everyone enjoys it or is comfortable with it. The fact that there is no pressure to address an audience in real time or that they are invisible makes it a good form of expression for those who would prefer to present their thoughts in their own space and time, with opportunity to review and fine tune it too.
6) Hidden benefits
Investing time in blogging has its own advantages on work front too. As with any other skill, with practise, confidence in writing goes up and I find that this has improved my ability in written communication in my day job too.
7) Contribute to community
Expressing the thought process, ideas, experience also has an important knowledge sharing element. The technology industry thrives on sharing of information and it is in many ways a courtesy to contribute to that culture. This interchange of ideas is one of the foundation stones to progress in any community.
8) Leaving a legacy
Writing is one of the most long lasting ways of communication. We have seen historically the importance of expression through writing. It is timeless and proven to be effective over generations. I believe literature from a generation reflects the thoughts from those times. We get an opportunity to do that and leave a legacy when we express through writing.
9) Create your identity
Blogging has another benefit of giving an identity for a professional. I believe all of us have our own areas of interests which might or might not be a part of our day job. Through writing, one can create an identity that reflects our knowledge on areas where we might not be actively working. This can enable networking and growth across industry which works in favour of personal as well as business development.
10) Invoking the creative self
Blogging helps an individual articulate their thoughts in a way that would be structured and be considered a good read. This process of creative thinking is an excellent stimulator of creativity – it many times brings more thoughts, help introspect better and connect with our innovative self.
In conclusion, I call out to everyone to keep expressing ideas, on any forum comfortable – you never know how it might lead to someone else’s journey. As for my own voyage, it will continue on the path of seeking knowledge and inspiration, with most gratitude to those who made it happen.