Posted in conferences

TestWarez 2017 – Complexity

I’m back 🙂

I’ve spent last two days in Toruń getting as much from the best known Polish QA conference – TestWarez – as possible. Each time I take part in such event – I feel like home. People, who have similar mindset, who want to change the world and improve their skills, vivid atmosphere, rush, noise and loads of coffee. All at once and each one separately.

It was my first time at this event, I had some expectations, but the reality was different. Let’s face the truth – TestWarez is great at the point where you can meet people and talk to them, but it has nothing to do with modern worldwide trends in software testing. When, at the same time, at Agile Testing Days in Potsdam speakers talk about exploratory, supporting women (#SupportAfganGirlsRoboticsTeam) and testing web services – TestWarez’es agenda provided us with such innovative ideas like “there are tools more advanced that Excel to report your bugs” (psssst – it is no longer a Stone Age) or “manual tester/automation tester” (15 kittens died during that presentation, if you know what I mean @MichaelBolton).

Don’t get me wrong – it is not about playing down the conference, but maybe it’s time to move on and look around? Maybe, it would be good to see that there is a world out there beyond ISTQB certification – full of fresh ideas how to improve teamwork.

There were some brilliant speeches as well, but they were rather very good talks than innovative ones. Sadly for me, the more I attend conferences – the more I expect – and maybe it’s not the point. I think SJSI – the main organizer – missed the boat in delivering value instead of package. Maybe it’s time to introduce English – only track (if not the whole event) and mark it in the agenda. It’s a shame when foreign guests are not able to benefit from the event as well due to language barrier.

On the other hand – we have such brilliant events in Poland like TestFest or Quality Excites that are alive,  creative and give new energy. In addition,  maybe the events, that don’t cost an arm and a leg, base on true stories and “we can do it” approach, create more value and QA spirit.

Nevertheless, I had great time in unique surrounding of Toruń – old Polish city. I get together with my friends from testing community, talked for hours with testers from all over the country and enjoyed the event a lot.

So – back to square one – my top 5 speeches (and one discussion panel) – from what I’ve selected during the conference. You should definitely look for them, as soon as they emerge on TestWarez YouTube channel.

  1. O sile optymizmu oraz zwinnym rozwoju osobistym – Jędrzej Osiński

It was not exactly about testing, but rather about personal development in general. Light weight presentations, with well-balanced amount of examples made me re-think my life choices any my priorities in life. Very inspiring and pretty fun! My list of books-to-read widened a lot since Friday 😀 Thank you @dr_hawaii

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2. ZEN testów wydajnościowych – Jakub Chabik

There was a lot at TestWarez about performance testing. It seems – this subject is getting trendy nowadays. When our applications run in production quite well – all we have to do is stress them and check how many users can we serve at once. This presentations gave me the receipt how to start, how to manage the environment and which mistakes to avoid since the beginning of my performance testing. Well organized speech – original ZEN- related surrounding – well done!

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3. A proper gun makes testing fun – Tomasz Dubikowski

It may be the first time when Tomek’s speech is not on the top of my list 🙂
The talk was fun as always. Tomek’s jokes, minions and colorful slides shall provide you with all you need from a good speech. He was talking about performance testing as well, gave some epic fails examples and coded live (successfully) using Gatling. I hope we’ll have the opportunity to see it live again on some other event.

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4. What tester can learn in support – Maciej Wyrodek

This talk was a story about Maciek’s journey as a software tester and it was focused on his first job. He had a lot to do with a support of his product – not only with testing. Below slide summaries this job perfectly.
Testing is not the end – support is!
Maciek’s talk was entertaining, as he used (my) trick with candies 😉 He played a game with the audience, so nobody got bored. The talk was in English – so once it’s on YT – all of you can hear the story.

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5. Jak zaplanować testy, żeby nie wylądować w czarnej d…ziurze – Łukasz Pietrucha. – discussion panel

I can remember when Łukasz hosted first WrotQA (local testers meetups in Wrocław – the city I live in) meetings. It was long time ago in a galaxy far far away. It was a time when I wore diapers as a software tester 🙂

Today, he is a storyteller and a professional speaker. As I wrote about the discussion panel itself in my previous post – I have to admit that I’m impressed by the talk itself. We had an opportunity to take part in moderated discussion at professional level. People were truly involved and took some examples fro themselves, I believe.

I’ve enjoyed it a lot 🙂

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6. Przychodzi tester na rozmowę – Patryk Hemperek

The dilemma was big – Patryk and Kamila Mrozek (my ‘homies’ from Worcław) had their presentations at the same time (come oooon TestWarez!). As I saw Kamila in action before – I decided to support Patryk at his speech about evolving as a software tester. He was talking about his journey and experiences as a software tester and focused on gaining new skill to improve test automation in his project. Very instructive talk –
I recommend it especially to all of you who would like to start their journey as a software tester.

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I wish I could see more – but I was the only one among 5 (!!!) tracks at once. There was some about test automation, lot about performance testing and even more about ISTQB – related stuff. I hope I’ll see more online.

… And one more thing – 4 – in my opinion the most tempting presentations – were scheduled during the last slot on Friday. 70% of the conference attendees had left before the speeches started 😦 It made me sad. It is horrible to talk to the empty room. It is also horrible to give a great talk that no one listens to.
Re-think it, please – both organisers and attendees.

What did you like the most about Test Warez?
Was my summary helpful?

As usual – don’t hesitate to comment down below or on Twitter / Facebook.

Cheers!

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Posted in agile, conferences, team, Uncategorized

Test team will help you out

Test Team

Hi Boys and Girls,

Being close to the test community at Test Warez Conference, on which I am at the moment, made me think about my team and how do we do things at New Voice Media.
I believe it is worth to spread and inspire you to introduce good practices into your test / scrum teams.

Next week I’ll provide you with wider summary of Test Warez – today I want to focus on one aspect that came to my mind yesterday during the discussion panel run by
Łukasz Pietrucha about planning your tests.

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We’ve started with lightweight talk about ISTQB’ish approach to formal documentation and planning across organisations but end up with vivid discussion and sharing good practices and personal project-related experiences (not necessarily related to panel’s subject 🙂 ). It made me think that planning your tests and organising testing in your organisations, in general, is extremely context-related. You might think that one, structured, recommended by ISTQB idea should work, but sometimes, to be honest, it is just useless.

I went back to my roots as a software tester.

One of my very first sources of knowledge about software testing in general was Polish blog.testowka.pl . It is technical, teaches you how to start with Selenium and gives updates about software testing in general – very thought through source of knowledge (For some reason I was convinced that it is run by a girl…. but never mind, just leave it 🙂 – sorry Wiktor! ).
Wiktor Żołnowski – the author – wrote a few words about himself on that blog. However, I’ve read it just a week or two ago. Wiktor wrote ‘It was ‘Agile’ – people and interactions over processes and tools. Then I’ve acknowledged that all things which I knew about testing ans so-called quality processes promoted by different organisations, had little value. Software can be crafted just better.‘ – and I consider it as a quote close to my heart. I still keep thinking about it, that’s why I decided to write today’s post.
Now, at New Voice Media, I can tell the same thing. There was always a missing part in my teams / projects/ organisations, even with their structured processes and diverse working environments, and I don’t speak about faking the agile style of work only – what I mean is – craftsmanship and team spirit (what a cliche).
It suites me better – it may not suit you at all, so don’t feel offended, Dear Reader 🙂

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As some of you probably know, at New Voice Media we – the DevOps team – work  in Scrum or Scrumban. This is the first time, where I an able to see theory in practice and it works good for the organisation. We have testers and developers in our team, but we try to widen our responsibilities to enable all team members to learn and improve their skills.

Apart from separated feature teams – we also try to gather in community of interests, Sound ‘Spotify’ish’ 🙂 Maybe. On the other hand, it helps. We try to share knowledge across teams and locations (some of us work in Poland and some in the UK) to avoid silos of knowledge

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– it means we meet, talk and help one another out. It also means, that when somebody gets sick, has some emergency or has too many tasks to do at once – other testers may (and will!) help. We use different communication tools, chatters, video conferences, Wiki spaces and so on, but first of all – WE WANT to share and WE WANT to learn. It is not the organisation, who makes us do it – it’s us who do it, because it just helps.

I am not sure if that would be an approach for entire corporation – but for small departments – maybe? Would it work in a software house? I don’t know – but at leas you may try it. I know at leas one software house, that has it’s own community of interests and it works great for them. 😉 When you feel the energy and willingness to do something – you can definitely progress at things.

You cannot build (good) your software alone these days, so it is good to have a team which would help you out. Just in case 🙂

As always, you can comment down below or stalk me on Twitter.

Cheers!

Posted in development, mobile testing, production bug

Development in rapid-delivery era.

This post will consist of some thoughts that bother me for some time now. It won’t be about testing only, but about the whole modern process of software delivery. Reading shall take some time, so grab some sandwiches, coffee and come along with my story 🙂

Development in rapid - delivery era

We produce more and more software

Several years ago, it started to be visible that we live faster. We eat in a hurry, don’t care about cooking or running out of global resources. We became dedicated to meaningless things, such as smartphones, watches and gadgets to impress our society.

On the other hand, at some point, people noticed that the quality and durability of equipment they have at their homes: cars, washing machines, mobile phones etc. is lower than in used to be. It became more efficient to buy a new thing than to repair the old one. We started to produce lot of waste, polluting the environment and thinking that we have another Earth to move to. It took some time to notice, that, in fact, we don’t have a spare one. Simple, but surprising thought, made us be more eco-minded and aware of human’s impact on the planet.

Slow lifestyle, vegan food, bikes instead of cars, repairing old furniture, producing new items in more environmental friendly way – it is all happening now, and we keep on changing our lifestyles in order to save the planet for the future generations.

What has software industry to do with it?

The more devices we produce – the more software it requires. Modern fridges, microwaves or even toys tend to be equipped with some sort of software, can have WI-FI connection or are prone to be hacked. It means, that IT industry is no longer separated branch on the marked, or there that there is a bunch of guys somewhere, who produce software for your computer. Internet of Things enabled us to have software almost everywhere, furthermore, someone must write and test it.

Here is the point of my first doubt – if some device consists of some sort of software – does it mean that is has to be tested by somebody?

We test, but we don’t fix

My career as a software tester is not very long now, but since now, I had an opportunity to work is several projects related to various parts of the global market. As you probably know already, I also like to talk to people and exchange ideas and gain some other peoples’ experience regarding their projects. In addition, I am also an internet addict,
I do admit that – I shop online, read blogs and watch movies on the internet.

In a contrary, as a software tester, I am also quite picky user and when something on the website pisses me off – I don’t use the service anymore, unless I have no other choice.

What I would like to emphasise here is the matter of choice, in fact.

In my short software tester’s career (too many times!) I came across with the approach that when we know about the bug – our job is done. It takes too much effort (MONEY) to fix it, so we collect non-critical ones in our backlog and struggle to have them fix for end users. Does it sound familiar to you, Dear Reader?

It made me cry so many times observing my projects sinking in the sea of spaghetti code and UI issues.  Unfortunately, it was often way too visible, that I had been the only person, who bothered.

And here we are – software testers – doing the best we can to expose flaws of our products,  to protect our users, being angry and powerless at the same time. Product managers, product owners don’t listen to us, they just sell and expand the products worldwide.

Is it bad? It seems to be short-term profitable, but sadly, we may end up with piles of hideous software as we end up with polluted air, rivers and garbage in Indian Ocean.

When talking about the choice – there are branches on the market – which benefit from not having a competition. In Poland, where I live, this would be a public sector’s case – schools, national insurance, security. There is usually a tender in order to choose
a supplier of a software for certain public organisation, but in most of the cases the cheapest offer wins.
How do people manage to obtain the cheapest offer? They don’t include quality in their estimations. Simple.
Who will be the most impacted by the poor quality of the software here? Us. Hopefully, the person who made all bad decisions as well. An employee, who uses this software on daily basis has NO CHOICE. He is forced to use CRAPPY software, because it’s a part of his job. He must struggle, because somebody a few months back – was thinking just about his own profit. This is just against work ethics – but it happens in most of the cases.

We sell more than we have coded

Quality – not quantity – this is the sentence we teach newcomers in testing industry.
However, sometimes I think, that there is literally nobody, who cares about software quality. What’s the point of testing, if we don’t fix our mistakes?
During my last speech at SeeTest I said, “as a result of selling non-existing software” and, frankly, there or wherever I said that – the audience shared same feelings and knew exactly what I was talking about.

Are we in software delivery era, in which quality doesn’t matter anymore?

Out ‘businesses’ sell features, which are in their minds only, claiming it’s already existed and after that push us to write code faster, without impediments. What I mean by distractions – bug fixes for instance. I was in such projects, I know how that feels and how hopeless people are in such crazy circumstances.

We deliver faulty software in enormous pace

What do we have in return?
Faulty websites, online stores which display 503 or 404 on daily basis, dramatic UI, crashing mobile applications or just literally – non-usable software.

I don’t mind fast pace of work – it is stimulating and efficient, but I miss the care about end user. We produce fast-food software rather that slowly cooked pieces which would make us proud. I don’t think that a software tester is glad when his team receives bugs or complaints from production, but how could he help in the first place?

I am angry, because during my online shopping it happens more often that I receive errors, UI issues, drop-downs without items or my mobile applications just crash. When
I want to be kind and nice – I report those issues – but usually nobody responses and the issues  still exist.

We keep on racing each other – neglecting quality. ‘Fast’ is the new black.

Sadly, I don’t think that even persistent testers are able to fight with the approach. Maybe, there has to come a moment, as it was with coal usage or waste in the oceans,  when it will be obvious for us to stop and think.
I hope, there will be this moment, once more, in software industry, when ‘business’ would start to think not only about their fast profit but also about the end user.

Sorry for melancholy today, it just bothers me.

What do you think?
Feel free to comment down below, on Twitter or Facebook. Cheers.