Why ask if you know it all, and don’t like what you hear!

Recently I have been following the debate on Linkedin that was raised by an individual who thought that writing test cases is a waste of time….

As expected this outburst sparked quite a hefty debate, and I too jumped right into it as I, like anybody, have an opinion about this topic.

However reading thorough the comments provided on the topic and the response from the individual that raised the question made me think. What was the objective with raising the question? Was it really to raise a debate or was it to offend people who take pride in what they do and have been doing for a very long time

Comments by the people responding to the question has been viewed as being “bookish” knowledge and the people responding was made out to be “geniuses and experts” by the person who raised the question.

As one responder stated: “There is no such thing as a stupid question. It is the content of the answer that is much more critical.”

The questioner’s reply is delivered in a condescending tone and is not appreciating that people are taking time to answer a real and somewhat valid question. I would say that the need for test cases varies depending on the methodology applied. And from here I could go into a lengthy post.

Back to being condescending, with regard to debates, in this instance someone in the testing industry, the way you participate in debates that are specific to your trade can in the long run have a devastating imprint on your future career. Not that you should not participate, you should as it enriches our knowledge, however think about how you participate.

A trademark of individuals who are being condescending is that they consider themselves superior to others. This often stems from a deep-seated fear of rejection. It’s easier to belittle a person than it is to really get to understand where they are coming from. Think about it, is that really you!

Generally, we all know a great deal. As individuals, we may be expert in one small part of our profession. We don’t know it all and we have a great deal to teach and to learn from each another. So, treat each encounter as an opportunity to learn more, to expand your own knowledge.

Being condescending will in the long run leave you lonely and turn you into an outsider, which in its own vicious way, only serves to make you feel less secure and therefore internalizes the need to remain condescending.

Try a different approach. Compassion; see others for all the struggles, triumphs, achievements, doubts, fragility, and strengths that they are really made of. We all possess unique perspectives. Every person you see is a wealth of information and ideas that you haven’t come across.

Everyone who has participated in this debate and everyone who will come across it on the Internet or Linkedin will go and look up your profile, thinking who is this person? I know I did !

Personal leadership in public debates like this one is crucial; the Internet is Global, and transparent. You may end up left alone on the bench….