Learning Lessons

To escape old thinking and behaviour patterns will try some new things. First two I will print out on handy cards, carry with me and will use every waiting moment when I would usually check my mobile, to check my learning cards. For my-needs-card I have another idea. Tomorrow starts our team-summer-work-camp and I want to do it as a team exercise to raise awareness how different we are and what do we need to deliver better results.

Command Line

CRITICAL THINKING CHEAT SHEET

My Needs card by Angie Doyle

#TestBash Germany Ticket zu verschenken

Hallo!

Genauso wie letztes Jahr, auch dieses ich habe ein TestBash Germany (TBG) Ticket zu verschenken und ich suche immer noch den glücklichen die/der das bekommen wird! Ich verstehe dass es ungewöhnlich ist etwas geschenkt bekommen, deswegen hier paar Fragen und Antworten:

Was ist eigentlich TBG?:  es ist eine Tester Konferenz die nur ein Track hat und nur ein Tag dauert. Alle Vorträge werden auf English gehalten, während Pausen es kann auch Deutsch oder Bayrisch vorkommen. Vielfalt von Speakers mit sehr unterschiedlichen Erfahrungen und interessanten Fragestellungen. Mehr Details unter  https://www.ministryoftesting.com/events/testbash-germany-2018 

Wann wird TBG stattfinden?: 14.9.2018

Was muss Du tun:  email an kristine.corbus@gmail.com schicken mit folgendem Satzanfang: “Ich möchte das TBG Ticket haben weil …”

Was erwarte ich von Dir:  absolut nichts 

Warum tut jemand so etwas verrücktes wie Tickets verschenken?!: weil ich an „Tue Gutes und Dir wird Gutes widerfahren“ glaube (also bin ich am Ende sehr egoistisch :D)

Am 12.8.2018 ich werde bekannt machen wer wird am 14.9.2018 bei TB dabei sein. Also – nicht lange überlegen, einfach schreiben und gewinnen!

Viele Grüße –

Kristīne

How You Measure Success In Testing?

Very early in my testing career I understood that this will be tricky: it is hard to say when you are successful as a tester. Even worse,  it is hard to be proud of anything in testing.

There was time that it was cool to write many as possible test cases or to find many as possible bugs. That was success. But now those times are gone. Now testers question stuff and support teams.

I raised 10 questions yesterday, today I asked 12 – yeay, I am pretty good at this!

OK. Let’s assume for the moment this is how you measure quality of a tester. If asking more questions shows success, then we will want to ask more questions to be more successful. 15. 20! 35? And suddenly questions becomes a noise and distraction for a development team.

My current answer how to measure quality of a tester is following:

Testing is a service. If tester brings value to the development team with what s/he does than s/he is a good tester.

Food for thought – what kind of testing team would you call successful?

 

My personal success

I wanted to answer the question for myself – am I successful?

For a long time I thought I wasn’t. I am an autodidact in testing. I even cannot say that I learned on the job, all learning happened in my free time. There was no manager or senior colleague at any point of my testing career who would guide me through the subject. Google was my friend. Developers around me did not like testing, managers around me always wanted me to do manual checking. It took time and mental strength to understand that there is more. From that moment on I started to practice selling and explaining testing. I had very different results. I started to doubt myself. I looked up to big names in testing, compared myself to them and though I paled in comparison. I was sure that on my self-education way I missed the turn and miss some existential  information. I felt like a fraud…

But then something happened. I attended an open space, run a session and apparently my statements annoyed one of the biggest names in testing. He got angry, we started to argue and then he asked me whether I knew what a state chart was. I said no, causing him to raise his voice and to ask me in front of the group how I dare to call myself a tester. That was it! Somebody was calling me a fraud, but instead of being ashamed, running away and hiding, I answered him with confidence: Yes, I am a tester!

Suddenly I understood that I am very special kind of tester. There is only one of me. My experienced shapes how I test software and how I communicate with people. It will not work for every team or every manager and that is OK. There is no one universal answer to a question. BTW, I looked up immediately after our dialog what “state chart” is. I realised that I knew it, but only in Latvian.

