A yvrTesting Blog
For the second year in a row, yvrTesting took part in the TeamSTAR Competition 2017 in collaboration with EuroSTAR Conferences, Europe’s largest software testing conference. This year’s theme was “The Magic of Testing” and, just like last year, it was a great opportunity for the yvrTesting community to jump back into testing after a two-month summer hiatus.
We thought about what makes testing magical and we realized that, even after years of testing, there are still things about software testing and its ever changing world that amazes professional testers. From realizations about the meaning of testing, to learning a trick that might have literally saved a team days of testing or a testing phase when someone miraculously caught a bug in the nick of time and saved the project, we wanted to hear about moments when people experienced what they felt was the magic of testing. “The Magic of Testing” presented us with the chance to once again encourage our yvrTesters to share their favourite QA and software testing stories. We invited everyone to send in proposals to present their stories in the form of Lightning Talks: five-to-ten minute long presentations followed by a short question and answer portion to engage the audience.
The Meetup took place on Wednesday, September 6, 2017 at 5:30PM. While many members of the yvrTesting community were still coming back from their summer vacations, we had four Lightning Talk speakers and 28 attendees in total.
The first Lightning Talk was presented by Jim Peers, QA Practitioner at PQA Testing Ltd. Jim talked about learning in software testing and how it’s a great time to be a software tester, as our careers have many exciting paths to follow. For example, the field of security testing is undergoing rapid evolution as technology advances and more organizations are learning the importance of security. Artificial intelligence will challenge testers to expand their knowledge and devise new methods of testing. Growing our field of expertise helps us to take on new tasks, and becoming code literate builds a tester’s repertoire. To Jim, the magic is in how much you learn simply by performing the act of testing. It’s all about discovery.
Neha Batta, QA Manager at Cymax Group, gave the second Lightning Talk around the need for QA presence through release and into the monitoring stages of production. For Neha, the magic of testing lays in the fact that, by adding a little bit of tester time in these areas, you can save yourself a lot of effort and, more importantly, save the business some expense later on. Neha’s talk gave good detail of her path and how she works to include testing in the release process, as well as giving some very real examples of where test had made a difference by following this plan.
Senior Quality Analyst at Sophos Inc., Michael Dunn, delivered an interesting and amusing talk in which he discussed his path into software testing. He indicated that he had taken computer science in school and came out as a programmer. Michael fell into a job that he wasn’t very happy with when he managed to network himself into a new job while attending an event at a rather risqué establishment. Michael talked through some of the things that he found interesting in testing from the start of his career, and talked about how these things evolved as he became the tester that he is today. It was an interesting talk with a good dose of humor running throughout. The overarching message was that testers need to be open to new opportunities, whenever they might come. To Michael, the magic of testing was in finding testing as a career and making it work through such an interesting path.
Mike Hrycyk, Director of Quality at PQA Testing Ltd., gave a talk in which he described the relationship that he believes good testers have with the product of MS Paint. He linked the magic of testing to his talk through the notion that there is just something magical about the shared understanding and feeling you have with a team when you just get where they are coming from, as is true with testers and MS Paint. He related some stories of his past teams, their use of the tool, and the attitude that they seemed to indicate within the teams. A person using MS Paint as part of their toolset indicates a willingness to use the tools at hand to get the job done, rather than waiting for the ‘just right’ tool that may never come. Mike told us how MS Paint users show a resiliency and adaptability that serves one quite well in a testing career. Mike’s talk was fast-paced and filled with humor. In the end, he was put on the spot with the brilliant question, “So Mike, do you have MS Paint on your resume?” Slightly ashamed, Mike had to respond that he did not, but that he would make sure to fix that in the future.
After all the presentations had been delivered, the audience was asked for their feedback by voting for their favourite Lightning Talk and they were asked to say why they liked it. Participants noted that the talks encouraged them to work out loud and that they were inclined to share their own stories of magical moments throughout their testing career. It was a great opportunity for everyone in the community to practice their public speaking skills, share their experiences, and to learn from each other.