Step by step guide to becoming a technical tester

It seems to me that there’s an increasing demand to hire people who can write test automation, or at least are “technical testers”. For more on what this term means, check out this article on the Ministry of Testing.

For the purposes of this blog post, I’m going to say that “technical testing” means someone who can go and test beyond the UI (User Interface). This means they can probably do the following:

  • They can test against APIs
  • Look under the hood and see network requests
  • Understand code and what it does – maybe even write test automation

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Interview with Marie Drake

Marie Drake is a Quality Engineering Manager at Zoopla. Previously, she was a Principal Test Automation Engineer at News UK within the Product Platforms team where she was responsible for setting up the overall QA strategy and ensuring that they deliver a high quality product to end users. Part of her role is to also educate everyone about Software Testing and Test Automation so the responsibility of testing is shared across the team.

In the past, she has worked as a Test Automation Consultant having worked with different clients from different industries to help them speed up their testing cycles.

She is also a Cypress ambassador, an accessibility advocate and an online course instructor at Ministry of Testing and Test Automation University.

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The Economics of Software Testing: The Sunk Cost Fallacy

What is a sunk cost?

A cost that already has occurred and cannot be uncovered. (Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sunk_cost

 

What is the sunk cost fallacy?

Individuals commit the sunk cost fallacy when they continue a behaviour or endeavour as a result of previously invested resources (time, money or effort) (Source: https://www.behavioraleconomics.com/resources/mini-encyclopedia-of-be/sunk-cost-fallacy/)

Put simply, if you are continuing to do something because of the resources you have ALREADY committed to it, then you have fallen for the sunk cost fallacy.

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Interview with Andreas Lindgren

Andreas Lindgren is a backend lead at Apptus Technologies, which provides AI-powered optimisation software for eCommerce companies. Prior to this he worked at a large consulting company on various projects ranging from large government projects to mobile apps.

He blogs at https://auo.nu/ and you can follow him on Twitter here: https://twitter.com/limebranch

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Do I prefer manual testing or test automation?

We had our weekly European tech team meeting today and the format was to be randomly assigned someone and then ask them questions about work or their project. We posed these questions to our partner in front of everyone else, and everyone else heard the answer.

I was randomly paired up with Joāo -who asked me if I prefer manual testing or test automation?

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Trying to get a spot in NZ’s MIQ System

If you’re a Kiwi/New Zealander who has been living overseas since the pandemic started, you’re probably familiar with this booking site, where you need to book your managed isolation spot before you are allowed in.

The thing is, it’s damn near impossible (I’m not exaggerating here), to get a spot.

Like many Kiwis, I’ve been waiting patiently for borders to open and have been dismayed by the slow vaccination rate (Currently roughly 15% of the population is fully vaccinated). I’m dismayed by this because I assume that the borders will stay closed until a large majority of the NZ population is vaccinated, but we won’t know for sure until later (the NZ prime minister has stated there isn’t a vaccination percentage goal that would allow the border to open).

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Bloggers Club: Implementing Change

I’ve written a fair bit about implementing change in the past, including two articles at the Ministry of Testing site on Introducing Colleagues to Exploratory Testing and going about implementing change when you’re not a manager.

However, in this post, I would like to dive deeper into how the status quo bias makes implementing change rather difficult.

Status quo bias is evident when people prefer things to stay the same by doing nothing or by sticking with a decision made previously.

https://www.behavioraleconomics.com/resources/mini-encyclopedia-of-be/status-quo-bias/

One of the key aspects of the status quo bias that makes it so difficult to implement change is that it’s generally easier to do nothing i.e. to not try and implement change in the first place. Even if people are unhappy with how things are, you’d be surprised by how the same people may not be open to ideas to change – that would help fix what is making them unhappy.

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Learning how to hold retrospectives

A few months ago I volunteered to help hold retrospectives in our cross-functional team. Up until then, we had a delivery lead hosting most of the retrospectives and from time to time a process designer would also come in and host retrospectives.

The thing is, while we were going through the motions of having a retrospective, including creating actions – I couldn’t see any improvement that resulted from having these retrospectives (there was no follow-through with the actions). After talking to the tech director about the possibility of helping host retrospectives, I also spoke to the delivery lead about it (who was more than happy to be relieved of that responsibility as he already had plenty on his plate).

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Why it’s important that it’s safe to fail

When my daughter started to learn how to walk, we immediately started buying corner protectors and had multiple scans of our apartment to see if there were any dangers lurking that we had to remove or cover up. We wanted to make it safe for her (to fail).

When it comes to software development, I think it’s also important to make it safe for people to fail.

People make mistakes.

It happens to everyone – and in my opinion, it’s not a bad thing.

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