If I do consulting and my client wants me to automate UI tests in two weeks and then leave, I could do a few things:

  1. I could start to explain what testing is, how it works and what you can do with testing. And I will crash and burn, because the client will be frustrated and overwhelmed with this information, which will turn around everything they know and how they work. How do I know it? I experienced it.
  2. Or I could “shut up and simply do the job” (greetings to Mark ;) ) that I was contracted to do.
  3. Lately I choose to combine both. I do the job, but I involve other people to whom I explain what I am doing and why, so that after I am gone they could carry it out by themselves.

Is this the only possible solution? No. It is my current one. Next year it will probably look completely different, because I am continuously learning and improving my methods.

Now, when I look back to when I thought I was a fraud, I can not understand why I felt that way. I always had a job offers and I got mostly good feedback from the teams I worked with. Why I did not recognise this as success? I have a page on this site for speaking engagements.  Average only two appointments per year. To some it could look very empty. But for me it is OK. I have a day job, I have a family, I have hobbies and I am member of several local groups. Two to three talks a year is what I am comfortable with.

As I get older, I find the strength not to compare myself to others. I compare me with me. If I read one of my old blog posts and feel ashamed – this is good thing, because it means I learned something in-between.  

 

 

Giveaway: #TestBash Germany

I have one giveaway ticket for Test Bash Germany – write me an email/ message (mailto:Kristine.Corbus at gmail.com)  , why you should get it and if you will convince me – ticket is yours!  #PayItForward #SimplyLikeThat 

GDPR Awareness

We got 2 years to adapt to GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation), the new EU Privacy law. But most of us are excellent in procrastination and sometimes it is easier simply to panic.

In my understanding GDPR is about personal data, operations with it and consent of data owner. I have very simple wordpress blog/website. I do not collect any information about my readers, I never force somebody to read my blog post or any other pages of my website, I have no special plugins or cookies to track you, I do not send any emails. So why should I bother about GDPR?

If I do not collect any personal data, am I sure that the platform I use for my blog (WordPress) does not do it as well? To answer that question, I checked first what GDPR understands with “personal data”. Answer is simple – anything what helps you to identify physical person. Some examples: name, postal address, bank account, email address, IP address.

Yes, you can identify somebody by his email address and IP address, and both are pretty necessary to do anything on internet.

WordPress is no exception – it collects personal data of users – readers and spammers. Here you can see site stats and link in admin panel to akismet stats – both default features which I cannot deactivate. If you want to leave a comment than 1) you have to log in and 2) your IP will be saved, which is another default feature, which I cannot deactivate.

Second bunch or potential danger are all kind of embedded social networks – g+, FB, twitter … you name it. They are present in our digital lives, but I have no idea what exactly they do.

What i did?

  1. reduce the waste! I removed everything what I do not find necessary. e.g. I have no liking or sharing options anymore, because I do not use it myself and I do not know what the third parties do with my readers data.
  2. started to rework privacy policy page and consider to look for another blogging platform
  3. WordPress created webpage for all GDPR related issues. I expected to find there answers to all my questions, but unfortunately it did not happen. One of the issues (please notice that this is less then 24h before regulation takes effect):
>> How do I opt out of being tracked when I use Automattic’s services?

We’ll offer an opt-out from our first party analytics tool for WordPress.com users. We are still working to finalize this process for our products. We will update the information here, and in our documentation, with more details about how these processes work once they are ready.

 

what should you do?

  1. first of all you should know that I do not collect any data on you
  2. if you do not want to be identified –
    • do not spam (in this case WP saves your IP address to protect my website)
    • do not leave a comment on my website (in this case you have to log in on the platform) — UPDATE: until WP updates the platform, I am closing commenting feature.
    • do not follow my blog (login on WP)
  3. if you want to contact me – do it via email: kris [at] corbus dot digital  or twitter

Some links, I found useful

Definitions what GDPR understands with personal data, operations with it and consent of data owner

GDPR compliance checklist

DSGVO Selbsthilfegruppe on FB (German)

Privacy policy of others (German)

Privacy policy generator (German)

 

 

Don’t Patronize Me

Some time ago I talked with a testing friend and he said: “I have never seen you test nor have we talked much about testing”. And suddenly it hit me, I am afraid to talk about testing. I am afraid to be patronised. There is always somebody who knows better. I remember the time 10 years ago – I wrote a question in some forum how to test something better. Very first response explained me that I asked the question wrong. Since that time unaware I have followed unwritten rule:

  • do not ask questions
  • do not give statements
  • never claim that I know something
  • answer the questions

Why? Because I was afraid to be judged.

