Book review: Managing the Test People

2011 when I got to be a test manager for the first time, there was one thing what helped me to overcome my beginner insecurity. It was the book by Judy McKay “Managing the Test People“.

Judy calls test team a perfect beast and all book is build around this perfect beast. How to create perfect beast (team building), how to find parts for perfect beast (job descriptions and interviews), how to fit the beast into the herd (test people working for projects), how to feed your beast (all kind of bonuses) and to keep it effective (manager needs to work for the team). I like the chapter about synergy and pride.

I found this book very easy to read. Maybe because I really like to compare a test team to a perfect beast. Over the years many Judy stories became my stories. Have fun to read it!

More Agile Testing > Test Automation

This is digitalised collection of testing resources created and published by Lisa Crispin and Janet Gregory in their book More Agile Testing: Learning Journeys for the Whole Team“. For more details on their work, visit http://agiletester.ca.

Already digitalised and checked parts: Introduction, Learning For Better Testing, Planning, Testing Business Value, Investigative Testing. Comming soon:  What Is Your Context?, Agile Testing in Practice.

Part VI: Test Automation

Books

Articles, Blog Posts, Courses, Videos, Code Examples

MORE AGILE TESTING > INVESTIGATIVE TESTING

This is digitalised collection of testing resources created and published by Lisa Crispin and Janet Gregory in their book More Agile Testing: Learning Journeys for the Whole Team“. For more details on their work, visit http://agiletester.ca.

Already digitalised and checked parts: Introduction, Learning For Better Testing, Planning, Testing Business Value. Comming soon: Test Automation, What Is Your Context?, Agile Testing in Practice.

Part V: Investigative Testing

Books

Articles, Blog Posts, Slide Decks, and Websites

More Agile Testing > Testing Business Value

This is digitalised collection of testing resources created and published by Lisa Crispin and Janet Gregory in their book More Agile Testing: Learning Journeys for the Whole Team“. For more details on their work, visit http://agiletester.ca.

Already digitalised and checked parts: Introduction, Learning For Better Testing, Planning. Comming soon: Investigative Testing, Test Automation, What Is Your Context?, Agile Testing in Practice.

Part IV: Testing Business Value

Books

Articles, Blog Posts, Slide Decks, and Websites

More Agile Testing > Planning

This is digitalised collection of testing resources created and published by Lisa Crispin and Janet Gregory in their book More Agile Testing: Learning Journeys for the Whole Team“. For more details on their work, visit http://agiletester.ca.

Already digitalised and checked parts: Introduction, Learning For Better Testing. Comming soon: Testing Business Value, Investigative Testing, Test Automation, What Is Your Context?, Agile Testing in Practice.

Part III: Planning—So You Don’t Forget the Big Picture

Books

Freeman, Steve, and Nat Pryce, Growing Object-Oriented Software, Guided by Tests, Addison-Wesley, 2009.
Galen, Robert, Software Endgames: Eliminating Defects, Controlling Change, and the Countdown to On-Time Delivery, Dorset House, 2005.
Gottesdiener, Ellen, and Mary Gorman, Discover to Deliver: Agile Product Planning and Analysis, 2012.
Hendrickson, Elisabeth, Explore It! Reduce Risk and Increase Confidence with Exploratory Testing, Pragmatic Programmer, 2013.
Hüttermann, Michael, Agile ALM: Lightweight Tools and Agile Strategies, Manning Publications, 2011.
Whittaker, James A., Jason Arbon, and Jeff Carollo, How Google Tests Software, Addison- Wesley, 2012.

Articles, Blog Posts, Slide Decks

More Agile Testing > Learning For Better Testing

This is digitalised collection of testing resources created and published by Lisa Crispin and Janet Gregory in their book More Agile Testing: Learning Journeys for the Whole Team“. For more details on their work, visit http://agiletester.ca.

Already digitalised and checked parts: Introduction. Comming soon: Planning—So You Don’t Forget the Big Picture, Testing Business Value, Investigative Testing, Test Automation, What Is Your Context?, Agile Testing in Practice.

Part II: Learning for Better Testing

Books

Blog Posts and Online Articles

Courses, Conferences, Online Communities, Podcasts

More Agile Testing > Introduction

Two weeks ago on Slack, we talked about collections of good resources and Lisa wrote that she and Janet created a good one, but it is not available online. I volunteered to digitalise it and she agreed. Since then I am checking links and reading articles. What can I say – it is an AMAZING collection! Thank you, Lisa, for your kind allowance to publish the list online.

