Interviewing our FailQonf Speaker Anne-Marie Charrett | Failure Stories, Emergent Quality
Each of our FailQonf Speakers has years of experience behind them and a crazy amount of knowledge acquired over those years. It would be bad on our part if we restrict their stories to only their FailQonf sessions. We are as eager as you all to know them and their journey better, and hence this Interview Series.
We had a few questions in mind which we wished to get answers from all of them, and there were questions we designed based on the little research we did on their work and life. We so enjoyed the process and now as we have the answers with us, we are enjoying it even more. We are sure you will enjoy this interview too.
In this interview, I (Aakruti Shukla) took the opportunity to ask our FailQonf Speaker Anne-Marie Charrett a few questions about Failures, Lessons learned, and a part of their amazing work in the Industry. We thank Anne-Marie Charrett for their time to answer these, and for sharing a part of their life with us.
About Anne-Marie Charrett: Anne-Marie excels at creating spaces where quality thrives. As co-founder of Testing Times and its principal quality engineer, Anne-Marie is the lead advocate on quality engineering and how to navigate change and keep quality in the minds of all. Standing her in good stead is her years of experience as Head of Engineering at Tyro Payment, Quality Engineering Consultant, and Test Automation Engineer. Anne-Marie’s technical background as an Electronics Engineer has enabled her to speak to both technical and product expertise. Anne-Marie is an international keynoter having spoken at multiple international conferences. You can read more about her ideas on her blog https://mavericktester.com and/or catch some of her thoughts on Twitter at charrett.
Aakruti: You talked about “Emergent Quality” in one of your talk. Can you give a brief idea of it?
Anne-Marie: Quality is not something that you create, but it emerges from many factors, including practices, tools, and skills. In today’s contemporary engineering practices, it makes better sense to focus on these, than focusing on the product as only one system we deploy.
You can read more about the emergent property here https://mavericktester.com/2018/12/04/emergent-quality/
Aakruti: If you recall your first professional failure, what was it and how did you respond to it?
Anne-Marie: I remember failing to prevent a release from being shipped even though I had discovered a significant design flaw in the system. It was an early lesson on how as software testers we can be given the responsibility to ensure quality but not the autonomy to make that happen. It was a great early lesson for me to focus on providing value as opposed to making a commitment to something I had no control of.
Aakruti: Any experience you would want to share wherein you learned from someone’s failure and based on that lesson you actually avoided a similar failure at work?
Anne-Marie: Can you ever know if you have ‘avoided failure’?. Say you try and avoid something but end up never experiencing something that you come to regret. Wouldn’t that be a failure too? I feel life is too complex to apply one person’s lesson onto your own and hope that you will avoid failure. Having said that, do I learn from other people’s experiences? Absolutely!
Aakruti: What is the most interesting failure you have experienced, which kicked hard, but once you learned from it you achieved the double of what was expected in the next attempts?
Anne-Marie: I’ve had some real kick in the gut failures during my career. It’s the failures that hurt the most that have inevitably provided me with the most to learn from. It doesn’t feel like that at the time though!
Rather than failure, I now think pivot. Life dishes out what it dishes out. How you respond to that point in time is what changes a possibly negative experience, to something that is quite positive and useful. It takes reframing the situation, looking at it through a different lens. But it’s a useful skill to learn.
Aakruti: You amazingly talked about the ‘Badass Tester’. How can one be a tester Badass in a good way?
Anne-Marie: The title of badass was given to me by Keith Klain. It wasn’t something I decided I was. I changed that title to badass Marshmallow, as I feel that better reflects me, opinionated, and really a total softy. A badass is not a set of behaviours. We can both be badass Tester’s and yet behave in very different ways. For me, authenticity and being congruent with myself are classic badass traits.
We hope you enjoyed reading this amazing interview. Let us know your thoughts in the Comments section.
We can guarantee that you are going to enjoy FailQonf even more. Have yourself enrolled here if you have not done it so far. Please note there is a Free Pass option for the ones who cannot afford the Paid one in these difficult times. See you there.
About the Host:
Aakruti is working with Xoriant, Pune as Senior Test Engineer. She loves testing and had avoided many other paths that came across her career and chose to be a Tester, happily and proudly.
She likes to explore and experiment with new concepts, ideas, and thoughts, which can help in performing the tasks more efficiently and bring more quality to the product.