Being Only Woman In Men Company

Over 20 years of work experience in IT only in few companies there where gender balanced teams. In two startups I was the only woman in whole company (size of company 20 & 50 heads). Even secretary was a man. So you can imagine what I felt when I read this thread of Patricia.

I hope somebody would tell me this 20 years ago. I had to put this together that it does not disappear into information space. 1-20 is from Patricia (see the thread in tweet) with some my comments, 21+22 are my own 50 ct.

  1. Don’t try to be “one of the guys” you’ll never be able to bring your full self to work.
    • not the cloth, not the way you move or talk, even not a swearing will make you happy. one day you will wake up and realise you were fooling yourself.
  2. Document all your work. It’s hard to steal credit for public work.
    • make your work visible and label it distinctively
  3. HR is not your friend
    • HR works in interests of company only.
  4. Avoid everyone who is really enthusiastic about you being a woman.
  5. Leave functions before your colleagues are drunk. Neither you nor them want you to know their inner thoughts
    • do not get drunk yourself (drink less or lighter drinks)
  6. Try to convince yourself when you begin to doubt yourself; “it’s not me, it’s them”
  7. On Bad Days try to loose yourself in the work, try to remind yourself why you’re in this business
  8. Find good people and bake them cakes just for being great people. Great people should get cake.
    • in one company I was baking and bringing a lot cakes, but the reason was, I wanted that they accept me as a part of the team. they never did.
  9. Make lunch dates with other women in tech.
    • search for your community, support each other
  10. If you have a great idea, call a meeting and send out your slides in advance (See Hard To Steal Public Work)
  11. If you have a great idea, make a demo. Hard To Argue With Running Code
  12. Never participate in any “team building” activity that involves you dressing differently
  13. Don’t be afraid to quit. Don’t sacrifice your mental health for Bad People
    • or bad culture
  14. Introduce Rules for Communication, like praise in public, criticize in private
  15. Try to make it possible to choose who does your code review
    • or any other reviews. get feedback regularly.
  16. Learn. Learn. Learn. Knowledge is power
    • create your own skill map. add each year new skill or new level of a skill.
  17. Try to make the team more diverse in any direction. That changes the tone. But get more women devs, if not in the team then at least in adjacent teams. It is hard being alone.
  18. Walk out at any Locker Room Talk. It’s easier than discussing it. And they’ll get the message.
    • if you cannot walk out, make non-verbal statement. I placed poster with a man in seducing pose close to posters with mini bikini women models.
  19. Get a Powerful Ally and plot (literally plot) to compensate for social power being unequal when it really matters. Like having them back you up in important meetings.
    • was not possible in my startups
  20. Don’t waste time catering to people that won’t give you the time of day.
  21. Learn about emotional labour. If you are doing it, stop immediately. No one is appreciating it and it makes you feel empty.
  22. Do not tolerate. If you tolerate, you worry.

#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

Explaining Software Testing

Michael Bolton is good in summarising fundaments of software testing in a tweet. In my eyes this piece of information deserves a little blog post.

The last sentence is something what teach my ISTQB FL students – you cannot assure that there are no bugs, but you can collect information about bugs you have found. You can analyse them and create set of actions how to secure your software developing process from reappearance of that kind of bugs.

Most of developers want to know if a feature does work or not, but we as testers can only say that Version A did work on Machine B under Circumstances C.  Project managers and customers want to know if it will work on production. We as testers cannot assure it, because we did not test on production. Based on tests on similar environments and under similar circumstances we can suppose that it can work.

Sounds very logical, but it can escalate very quickly, because DEVs, POs and PMs think that testers are there to save the word and to give certificates that the software they are working on, works perfectly as described.

If you still get asked:

– “What do you do whole day long if you cannot tell me will it work or not?!” 

In heated situation like this it is too late to explain semantics, fundaments of testings or why software development process is complex. You should done it as soon as possible you could, when you started to work on a new feature, on new project, in new team or new company.  Remember – one of most important skill of a tester is communication skills. We need those not to be able to talk about the weather, but for explaining what is testing and how testing can help to DEVs, PMs, POs and all others. Daily.

Michael suggests 4 step plan how to learn fundaments of software testing:

  1. Learn how to test: How can a trainee improve his/her skill sets in testing?; To The New Tester
  2. Declare your commitments: A Tester’s Commitments
  3. Recognise that all testing is heuristic: Heuristics for Understanding Heuristics
  4. Learn to tell the testing story: How is the testing going?

Looks simple, but as you start to read the linked resources you will understand that studies can take years. Take deep breath. To be able to explain testing to others, you have to learn it first for yourself. Do not panic if it does not work on a first try. Make experiments, try new approaches, improve your skills. One day you will master 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

State Of Testing 2018

This is a time of year when “PractiTest” and “TeaTime with Testers” invites all the testers to fill a survey to find out who we are, where we come from and on what kind of subjects we are working on. This is 5th year in a row and I am already looking forward to the picture we will get this time.

