Posted in mobile testing, production bug

The power of “what if” testing



I may be repeating myself, but today we’ll try to think a little bit about a matter of testing outside the box and companies’ reputation on the market.

Most of you, my Dear Readers, work on big software projects. Not all of you in agile ones. As I found out recently, there are still tons of projects that in the field of testing follow very structured and organized test plans, cases etc. It is all great because without your work major bugs would never be discovered.

Today I would like to highlight edge-case testing – all those “what if…” situations that may be not spotted in regular test scenarios. You can always take a step back to see the purpose of your job. I mean it. When you rush in the project work, it is always to little time to look around you. It’s possible, that sometimes you are too focused (or focused enough) to obtain your in-company, in-project testing goals, so you are missing some important factors that make software GOOD.

My purpose today is to convince you that sometimes is good to take a step back and have look on the product, to test outside your comfort zone or, possibly, to ask somebody else to pair with you in testing. Such activities might improve the overall product quality, and make live users – like me – happy and calm.


When I was at the beginning of my career as a software tester, I thought (and I believe
I was also told so), that if I try hard enough, my product will be bugproof and bug-free. The more projects I took part in – the more I realized that it is not necessarily true.
At least some of ISTQB statements are right – software will never be bug-free, and you are not able to stop testing. There always will be something to test, something to improve. On the other hand, some of us – testers – often fall in the trap of checking.
No matter if we write automated test scripts or just repeat series of activities on well know the product. Unintentionally we suffer from pesticide paradox in our projects.
I was in such situations several times by know, when, after a period of really hard project work, I thought that I did everything I could to improve the quality. How big my surprise was when the bugs come back from live customers.


Not thinking outside the box is one of the hardest testers’ sin. Let me give you a recent example. Some of you may have heard that Apple experiences issues with their product updates. There were situations reported online about devices going on fire after an update (wow).

It sounds spectacular and not as breathtaking as this reply from Apple Support (wow):

“That’s definitely not expected behavior. DM us, so we can look into this with you”


I believe that the end user could have been upset and even frightened.
Does it mean that Apple doesn’t test the updating process of their own software? I don’t believe that. But, on the other hand, even such big companies seem to omit some edge cases in their testing process, in the great rush of introducing innovation.
There is more this week from Apple Support. One of my favorite Polish travel vloggers – BezPlanu – put a message on Facebook:

This Sunday I was supposed to present the last chapter form Venezuela. Unfortunately, using fast Chile’s internet, I’ve decided to install the newest iOS update – Mojave – on my MacBook. My computer requested it for two weeks. I’ve ended in the position where I’ve lost everything – including half-done new film (plus part of my Lima recordings and part of Santiago recordings) – they have not been archived on an external disc. After 4 days of the fight and dozens of phone calls with Apple consultants and other specialists, I’ve acknowledged that “it happens when updating” and “you have to back up everything” and it is normal that a computer worth 22 000 PLN could not handle the OS update…

A piece of advice from Apple care was to back up your data before software update. Sure.

And again, it doesn’t mean that they have never tested that, maybe they have, but overall it influences the whole product reputation. The product reputation is not only the matter of marketing but something that identifies the work of all employees, developer, testers, and people involved in creating this software.

It reminded me also of the same situation I had with my Samsung a few Android updates ago. My SIM Card died after the update. The ‘funny’ fact was that no one reported such situation online before. I just got used to such situations in my tester’s life. Lessons learned – always do the backup in case somebody omitted update tests on your device / SIM card model.


Why am I pointing that? Because I believe that, as the software testers, quality evangelists, we are responsible for thinking outside the box and trying to fit in user’s skin. What the user would do with our software? What might be the craziest thing that comes to my mind? What if I…? and so on. It may allow us to avoid some expensive mistakes. I think that we should always consider event the least likely “what ifs” – especially when we work for the well-known company because the equation is simple – the better known the company is – the more expensive are our mistakes. They cost money and – most harmfully – reputation.

Tiny last example from last week.
I’ve started attending German classes in order to improve my language skills. One of the tests on the course was to change the language on my mobile into German. The fun has begun. Not only some of my applications started to throw errors – they event were lost in the UI layer.


It seems that Instagram is not dealing properly with German names that might be long and uncomfortable for UI, especially mobile UI. Fun! But embarrassing. But Fun 🙂

As a summing up – I would like to encourage you today – in your own projects – go tomorrow to work and test something unexpected: backup, installation, simulate network change. Do something potentially crazy, something outside your range of responsibilities. Pair with your non-technical friend or let somebody else test your software (if possible). It is possible that such action, from time to time, may save your company’s reputation and some money.

