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 conferences

Just after SeeTest conference in Sofia

@Kingatest

Hi Guys!

It’s been an intense time for me recently.

My very fist testing conference abroad. My very first testing conference abroad with me as a speaker 🙂 And – again – speaking in English (which is obviously not my first language) in a country that I have never been before. Sounds exciting, isn’t it?

Where are we?

Bulgaria -> Sofia -> Hotel -> original conference rooms with sparkling crystal chandeliers(!!!!)

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I was very looking forward to the conference and was not disappointed in the end. I have to admit, that the organizers did a really good job, both – speakers and attendees – felt comfortable and were provided with any necessary piece of information. Props for that!

Bulgarian coffee is really black and strong though – I don;t know how they prepare this …. anyway 🙂

The spot was tremendous – really.

You would probably like to know how it was. Let’s do pros and cons then.

Pros first:

  • awesome tutorial sessions
  • great mixture of ideas
  • people from several countries discussing testing
  • different point of views

For me, the most inspiring thing within the hole conference, was a tutorial session run by Maaret Pyhäjärvi – Exploratory testing explained and experienced. OMG – it was so good. I’ve learned much about teamwork and exploratory, that I’m about to start a revolution since Monday (prepare yourselves, team!).
At the beginning of the class people seemed shy, but after couple of exercises everybody got open and share their ideas about exploratory testing.
Maaret did a keynote session on the next day, which was inspiring as well. We’ve learned a lot about Making team awesome during that session. For example – how to improve your value for the organisation you’re working in – and for your team at the same time.

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I’m really happy that I had an opportunity to meet her in person.

This two-days conference was fully packed with technical, agile and exploratory sessions. It is good to hear different approaches to the same problems.

I had a chance to speak as well. I think that my session – Yes, you need time for bug fixes  -energized the audience and made them think more about scheduling their project time. We had a lot of fun (again) with my funny exercise, so I think it went well. Great energy, fantastic testers and nice comments / notes afterwards.

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Could it be any better for a newbie on an international software conference?

Unfortunately, each software conference has it’s cons as well:

  • too many sessions in a row
  • too little time for questions/discussions and leisure
  • time tracking 🙂

As I said in my session – Not to track time is a crime. It’s bad for the projects and for such events as software conference as well.
In my opinion – schedule of the conference (day 2 – sessions) was so filled with sessions, that it was hardly possible to even notice what’s next. There were no brakes between some of the sessions – so we ended up with delays or speakers getting upset about their session times. It was also tiring – at the end attendees felt a bit overwhelmed with the amount of sessions.

It was inspiring

Having a chance to attend this event was extremely beneficial for me as a speaker and as a software tester. I find it very useful to talk to people from different countries – struggling the same problems as you do on their daily basis. It gives you an impression that software industry is nowadays a one living organism.

Additionally, it was also a unique opportunity to meet people that I know from Twitter in person. It was really fun!

I hope to meet at least some of you soon!

Cheers 🙂