website or my Facebook page.
The thing I sense most from testers that are "stuck" in their career or just in their ability to solve problems is that they have closed minds to other ways of doing things. Perhaps they have bought into a certain philosophy of testing, or learned testing from someone who really wasn't that good at testing.
In my observation, the current testing field is fragmented into a variety of camps, such as those that like structure, or those that reject any form of structure. There are those that insist their way is the only way to perform testing. That's unfortunate - not the debate, but the ideology.
The reality is there are many ways to perform testing. It's also easy to use the wrong approach on a particular project or task. It's the old Maslow "law of the instrument" that says, "I suppose it is tempting, if the only tool you have is a hammer, to treat everything as if it were a nail."
Let me digress for a moment...
I enjoy working on cars, even though it can be a very time-consuming, dirty and frustrating experience. I've been working on my own cars for over 40 years now. I've learned little tricks along the way to remove rusted and frozen bolts. I have a lot of tools - wrenches, sockets, hammers...you name it. The most helpful tool I own is a 2-foot piece of pipe. No, I don't hit the car with it! I use it for leverage. (I can also use it for self defense, but that's another story.) It cost me five dollars, but has saved me many hours of time. Yeah, a lowly piece of pipe slipped over the end of a wrench can do wonders.
The funny thing is that I worked on cars for many years without knowing that old mechanic's trick. It makes me wonder how many other things I don't know.
Here's the challenge...
Are you open to other ways of doing things, even if you personally don't like it?
For example, if you needed to follow a testing standard, would that make you storm out of the room in a huff?
Or, if you had to do exploratory testing, would that cause you to break out in hives?
Or, if your employer mandated that the entire test team (including you) get a certification, would you quit?
I'm not suggesting you abandon your principles or beliefs about testing. I am suggesting that in the things we reject out of hand, there could be just the solution you are looking for.
The best thing a tester does is to look at things objectively, with an open mind. When we jump to conclusions too soon, we may very well find ourselves in a position where we have lost our objectivity.
As a tester, your greatest asset is an open mind. Look at the problem from various angles. Consider the pros and cons of things, realizing that even your list of pros and cons can be skewed. Then, you can work in many contexts and also enjoy the journey.