This is the bibliography list created and published by Lisa Crispin and Janet Gregory, More Agile Testing: Learning Journeys for the Whole TeamFor more details on their work, visit http://agiletester.ca.

Part I: Introduction

Books

Websites, Blogs, Articles, Slide Decks

 

Creating Magic

This week I am having an operation. I had a terrible fear, but turn out that my body is very good on healing and recovering. I have a lot of time and gladly I took some books with me. Finally, I am having time to read “Creating magic – 10 common sense leadership strategies from a life at Disney” by Lee Cockerell.

The book is very clearly written. Lee describes his way from a farm to a magic kingdom through failures and lessons learned. He is the author of Disney leader strategies, which he based on common sense. For me, as a tester, the reference to common sense made a special joy!

Lee starts the book with following words: “It’s not the magic that makes it work; it’s the way we work that makes it magic”. For ten years Lee was responsible for Walt Disney World with 59 000 employees. Rational, muscular, no-nonsense business strategy of Disney is utmost care and respect. For everyone! Guests AND employees. Treat your employees how you want your guests be treated.

The whole book is about leadership as an act of care and respect; as a responsibility not as a title or role. For Lee being a leader means making the right things happen by bringing out the best in others. How oft did you experience that at your work?

“The study found that business units with the highest scores in guest satisfaction where the same ones whose leaders received high ratings from their direct reports in qualities such as listening, coaching, recognizing people’s efforts, and giving people decision-making authority.” Ration 80:20 reflects the vital importance of inspiring, motivating, teaching, and other so-called soft skills. Lee opinion is that the soft stuff is actually the hard stuff, but if you get it right, everything else tends to fall into place. When everyone matters and everyone knows he or she matters, employees are happy to work, and they’re eager to give you their energy, creativity, and loyalty.

My favourite chapter is about strategy #7: Burn The Free Fuel. The main idea is about leaders emotional impact on employees. Lee summaries it in an acronym ARE: appreciation, recognition and encouragement. He calls it cost-free, fully sustainable fuel, which builds self-confidence, self-esteem, and keeps an organisation running clean and smoothly. “ARE is more powerful than the fuels that make engines roar and space shuttles soar, because it propels human energy and motivation.”

Another chapter which talks to me is strategy #6: Learn The Truth. It is about the hard way to build trust relationships with everyone with aim to know what you need to know to make a decision. “I had no idea that was going on” is not an excuse for a leader. ”Knowing what’s going on is your responsibility”. “I’ve seen it happen to a great many otherwise competent leaders. Some rely too much on vague data and dubious information; some isolate themselves, acting as though employees below a certain level had nothing to offer; some get defensive in the face of constructive criticism; and some develop reputations for lashing out at those who deliver unpleasant facts, so people stop coming to them.” One of his suggestions is to get out regularly. In one of his previous hotels he daily checked the whole hotel, each elevator and stairwell and corridor of all fourteen floors. On the way meeting and greeting guests and employees. Lee writes: “Getting out and about regularly was a great investment of time. Not only did it allow me to see the operations up close, but it helped me get to know everyone on the staff better, and all of them in turn became more comfortable telling me what I needed to know.” In software industry – how many CEOs do you know who walks through offices more then once a week?

 

I am reading this book in very special time in my life – taking care of my health, moving to the new house and switching careers. Some of my work experiences I made in toxic environments, I am happy that I had the strength to leave it in the past. I wish more people, not only with fancy titles, would read Lees book and that each of us can work and evolve in an environment, which empowers us and make us the best versions we can be.

Reading Club

I have a colleague, which is great tester and super good lunch buddy, but she is also mother of two little boys. She would love to learn more about testing, but struggles to find the time for it. On the other side – me, doing hundred things in the same time and quite oft finishing only some of them.

So we had an idea to read a book about software testing together. One week – one chapter, weekly discussions and thought sharing to keep our motivations high. We start with “Explore it!” by Elisabeth Hendrickson.

"Explore It!" A book on exploratory testing by Elisabeth Hendrickson

My colleague will read German translation, I – original English. We plan to start on Eastern. I will keep you posted how we will do.