3 responses

  1. Chris Kenst
    September 25, 2013

    If your work is like mine then your programmers know quite a few languages so if you aren’t comfortable learning the main language then as long as you are learning one they know, you’ll have some help.

    I love the idea of taking examples in text books, online, elsewhere and applying them to what you are currently working on. I think it makes problems less abstract and narrows the gap between example and practice.

    How would you recommend finding a partner to learn coding?

    • Michael Larsen
      September 26, 2013

      If you are honest about what you can do and how much time you want to spend focusing on it, I’d suggest contacting someone you work directly with and ask if they’ll pair with you on some things. If you take this approach, it helps to be very clear about what you want to learn and how much time you are asking for.

      In a previous job, one of the programmers made me a deal. Every day for a month, as long as I came in at 7:00 a.m. ready to hit it, we’d sit down and work through a specific goal (in this case it was setting up a “black box” style automation framework using Cucumber, RSpec, Capybara, Ruby, etc.). Over time, the control of the process shifted so that i was the one making most of the updates and changes, and at the end of that month, that framework was effectively mine, and it was expected that I’d maintain it from that point forward. If we needed enhancements, or if I wanted to add something extra, the deal was that I do my homework, figure out as much as I could, and when that brought me as far as i was able to take it, then we’d pair again (always at 7:00 a.m.; that was the deal ;) ).

      If you don’t have that option of a close co-worker, I’d look to Meet-ups that are welcoming to newer or less experienced programmers. We have several in The San Francisco Bay Area that do regular hack nights, and novice programmers are welcome, typically to pair with a more experienced programmer, but it’s not uncommon to see two or three novices group up and agree to work together. Again, I’d recommend the same approach. Do your homework, decide what you want to accomplish, and be objective about where you are strong and where you are not. Then find someone (peer level programmer or more senior if you choose, and they choose) willing to help balance the equation :).

  2. Ilan Malyanker
    November 2, 2013

    Big like for a very nice post.

    I couldn’t agree more with all aspects mentioned.
    Testers who want to upgrade themselves need to know that learning and exercising is a constant task, especially in our industry. One should be so lucky to have the chance to encounter different technologies in his day to day work, but much of the learning is in one’s own time, and testers should make that sacrifice for their own sake.

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