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Showing posts from March, 2016

The importance of well defined COAs!

All through our lives we get told by people you get out of anything that you undertake what you put in. How can it apply to me as a Tester or as an Engineer?

Well lets start with a rather less than subtle drawing, the above shows that if you put poop (in case my 4 year old son reads this one day) into something you will most probably get poop out. It doesn't matter what that task is, it directly effects the outcome.

How does this apply to me as a Tester? Lets look at a PBI with no COAs? If we took that into a sprint, chances are we will end up with a rubbish outcome, it most probably won't be what the Product Owner wanted and it probably would be littered with bugs, and the time taken to even develop and test that thing would have been far greater than it perhaps should have!

Lets flip it, what if we had a Product Backlog Item (PBI) with well defined, testable and understood Conditions Of Acceptance (COAs) the chances are that what would come out at the end of a sprint would b…

Encouraging Teams to Work Together

Many of the teams I work with sometimes struggle to understand why working together as a team is important. There have been comments like "You're not technical enough to be involved this early" etc. from a dev to a QA, and I strive to get everyone involved as early as possible, reasons being:

Helps people understand things from the start - if a decision is made early on, then at least they know why it was madeEveryone is on the same footing, you're not just throwing something over the fence when it's been developed or even when it's been groomed to the QAs to understand how to test something. By having them involved early they can start thinking just how they are going to test something.It helps people bring value from the start- especially from a testing background, if a tester can start testing things early, even requirements, then value is coming straight away, and it's far easier to change a requirement than it is to fix a bug in code

I'm sure you&…

Not sure about something? Ask questions...

Recently I was watching Zoolander (it's an amazing film, and one I can highly recommend), and Derek Zoolander (Ben Stiller) plays a dumb male model in it, but it's hilarious. One scene however got me thinking, and it's this scene here:

"Did you think I'd be too stupid to know what a eugoogly is?"
It shows Derek not knowing something and being too afraid to ask for fear of looking stupid. It's something that unfortunately I still see, and one of the reasons why I believe that Testers need to understand what they are testing, but all too often, I see Testers scared to ask questions.

If a Tester is scared to ask questions, then that raises alarm bells on multiple fronts:

- Firstly, is the team a safe environment for the Tester to ask any questions? Do they feel confident and comfortable in front of their fellow team mates.
- Secondly, if the Tester doesn't truly understand something, then how do they know how to test it? What test cases to write and execu…

A Tester goes to Disneyland!

A few weeks ago I went to DisneyLand Paris with the family, and it's the first time I've been to a theme park and really took advantage of the Fast Pass system they have! I have to say it's really great! Especially with kids!

For those that don't know the fast pass enables you to "book" a time to come back to a ride and go on it, it's invaluable with kids especially as it meant we'd spend less time queueing, and as good as my kids are at queueing (we are British after all!) it's not the best way to spend a holiday! Luckily for us it wasn't too busy and the longest time we queued was probably around 30 minutes.
It got me thinking and wondering how it went, which is generally a Testers mindset, asking How is this even possible? Why is this happening? How does it work?
Anyway, I did a bit of googling, and sure enough someone else had asked on Stack Overflow of all places how it works, and it's a way of scheduling rides for people, and ensurin…

Say Yes!

I was talking to a good friend of mine and she was discussing how she's started the year and a new year resolution was for her to not say "No" to things, much like the "Yes Man" movie, unless she physically can't do something, she is trying to say "Yes" to everything that is asked of her.

Whilst this may lead to a busy and stressful time, I also think it's a very positive and good outlook to take. I have to steal a line from one of my favourite movies, Empire Records, being this:

For those that haven't seen it  I can strongly recommend watching it, it's an easy to watch film and has an amazing soundtrack!

However, I digress, there are always a million reasons not to do something, so it's very easy to say "No" to something. Yet, if we all take a "Yes" attitude, so much more would be done.

Where is this leading?

Well I had a "Yes" moment a few months ago, when I volunteered to speak in front of 250+ peop…