Agency is ours to keep

Agency is ours to keep
Photo by Katrina Wright / Unsplash

In software testing, an activity that provides information on the state of quality, we're often in a position where we say "If only". If only we could get developers to do better unit testing if only the requirements were more complete. If only people kept us informed about changes.

But by wishing this, we put our ability to achieve outcomes into other's hands.

What if we asked ourselves: what's the smallest thing I can do to make things better? What small action can I take to improve the situation?

Don't get me wrong. I know how much courage this takes. But I also know how much it benefits our self-worth.

So, while we acknowledge that our value is a relationship determined mostly by others, let us also acknowledge that agency is ours. No matter how small that agency might feel.

So, somewhat cryptically, having agency also means saying this context is unhealthy for me to speak up in. Another context might be recognising that there is no win, regardless of how hard you try and walk away because wellbeing comes first. Or my tried and and somewhat childish version, flipping the finger, cos I'm worth it.

Too much to address here in one post. Catch me in the comments. This topic really interests me, and I want to explore it.

And engineering leaders? Your role is to create the space that enables agency. Be their champion.