LATE BREAKING NEWS: The testing clinic is coming to Manchester, Brighton, and Cambridge!
For more info, see the meetup group here: https://www.meetup.com/SoftwareTestingClub/
This week we talk to Danny Dainton about learning!
Other things we reference:
WE’RE BACK and with a bumper episode of Let’s Talk About Tests, Baby.
Matt and I have both gone for interviews, so we decided to do an episode about it. We talk about applying to jobs, sussing out the language if job adverts, CVs and cover letters, and the dreaded interview. Matt also has experience on the other side of the table, so he brings that insight to the episode as well.
Things we mention:
This week I talk to Andrew Morton about unit tests!
We cover the basics of units tests: what they are, and what they do. We also cover unit tests as documentation, pitfalls to avoid, and some tools you might see in the wild.
References and resources we mention:
Manchester is my adoptive city, and I am even more in love with it after this week. Strange to feel pride and be heartbroken at the same time. I was hoping to get a bee tattoo but all the tattoo parlours have been overwhelmed by demand, so I may get one at a later date, and just make a donation to the fund.
Life goes on, and so do we.
I went to an event on Thursday about storytelling called What Makes You, You? I wanted to go to primarily get tips for my other podcast (Inner Pod), and help people come up with their own stories, but I actually found a lot that connected with me on a testing level.
So, testers being story tellers isn’t a new thing, people have spoken about it before (on this podcast even!), Huib Schoots is running a workshop on it at London Tester Gathering workshops etc., but the guy who did the talk/workshop thing (Andrew Thorp) really solidified the crossover between testers and storytelling.
Okay, so firstly, there were parts of this that were a bit wanky. Like the concept of storyselling (selling something using storytelling), but he did admit he usually gave this talk to corporate types who sell things for a living, not for creative types who are looking for a way to either sell themselves to get better at public speaking or interviewing. Overall I found it incredibly useful, and have some pointers in my arsenal when it comes to building a good story and helping people build theirs. If you’re in the area and interested, he’s doing the same talk again on 13th June.
The most common thing I hear when asking people to come on the show is something like ‘I’ve got nothing new to say/I’m not interesting enough’, which firstly is bullshit otherwise why would I be asking you to come on the show? But more importantly, Andrew had 3 principles for having a good story, and they are basically 3 principles for being a good tester.
Hoovering: Hoover up experiences. Not just your own, other people’s as well. Think about observational comedy and how those kinds of comedians can turn something small into something significant. They can see the importance in these things.
Testers should do the same. It’s only in learning about other’s experiences that I, as a web tester, can learn how people interact with the sites and apps they use. It’s as I learn about new technology that I can see how it’ll connect with my job going forward. It’s noticing the small things and the effect they may have that mean testers can catch cases that others may have missed.
Be interested: Being interested is great on many levels. Interested people tend to be interesting. Firstly, interested people tend to do active listening, which is listening where the listener fully concentrates, understands, responds and then remembers what is being said. It’s not reflective listening, where you repeat what the speaker said to drive home shared understanding, and it’s definitely not the false listening I find myself falling into occasionally, when I’m either jumping in to say something and slightly talking over people because I’m excited, or even worse, waiting for someone to stop speaking so you can speak. We all fall into the trap – we think faster than we can speak or listen – but we need to learn to listen.
This is fairly obvious in how it relates to testing, we should be listening to our co-workers, our stakeholders, our clients, everyone. Our job is just as much taking in other people’s stories as it is telling our own. In fact, one of my biggest issues is getting clients to tell us their stories. People know they need a website but often smaller businesses, or more corporate brands may not know what message, what story they are trying to sell.
Be willing to open up the bonnet. Curiosity! Curious people have things to say, and testers are curious people. Not just curious in their work but outside their work as well. Being curious not only facilitates the previous two points but also allows you to craft your own story. If you’re not curious how do you know what excites you, or angers you, or just leaves you apathetic. These, across contexts, will allow you to craft your own story.
I’m giving but a small sliver of my Testbash talk at Liverpool Tester Gathering on 15th June. Come along! https://www.meetup.com/Liverpool-Tester-Gathering/events/240216573/
Andrew’s free PDF on storytelling/storyselling: http://mojoyourbusiness.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/School-of-Mojo-Manifesto-21.03.17.pdf
Back in October last year, I spoke to Maaret Pyhäjärvi about pair testing. We did a session of pair testing then recorded our debrief/thoughts on the session. It is a great episode, and the shownotes are full of great resources, including the mindmap we used during our session.
