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.

Continue reading “Bloggers Club: Implementing Change”

Bloggers Club: First day in a team

I’ve had many first days in a team since I started my testing career almost nine years ago. But it’s always been daunting and there’s a lot to take in.

New faces.

New names.

New context.

New project.

I’m often trying to gain my bearings and not necessarily looking to start testing on my very first day. (For getting started on a testing project, read this)

Continue reading “Bloggers Club: First day in a team”

Bloggers Club: What’s the most fun you’ve had with a bug

Project context: 

At my first ever project, I was one of the UAT testers for an internal application (only business user facing), where you would have to create different types of profiles (for people or for organisations) and then later edit those profiles or use those profiles to do certain things (I can’t be too specific sorry).

The approach we took was to write test cases based on the requirements and then when the SUT (Software Under Test) was ready, we would then execute those test cases.

  Continue reading “Bloggers Club: What’s the most fun you’ve had with a bug”

Bloggers Club: The Essential Skills for Testing

I’ve been pondering about this blog post since I saw the Ministry of Testing discussion post  and to be honest, I really struggled to interpret it. I mean, how do I define essential skills exactly?

To help me structure my thoughts for this post, I’ll be interpreting “The Essential Skills for Testing” to be “What skills are useful for a great tester?”

Strong communication skills

Let’s be honest, we’ve all met people who claim they have communication skills or even strong communication skills and you can’t help but roll your eyes.

Like wth does that even mean?

In my opinion, strong communication skills (for a tester) means that a tester is:

  • Able to communicate exactly what, where, why, how, etc they have tested in such a way that the team understands what they did
  • Able to communicate exactly what, where, why, how, etc they will test a feature (etc) in such a way that the team understands what they plan to do, and can help expand on those ideas/or question them – to me, the second part is a test of how well you communicated what you plan to test.

Can give effective, actionable feedback

Test reporting and bug reporting is essentially feedback.

A tester is giving the team (often the developers) feedback on the feature (etc) that they have tested.

Often we expect/hope for people to gain some sort of value from our feedback, maybe we want them to know what a great job they did, or maybe we want them to know there are some areas of the feature that had quite a few problems. If it’s the latter then a tester should deliver the feedback in an effective, actionable way.

I don’t think a tester should just write a bug and say “it doesn’t work”. What is a developer supposed to do with that sort of information? There’s no clear point for the developer to start investigating. Even if you don’t know exactly what the problem is, you can note down what you did to investigate the issue; what you tried to do etc.

Appreciation for the bigger picture

When I started my career, I sometimes struggled to appreciate the bigger picture. Testing and software quality was in the forefront of my mind and I struggled to comprehend why/how you could knowingly release software with bugs in it, or why people didn’t want to dedicate more time to testing, or more budget to testers. (I’ve talked a bit about this in an earlier blog post)
I only saw the testers/testing perspective but failed to appreciate how testers/testing fit into the bigger picture.
Often, decisions need to be made where if you have limited time and resources, then something has to give (often testing time unfortunately), now you don’t have to always agree on the decisions made but if you accept that sometimes you don’t get what you asked for – then you know (hopefully early) to prioritise your testing so the most important/riskiest areas are covered first.

Bloggers Club: The Importance of Exploratory Testing

Before we dive into the importance of Exploratory Testing, I would like to clear three things up.

Firstly, I align with this definition of Exploratory Testing, by Cem Kamer, it is an approach to software testing that consists of simultaneous learning, test design and test execution.

Secondly, I don’t think Exploratory Testing has to be a substitute for test cases, it can complement test cases. (It’s up to you, how or if you choose to combine both Exploratory Testing and Test cases when you test a feature)

Lastly, exploratory testing is not adhoc testing – adhoc testing is random, unstructured testing, exploratory testing forced you to think critically about the application under test. (For more about the difference go here.)

  Continue reading “Bloggers Club: The Importance of Exploratory Testing”

Bloggers Club: Managing and Achieving Goals

In this blog post, I will focus primarily on the struggles I’ve faced in managing and achieving my goals, as well as what I’ve learned from it.

Less is better

When it comes to managing and achieving goals, I’ve found that less is better. Continue reading “Bloggers Club: Managing and Achieving Goals”

Bloggers Club: What’s the best career advice you’ve had?

When I was in university, I signed up to a mentoring program. Back then, I actually had no interest in pursuing a career in IT, I was actually a lot more interested in a career in management consulting – so this piece of advice can apply to all disciplines, in my opinion.

I spoke to the careers advisor at my university  about what I was thinking of doing in the future and she suggested a guy called Dan to be my mentor.

There’s one piece of advice that he gave me, that still sticks with me. Continue reading “Bloggers Club: What’s the best career advice you’ve had?”