Have you ever been told that you’re preaching to the choir?
I’ve been on the receiving end of it a number of times, and it is always a source of frustration.
Why so? Because most times, it just indicates that there is something important (maybe even logical) that should be done, and for some reason, not enough people are doing it. Then, on top of that, we go out and complain to the people who are actually doing it, asking them why others are not doing the same.
In one word: Frustrating.
Do you want it in two words? OK, extremely frustrating!
But if you think about it, sometimes it actually makes sense to preach to the choir.
Sometimes, we need the choir to go outside and help spread the teachings they have been hearing. Sometimes, this is the best way to get more people to know what has been going on inside, and to have a larger audience in attendance – and maybe even a larger choir!
Why Are We Talking About Preaching and Choirs and Not About Testing?
Actually, we have been talking about testing and the testing community all along!
As part of the online testing community, I have been in countless discussions (both virtual and in person) where we ask ourselves what can be done in order to reach the other 80%-90% of testers worldwide who are not part of the online forums, blogs, sessions, tweets, etc.
Time and time again, we talk about making the forums more accessible, we bring up topics that may be interesting to more readers, we come up with plans on how to publish on different channels and media.
But even when all these efforts manage to increase the number of people taking part in the online discussions and on the virtual-testing-sphere, the truth is that most of the testing professionals out there are still not part of this important community.
And so the question remains. What can we do in order to bring more people to be part of the online testing community?
Here’s an idea! Why not telling them about the things they are missing?
Go Ahead, Become a Proselytist Virtual Testing Evangelist!
My apologies if you had to look up some of the words, but I am sure you now understand what I meant.
The best way to have more people join our testing forums and online communities might be simply to talk to them about the actual knowledge, support, and opportunities out there, and to give them concrete examples of how easy it is to reach all of this and how much they can gain (and even enjoy!) from being an active part of it.
If you don’t work in your pajamas from home and if you have testing peers in your office, go ahead and talk to them about this parallel virtual world that links us all together (regardless of our nationality, timezone, color, or development methodology).
Make a small presentation during one of your QA Update Meetings and show some links to the blogs and the forums you like. Talk to them about the stuff going on on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn. Help them understand how much there is to learn from attending webinars and virtual conferences.
In a sentence, go ahead and work on bringing more people to join our choir.