Ep 42: Always Look on the Bright Side of Life

Okay so on the day this comes out I will be travelling down to testbash, armed with y mic, laptop, business cards, and stickers! I am so excited, I’ll be bouncing throughout the 4 hour train journey down. I’ve also never been to Brighton before, so I’m hoping to get some walking on the beach and exploration done. Still hoping to get some field recording done, so come find me! I’ll be the short, wide-eyed girl with dark purple hair and will be wearing a geeky shirt.

I like to think I’m pretty good at pointing out the positive of the work I test, and the people I work with as well as logging bugs or pointing out issues. I always feel that passing a story isn’t as good as logging a bug is bad if that makes sense? Passing a bug happens without fanfare unless I make fanfare. And I don’t want fanfare for every story passed – sometimes there are small ones that are routine, so that would take away from the larger work, but when something has been tricky, or when it works particularly well, or is something truly custom, then I’ll praise the work that’s been done.

I’ll also mention passing stories as well as bugs in the scrum and flag up anything particularly good there.

In fact, generally I try to put good points forward first, and this is because I know if I don’t I’ll get distracted by bugs and other things and end up just not vocalising these compliments, and I want to be positive, because no one likes being told only the bad things.

This is a thing I learned when I proof read fiction for a friend of mine – I’d get so lost in the things I’d picked up that I wouldn’t say what I liked, and that was not the best way to give feedback. So I try to start with the good.

I also don’t want to be overbearing and condescending, but even a ‘looks good, not seeing any obvious bugs’ is enough. I’m so used to that look or fear/resignation on devs faces when I walk over that sometimes it’s nice to meet that with: ‘no, this looks good I just need to ask a question’.

And sometimes the devs compliment me! Just last week I was giving a status update and mentioned a small bug I’d found and the dev who’d done the work said ‘Ah, didn’t think of that – good catch’. And it’s a good feeling, and part of being a good team. You’re working together, not against each other.

Ep 11: There’s No I In Team

(But There Is In Chris)

Today’s recording is a bit echoey, and that’s because I recorded this episode at a venue called Madlab, who very kindly lent me a room for this interview.

This episode is an interview with Chris Northwood, who is Lead Dev as BBC Connected Studios, working on a fantastic project called BBC Taster.

Disclaimer: Chris is talking to me in a personal capacity, not on behalf of or representing the BBC.

We talk about how software development works in the BBC , and Chris’ team in particular, and the benefits of having QA embedded in a Scrum team.

Chris Northwood co-runs Manchester Tech Nights, a meetup aimed at Manchester’s technology community, and happens every other month. Find out more by going to http://manchestertechnights.org/.

Find Chris on twitter @cnorthwood

Ep 8: Rage Against the QA

This week I talk to Mike Bell, Drupal Dev, friend, and colleague about the relationship between QA, Dev, and Client.

We talk about how QAs and Devs think differently, reporting bugs to devs, writing AC, and the affect of planetary movements on testing. I also try and fail to remember the term Galumphing and James Bach, the name of the person who coined it.

Mike Bell can be found on Mike Bell, and will be talking at PHPNW15 this year. He’s previously spoken at NWDUG and various Drupal Camps.

In between recording this episode and posting it, its been announced that Mike will be talking as part of a keynote at DrupalCamp Barcelona! Read more about his talk here: https://events.drupal.org/barcelona2015/sessions/mental-health-and-open-source