Big thank goes to contributors in the review team: Jerry Weinberg, Derk-Jan de Grood, Maria Kedemo, Helena Jeret, Alan Page, Brent Jensen, Eran Kinsbruner, Bas Dijkstra, Erik Proegler, Kristel Krustuuk, Gerie Owen, and Nermin Caluk. If you have any suggestions how to improve it, you are invited to join the review team.

The organisers estimate that the survey will take only 10minutes of your time. For me, it took more time. Why? In this year’s survey, there are few questions where you have to think and/or recall what did you learn last year. Hier are few questions for you to get a feeling:

Have you attended any conferences or training sessions in the past 3 years?
Have you started using any new tools to support your testing (Exploratory testing or in general) in the last year?
Have you made any important changes in the way you are testing during the last year?  

 

Those are few good questions, right? Be part of it! You can find the survey here.

Q & A about QA

Late summer 2008 I googled what is software testing. Found Software Testing Club and never looked back. MinistryOfTesting (MOT) has a platform for Q&A, learning platform – The Dojo and of course events.  Rosie and MOT have done a really great job!

So only this year I discovered new platform (new for me): SQA StackExchange. It is full of error messages thrown by tools and help requests how to fix those. Followed by very basic questions like: what is the difference between deviation from workflow and error. This is little bit funny – why people do not use search? You just found a StackExchange and really think that nobody before you asked that question? Think again. What I like the most: it is all about questions and answers – so everyone can edit one or another.

My invitation – don’t be only a consumer – participate on one or another platform and co-create better understanding about software testing!

#30DaysOfSecurityTesting – Task I

screen-shot-2017-02-01-at-19-28-12

Ministry of testing organizes another challenge: 30 days of security testing. I like challenges in general and even I am not a security tester, I am privately interested in the topic. In my opinion, everybody should be. Week ago I bet with my colleague that in less than five years, a health of individual digital privacy will be a standard. …or robots will rule the world and we will have no privacy at all.

Today is the first day of the challenge: Read a security blog

Here is my very short list of security blogs:

What I read today? Since I learned a lesson do not to click a button, I am aware of ransomware. This week on news on local radio I heard that in Germany hackers attack companies who are looking for new employees. They send application with CV in the attachment, which is not readable at first. And then there is the button. The rest you can imagine. Stories about attacked hospital, police offices and here is a new ransomware story about a locked in hotel guests.

At the end, some ideas how to protect yourself from ransomware. And of course: do NOT click the button!

 

~UPDATE with another links to web security related blogs~

State Of Testing

congratulations

Guys of “PractiTest” and “TeaTime with Testers” with serious advisory board: Jay Philips, JeanAnn Harrison, Rajesh Mathur, Ben Linders, Justin Rohrman, and Jerry Weinberg – are doing that again – organising survey to get a picture of current state of testing. 

We all are curious how fellow testers are doing in other side of globe or next door. Here is link to results of survey from the last yearInteresting, right? But if you are attentive than will notice that 1000 participants is great, but to be able to do qualitative analysis, it is not enough. How to change it? Participate! And send a link to your colleague as well!

The organisers write that it will take 10 or less minutes to fill the survey . I timed my input – it took me 23:22 to fill it, including looking for currency calculator and tweeting about question 22. 

Why do I support this survey by writing blog post? Because I like data. Last year there were at least 1000 testers who take their profession serious. How many will be this year?

You may answer the survey now

Ping To All Testers in Germany

germanymap

Already some time I am collecting blog links to software testers, who are based in Germany. Why? Because I live in Germany and this is very special (in all kind of meanings) country. And because I would like to break this wave, what I have seen mostly in Germany, work 8h without a lot of thinking, then go home and do something fun.

According to German Testing Board data, there are more than 45 000 ISTQB certified testers in Germany(end of 2015). As I got to know the number (that time it was 10 000 less), my first idea was – where are they? What do they test and how? Where do they share their testing experiences?

I think German testers has more to share with the world. I invite you to help me to find positive, inspiring people and share they work with the community.

P.S. I have nothing against other countries or nations, I just want to wake up this one particular.

Community Suffer

pardomas

Testing community has something like bastard kid syndrome. We are there, we are doing pretty good, but no one notices that.

Desperate longing for acknowledgement.

That is what makes us all together ill.

By now it should be clear that no one will come to legalise us. Our happiness is in our own hands.

If you do not like ISTQB, than come with better idea, but stop simply complaining! Stop unfruitful debates who dare to be in community and who not, cooperate and collaborate to build it better! Choose testing “school” which fits you the best and start to contribute actively!