The testing community is awesome. There are so many friendly faces. So many people reading things, discussing things, watching things, and developing their ideas. As the communities grow stronger the people you spend most of your time with are likely to be similar to yourself. Maybe you all belong to a similar school of thought. Maybe you’ve worked on projects together before, or attended training courses or conferences together.
Or is it?
The problem is these people are likely to be very similar to you. They share your ideals, and your ideas. You start to think that you’re in the majority whereas is many cases you’re not.
When was the last time you read something you disagreed with? Or attended a conference that wasn’t solely about your craft? Now I’m not saying that you have to go out there and engage everyone in debate. You’re not looking to convert these people, or even to change your own opinions. Broadening your view might simply give you something to measure your ideas against.
If you’re an agile advocate do you really understand why not everyone is into it? Do you know why testers are often excluded from projects? Have you asked a developer why they haven’t attended a test conference? Have you asked yourself why you haven’t attended a design conference?
We all work in development and yet we all hold these independent, and often incompatible views. Look up and see the world that your work fits in to. It might just make you a better tester.