top of page

Onboarding Testers into your Agile team

Even the most experienced agile testers need help finding their place on a new team. I find it very useful to set expectations right from the beginning. This is done with serious thought to ensure that the new testers joining my teams feel essential. When a new tester arrives, I make sure that he knows the expectations I want him to achieve on the first day, week, and month.

Onboarding, also known as organizational socialization, is management jargon first created in the 1970s that refers to the mechanism through which new employees acquire the necessary knowledge, skills, and behaviors in order to become effective organizational members and insiders. -Wiki

After I set the expectations with the new hire, I make sure that he will get to know members of my department (including both the business and technical teams). I also provide a list of key stakeholders and their responsibilities and introduce the new hire to those people, as I expect them to work together whatever they need (A good practice is to create scheduled meetings upfront to ensure it's done).

Take active steps to ensure that your new tester has the time to learn the different aspects of the product the testing process, so he doesn't feel the pressure to "deliver" right away. It is all done to help the new hire feel confident and sage about asking questions at any time of the learning effort.

In my experience, pairing with other team members is one of the most effective ways to bring new people up to speed. The pairing should not be limited to other testers. Still, it should be done with other team members, including DBA's, Programmers, and other business experts who are willing to put effort into the onboarding process. Remember that the pairing is working both ways; while the recruit gains the knowledge and confidence, he can still add tremendous value by testing/reviewing the product to provide a fresh set of eyes. I'd seen this so many times over the years, how new testers have found bugs in the system right on their first days at work, bugs that the testing teams had all been ignoring for years. Nothing beats a fresh set of eyes and the pure motivation of a new tester.

Be creative as you pre-plan the training process for your team's new tester. Set up a session with team members to provide detailed information on how the team testing process goes, the system architecture, and what tools the team uses in their CI/CD framework. In addition, there is a great benefit when you create one-to-one discussions that will add tremendous value to the regular practice of reading all the

documentation because the new employee has a 'break' to ask questions.

Remember that a new team member can struggle with many different aspects of a new workplace. So, you must ensure that he does not get overwhelmed with the complexity of trying to learn everything at once (and you should never have the expectation that he will). Try breaking the training process into smaller chunks. After a training session, please give them a task to explore the area, so they can understand both the theoretical and practical aspects of the knowledge you've tried to share.

So to conclude, don't run the process; it will take weeks and sometimes a couple of months until the new hire will start providing real value. Everyone benefits from a thoughtful approach to bringing along a new tester; all you need to do is ensure that you do it right and keep improving the process.

8 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All
bottom of page