However, the editing and sound quality was not amazing. Maaret was quite quiet compared to me, and it was difficult to listen to. I’ve been wanting to reedit and rebroadcast for a while, and finally circumstances came together to do this. The sound still isn’t perfect, but I think it’s a lot clearer, and the volume makes more sense. I’ve also made the outro a bit quieter so there isn’t suddenly a big jump in sound.
I hope you all enjoy the new improved episode 61!
First, Testbash Brighton. Testbash was awesome as always. Brighton moved to a new venue but all the normal Testbash awesomeness applied!
So if you check out the lineup for Testbash Manchester you should see a couple of familiar names! Matt is doing a workshop on API testing, aimed at people wanted to get into API testing who may not have done so before.
I am giving a talk called Anxiety Under Test. With as few spoilers as possible, I’m going to be talking about my anxiety, and how I’ve applied the strategies I’ve learned to help cope with my anxiety to testing, with a quick look at how you can check in with your own mental health and keep on top of it.
The rest of the lineup look A+ and we’re looking forward to an amazing few days!
If you can’t make the conference there will be the pre- and post-testbash meetups as always. These are free to attend so come along and hang out with a bunch of great people!
We cover how to get into Security Testing, a brief look into the mindset of security testing, and share resources to allow you to start Security Testing ethically, legally, and without making your Sys Admins angry.
This week I talk about Bug Advocacy! This came swirling into my mind after seeing a couple of older blog posts about the matter and it turns out I have feelings on Bug Advocacy!
Definition: Simply put bug advocacy is that: advocating for a bug. Advocating that it should be prioritised and fixed.
There are different ways to do this:
– A decent bug report. A bug report in and of itself is bug advocacy, because you’re saying ‘hey, I found a thing, this is the affect it has’. If you give enough information, you’ll be conveying the importance of the bug and it’s effects.
– Advocacy during prioritisation meetings. Telling people that you think this bug is important, that it should be fixed.
One of these is definitely something testers should do. Bug reports should contain information so people can see and understand the effect and impact a bug or defect will have on the system and it’s users. This information is crucial so that the bug can be prioritised correctly for the team’s priorities.
Sometimes you might not agree with how the team has prioritised your bug. They might not think it’s actually a blocking bug, or that it’s that big a deal. Maybe they don’t think it’s a bug but instead a change request.
So what do you do here?
You can make sure that the PO or lead dev truey understands what the bug is and what affect it has. Maybe demo the bug to them, or talk them through it. If they explain their reasoning to them you can either counter it, or accept it (however begrudgingly).
You can fight for it, and this is where people start to be anti-advocacy. If a tester’s job is to present information only, and let other team members take that information and use it, then fighting for a bug to be fixed goes against that.
There are also plenty of reasons a bug might not be prioritised in a way you agree with: ignorance, incompetence, lack of time or resource, knowledge of business or user cases and functions.
If the team doesn’t think it’s worth fixing or fixing any time soon, you have to let it go. Just because you raised the bug, doesn’t mean you own the bug.
A few weeks ago I took part in Weekend Testing Europe, and I enjoyed it so much we did a whole episode on it! There is a blog post on the site that covers the scenario and discussions: http://weekendtesting.com/?p=4496
I was in Group C (the C stood for Cool): http://weekendtesting.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/WTEU73-Group-C.pdf
Our mission was to imagine we’d been granted permission to present a testing module within a university Computer Science course for a single semester (12 weeks of 1-hour classes), plus homework/assignments.
This didn’t give us a lot of time. I found there were a few immediate difficulties in coming up with a syllabus.
Do we start with the philosophical stuff? Such as “What is testing?” or What is a tester?”. Or do we jump straight into the nitty gritty (Techniques, heuristics, etc)?
Honestly if someone had said to me that ‘Quality is value to some person’ then I wouldn’t know what that meant. Now obviously it makes sense to me, but I’m not sure it would’ve back then. YMMV and all that. To balance that you don’t want to go too deep and detailed too early, an overview and introduction is needed.
By choosing what you include you obviously don’t include some things, but there are also things you make a deliberate choice not to include. Do we give a flavour of the types of testing you can specialise in (security testing, performance testing, etc)?
There’s not enough time to cover all of it in any type of detail but a high level look at how varied testing is might be enough to give people an idea of what to look into more.
Everyone has a different testing role, and path into testing, which makes boiling testing down into a series of lectures difficult, but I think there are some core skills we can set down:
There are several challenges with trying to create a module like this in reality: