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Archive for the category “community”

State of Testing 2019

Did you noticed? Latest State of testing is out! I really like this initiative and support it every year. This year I have to say, the team behind the survey did excellent job – improved the questions, updated regions (Russia is not part of Europe any more) and did excellent work on analysis! Just look at those graphs!

Very interesting summary about salaries in different regions.

Excel still going strong as test management tool

 

Curious about the rest? Here you can download report yourself! And don’t forget to participate next year :)

 

 

The Champion Of 1 Year Dojo Membership

I have chosen my champion (I watched Shazam! with my son on holidays) for paid 1 year Dojo membership. But first some numbers. My tweets got some attention:

People from MinistryOfTesting supported my initiative: my tweets were retweeted by Mark and published in MOT newsletter. Even if tweet engagements looks good, my blog post with instructions how to apply was viewed only 172 times. Now you may guess how many applications did I got.

I got four (4) applications and two emails with support/thank you for initiative. That means that everyone who participated had 25% chances to get paid membership.

Because I have done this before, it was very important to me to be clear how I will choose the winner: “Information, how will you use it and why you deserve it more then others, will help me to choose.” I wanted to be sure that I am giving away for the right person, the one who will really use it. After reading and rereading submissions, I have the feeling that only one submission showed the commitment I was looking for.

I have chosen my champion and it is Mike. Congratulations, Mike! His submission email has 904 words (others between 113 and 148), those words describe his detailed experienced so far in testing(with many links, I suggest you to read his blog) and what he wants to do with paid Dojo membership. This man has set a target and he works towards it.

To others competitors – well done! I was touched that you copied (font size is different then the rest of the email, it means it has to be copied) my name (I get so many emails with my name wrong, that this is really a highlight for me). Keep going! You did not win this time, but there are many other opportunities! Remember to ask for things you want – it may happen that you will get what you asked for.

#PayItForward – Dojo Membership

This is my last and final community give away to finalise my TestBash Germany journey.

Two years in a row I donated a ticket to Test Bash Germany, this year I planed to do the same, but one discussion on Twitter changed my mind. This year with little effort you can get a 1 year Dojo membership and to watch the talks from ALL the TestBashes.

You said “little” effort?

Only thing you need to do is to convince me that you really need the Dojo membership. Information, how will you use it and why you deserve it more then others, will help me to choose.

Where to send it?

testretreat@gmail.com

Deadline?

21.4.2019 7a.m. German time. I will announce the winner on 22.4.2019 12:12 via blog post.

What do I expect from you?

To learn and to fulfil yourself.

 

Update: and the winner is…

State Of Testing 2019

Yearly community retrospective has been launched! Since 2013 (with pause on 2014) PractiTest together with Tea Time Testers organises yearly testing survey to collect current trends in testing. You can be part of it by filling the survey.

If you are curious about previous results of the survey, scroll down the survey page and download all six reports.

How To Find A Mentor?

Mentoring currently is very popular topic. It is kind of cool to have a personal Yoda or Fairly Godmother. I have been involved in for some time already and in this article I will describe some of my experience.

My Mentoring Stories

Story #1:  In 2015 I applied for Speak Easy mentorship. I had the great mentor, who helped me to overcome my fears. Soon after I delivered my first talk, I started to look for a mentor for other issues I was dealing with, and proved old saying: “When the student is ready, the master will appear.”

Story #2: End of June, 2017 was finishing line for MINT mentoring program for women in Fachhochschule Erfurt, Germany. 11 mentoring pairs was built with the aim to help senior students to prepare for academic or work life. I was one of the mentors and had the privilege to share my experience with an amazing young woman. I still have contact to my mentee. In between time, she had a baby, finished her master studies and on January 2, 2019 she started to work as assistant of software project manager and will support a huge digital transformation project.

Story #3: Since few years I am also supporting Speak Easy initiative. I started as one of volunteers, who read submissions of mentees and try to match with a perfect mentor. Since September 2018 I am one of leadership team, and I describe my position as professional matchmaker. I am overwhelmed how many great people we have in tech and software testing in particular, who invest their free time and energy to help other to succeed. I am happy to be part of it.

