A Testing Portfolio

Earlier this month, I was at PNSQ and heard Andy Hunt present a keynote on Improving Cognition and Learning. Andy suggested maintaining a knowledge portfolio. My mind started flipping backwards through past technologies and tools I’ve learned. The term made sense to me instantly.

Cem Kaner spoke as a panelist at PNSQ. He suggested maintaining work samples which triggered similar thoughts. Would I want to pull out an old test strategy document and show that as a sample of what I know or have done? What would I want to show?

I’ll learn a technology or a tool that’s relevant to the project I’m focused on and when it’s over, I’ll forget about it because I become focused on the next project. Some tools I keep in my utility folder and other bits of knowledge, I forget about. Given that I purposely seek projects that are not alike, I’ve gained a varied knowledgebase. So how would I show that?

Some years ago, I was a newspaper reporter and there is a standard in the field to maintain a portfolio. I still have mine. It’s a large leather case with newspaper clippings. The key in the newspaper world is to show your byline. What would the key in a testing portfolio be? What would a testing portfolio look like?

Can I combine the concept of a knowledge portfolio and work samples so that I can show and articulate to someone what I know or have done? How could my knowledge portfolio or work samples demonstrate what I might be capable of learning in the future since both of these are focused on the past? In a field where resumes are scanned for keywords – if I can’t show an exact match on a technology how can someone assess whether I could learn yet something else? To me, this is the next part of participating in a conference, putting ideas into reality. I have some thoughts around how I may pursue this and will post more.

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