First step was to realise – I can hide as hard as I want, I am judged anyway. Second step was to accept it, but without impact on my self-awareness. It took me some time and energy to change it. I have confidence now to deal with somebodies opinion about my abilities or knowledge.

 

 

Words Has Meanings – QA

Words matter. Words are the way we transfer ideas from person to person. Shared words do not guarantee shared understanding. I understand 4 languages and I try to understand 4 cultures. Time to time I experience situations where I cannot express myself in none of the languages and my motives are misunderstood in all the cultures. At the moment I try to help my son with his Latin studies, it means I am kind of studying it as well. And it is quite fun because grammar is very similar to Latvian, but words to English and/or Italian.

You may wonder why I am writing about languages and what it has to do with quality assurance (QA)? You see, I really like quality assurance in software. I am very into processes, responsibility about the software and improving quality of an end product. If I would need to name one thing what I am good at, it would be seeing links/ matches/ connections. When I see a bug in the software, I see that it comes from a bug in the process. You can fix the bug in the software, then write and maintain 10 regression checks to get information when it happens again, but for me, more sense is to fix the bug in the process which caused the bug in the software.

One illustrative example. Imagine bakery. Good recipe does not guarantee tasty cake. Bad recipe does not mean that a cake will not taste. Testing in all this is trying the cake – quality should be baked in, if it is not in there, for this particular cake you can not change (improve) the quality. QA in bakery would be observing processes, identifying bottlenecks, questioning actions in place, analysing end products, which does not meet quality standards, with an aim to find a source, talking to customers and then decide what to do – to improve a recipe, approach, method, marketing or selling strategy.

I really like to work efficiently and remove a cause instead of effects, so I applied for jobs with title “QA Manager”, “Head of QA” etc, but always at the end, thing, I was doing, was software testing. If you call a bread as a cake, it is still a bread, right? I wondered why companies and clients use “quality assurance” incorrectly. I broke it down and asked people what “quality” means to them and mostly got no answers. How you can assure something you cannot describe? So I came up with this idea that a) that they do not know about QA as a discipline; b) it is some kind of strategic game played by companies: let’s put “QA” in our job openings and use the word “quality” few times on our website, then our customers will think that we care about it!

Let me tell you this – you can add sugar coating and glitters to your cake, but everyone, who will eat it, will see that it is floppy.

#30DaysOfTesting – ECommerce Task II & IV

Previous in this series: Task I & III

Task 2: Read and share an interesting blog about ecommerce testing

Task 4: Find and share a useful video on youtube about ecommerce testing

One testing website I like and read since I started to test software is Software Testing Help. Vijay has done amazing job by collecting all kind of testing ideas and helping so many rookie testers. 8 Important Segments Of Testing eCommerce Websites is very good place where to start if you are starting to test retail software.

For advanced testing or as Daniel says at the end – to put a smile on your face – do some penetration testing.

#30DaysOfTesting – eCommerce Task I & III

Task 1: Look up some definitions for ‘ecommerce’, from these create and share your own definition

Task 3: Join the #ecommerce channel on https://testers.chat and introduce yourself!

e-commerce

For me e-commerce is a system where you can exchange all kind of goods and services. I used word “system” because there is more what the eye meets. In those digital transformation projects where I worked and e-commerce was a part of the project, companies were unprepared how big their e-commerce system can be.

#ecommerce channel

For those who use Slack : you will find Testers.chat under testersio.

I like that this time MinistryOfTesting involve other testing communities into challenge and created channel on testers.chat.

Each of us have some good tools in their toolbox. If we put those together we could help the domain to get better and lighten up entry for rookies.