Mentoring is quite a significant thing in any field of human activity, especially in the field of software testing.
Mentoring is a special relationship between two people when a more experienced specialist tries to guide a less experienced one (or even an inexperienced one).
This concept, first of all, can be described with the following characteristics:
- Clearness: 2 people verbally (formally) decided to start such a corporate relationship;
- Purposefulness: people want to participate in it;
- Long-term outlook: it takes a long time;
- Significance: both partners cultivate their abilities (improve their skills and desire to be professional of their craft).
Mentoring is not about just answering questions. It’s about purposeful relationships between people who are mutually focused on professional growth and technical training.
Why Is Mentoring So Important for QA?
Software testing is a special branch within the process of development and promotion of a particular software product. Any person can come to this sphere in different ways, for example:
- As the first job;
- Manual tester moves to automation;
- The programmer decides to take some responsibilities of a tester;
- Graduates of the programming course want to study the basics of software testing.
Several ways go to the testing field. And, unfortunately, there’s no one general education program. Universities cannot give a clear direction of this area – unless you learn the basics of unit testing frameworks and formats of bug reports. Regarding ISTQB certification, not every potential tester sees something important and useful for professional growth in this document.
No doubt, there are many resources to study the QA sphere. But the problem is that such resources can easily overwhelm a beginner and he/she won’t understand how to start a career in this sphere.
And only an experienced mentor can steer the newcomer on the right course. It is the mentor who can introduce the novice to the corporate community and relevant events, and will also help to adapt to the new environment. Only a mentor can encourage, motivate, and be personally responsible – online resources cannot do this.
Features of a Good Mentor
For mentoring to be beneficial, both parties must put their back into it.
To be a top-notch mentor, you need to:
- Be ready to help at any time, be available for communication;
- Be skilled and prepared;
- Feel free to be honest;
- Have perseverance and patience.
And to be a good mentee, you have to be:
- Build long-term growth of professional skills;
- Be at least minimally prepared;
- Constantly ask thoughtful questions that require a comprehensive answer;
- Appreciate the mentor’s time.
Instead of Conclusion
Well-planned mentoring, of course, takes up a significant part of your time. Nevertheless, well-organized communication will definitely bring a high-quality result. If one or another information is presented correctly, then the mentees will sooner or later do their job efficiently. Over time, they will achieve the desired results, and their self-confidence will only grow. Naturally, mentors will also feel satisfied with the work they have done. The benefits for both sides are obvious!