Good luck bug hunters!

In case of any comments – stalk me on Twitter.

Posted in agile, recognition, team



Derived from Greek word “κῦδος”, meaning “fame” and “glory”, became particularly popular in social media nowadays. I saw the other day some friends of mine posting Kudos pictures on their LinkedIn walls, in order to thank their peers for something.

I thought it is a great idea because in our workplaces or professional lives we sometimes tend to overreact on hard, upsetting situations, but not always appreciate these tiny little acts of kindness that other people provide us with. I think of great work within the project, but also professionalism and just being a human in your company, community, and society. Sometimes we forget to say thank you or sometimes it seems obvious for us that people do a great job, because they want to and they step out their comfort zone, which, in reality, is not obvious and it requires effort.


Local Kudos

At first, I need to say Kudos to my Man – you are the most supportive person ever!

Kudos to my great teams at New Voice Media, who helped me to expire the field of Product and taught me a lot about the project, processes, and people. Sorry for being a pain in the ass from time to time 🙂 It is an ongoing great journey, full of adventures 🙂

Kudos to the best Scrum Masters / Agile coaches at New Voice Media, who made me grow as a tester and Product Owner. There are/were people that taught me how to make Scrum fun again. I need to say κῦδος to Ewelina Wyspiańska, who is the best Scrum Master I’ve ever met and a great friend as well. She facilitates the meetings in the way that all benefit from those. (She can draw too – I can’t 😦 ). She is also one of the pillars of the Wrocław Agile community and volunteers to share her knowledge and skills with everybody.

Kudos to Helen Lisowski for amazing agile inspirations – she always says that the work of a great Scrum Master is invisible. I couldn’t agree more. She writes great articles and shares her knowledge on multiple events. She’s just great!
And, of course, kudos to Piotr Wieczerzak, who was a good spirit for the entire office and now everybody is weeping around the office, when he is not at NVM anymore.

It is important to be surrounded by the people, who believe in you, in your skills and try to cheer you up at work (for example by bringing donuts).

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Local Community Kudos

I need to say a few words about our local community heroes, people, who volunteer their time and skills to create events, write articles, blogs, do presentations for fun and for everyone else’s benefit. Kudos to great Test:Fest organizers – each year they do a stunning (FREE!) event for local testers. They not only host a fantastic conference but also take responsibility for beginner speakers and pair with them to teach how to speak in public.

Kudos to so many great individuals, who inspire me on daily basis with their knowledge and point of view (I see what you write and say on the internet!) – Aleksandra Kornecka – this girl is on fire! She speaks at the conferences, runs a community for female testers and organizes events for beginners in testing to help people join IT.

Kudos to Joanna Moćko – the good spirit of many Polish testing events – such as Testing Cup – for being a shining star on all of the conferences – always ready to help – always on time.

Kudos to Zuzanna Pacholczyk and all PL Geek Girls Carrots – I admire Zuzanna’s energy and ideas in running GGK meetings in Wrocław. I had a privilege to be part of two of them and those were very important events for me. Kudos to Zuzanna for driving women to get into technology and showing them this option as an achievable choice for a professional career.

Ladies first, but I just want, as a software tester in Poland, say kudos to Piotr Wicherski – a person who is guilty of being super-patient, super- understanding and super-helpful for all young testers looking for the answer. Piotr is a book of wisdom in the field of software testing, recruitment, and local events 🙂

Worldwide Kudos

Kudos to Daniel Knott, Rob Lambert, Jo ColantonioMaaret Pyhäjärvi, Danny Dainton, Maciej Wyrodek, Victor Slavchev , other bloggers, authors and all the people, who inspire me to grow – for great writings, even better conversations, and meetings full thought exchange.

Kudos to communities, which teach and enable testers to develop in their field and just create new opportunities for recognition.  Kudos to Ministry of testing for AAAAAAAALLLLLL they do. Kudos to Rosie and Richard, who still want to move on, write, review, present and create new communities for testers.

Kudos to Abstracta US, for empowering me and reminding that I have a blog and the audience, who is waiting for the next article 😀 It helps a lot!

Private Kudos

In the end, in the world full of terrors ;), I would like to say just kudos to YOU, my Reader, who visit the blog and even during the toughest days, when I say, oh crap, I’m closing the website, just come and read and visit and say hello sometimes on Twitter.

It is very nice to have you here 🙂



P.S. Writing this article cheered me up a lot. I thought about all great moments I’ve had with all of you 🙂