Story #4: For two years I had very good colleague, with whom I shared an office. We talked a lot about testing topics, new ideas, better approaches. Only after I left the company I realised that we both were each others mentors. Each of us had area of expertise and helped the other one to learn it. Now since we do not work together anymore, we keep seeing and mentoring each other.

How to start?

My experience as mentee, helped me in my role as mentor. Big part of people, who look for a mentor, have already made their decisions and need just confirmation for their idea. Another part are people who do not know what they want, never thought about personal development or setting a goal and working towards it. Based on stories above, here is my guideline how to look for a mentor.

Step 1: Set a goal

First thing is to understand what is your goal and for what do you need a help. For example, you want to become a conference speaker or you want to learn about test automation. Why? Why it is important to you? Why do you want to invest your time and energy in it? And then: who/what is standing in your way? Fear? Missing skills of writing a proposal? Ugly slide deck? Defining learning goals for attendees? Decide what to automate and what not? How to create automation framework? How to imbed your script in CI tool? In the moment when your goal is clear, and all why? and who? answered,  you will get an idea what kind of help do you need.

Please never approach potential mentor with vague questions like:

  • what should be my next career move?
  • should I learn to code?
  • I heard Selenium skills can bring me a better job, how can I learn Selenium?

Make yourself worth mentoring – do your homework and be prepared. You also could be interested to look into personal development.

Step 2: expectations from a mentor

A mentor is someone who acts as a trusted advisor, a role model, and a friend. In mentorship relationship no money is involved. Can you imagine to offer so personal role to a stranger? Would you like to be a mentored by complete stranger? It could be that a stranger can tell mentee what everyone sees, but friends or colleagues are afraid to tell. Would you better listen to critic from a stranger or a friend? Are you open to critic or are you interested only in cheerleading? Will it help you to reach your goal? In my understanding, a great mentor does not give answers but leads toward the answer. Mentee’s answer, not the mentor’s answer.

Consider your personality and communication style as well. What kind of mentor would best fit to you? Would you choose someone who is your opposite (experience-wise or an extrovert to your introvert), or someone in whom you see yourself? I tried both and for me the best works the opposite.

Another important issue – how and when will you meet. Online or offline? If online, then video, audio or exchanging ideas via email? Are you expecting your mentor to have time for you on the weekend, after work or during lunch break? Once a week or a month? All this you have to consider before you approach mentor, does not matter if it is arrange mentor or somebody who you approach.

Remember – you will be doing all the job. You set your goal, you work towards your goal. Mentor is just supporting and gently guiding you.

Step 3: introduce yourself

For example, you have chosen publicly known person to be your mentor, because she/he is so amazing speaker, writer, teacher and blogger, but you never actually met her/him. One way would be to approach directly and ask the person to be your mentor. There is a chance that you will get “yes”, but much nicer way would be to start a conversation, get to know each other little bit and ask their thoughts on a topic of your interest. It can happen that you realise that public person and private person are different, that you do not share same values or professional interest. Then it is time to look for another potential mentor. Or maybe you do share similar mindset, in that case it will be easier to ask to mentor you.

Mentoring is a relationship. Let it evolve organically.

Refusal

You ask someone to be your mentor and that person refused it, don’t be hurt or offended. This is not against you! Mentoring is personal, can be very time and energy consuming. It could be that your mentor is currently very busy. Do not force potential mentor into an awkward position in which she/he feels bad for saying “no” or obligated to say “yes.”

I loved Lanette’s talk where she suggests testers to be more like a cat. One example was: if cat got trowed out of the lap, it will go and look for another lap, instead of whining about missed chance to be pat.

Step 4: Commit to the process

If you promised something to do, do it. Never ever leave email or phone call from your mentor without reply for several days. Never ever miss the appointment with your mentor. You asked somebody to invest their time and energy, do not waste it! Good mentors do not accept such behaviour.

Have something to offer back

Make sure that your mentor knows how grateful you are for their time, and see if you can offer them something in return. May be you can give feedback on their blog posts, articles or offer to promote their new book or workshop.

The mentoring relationship must have value for both parties, only then it will be successful in long term.

 

I hope these 4 steps will help you to build successful mentorships and to reach your full potential!

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 Goes To…

And the winner is… Till!

Congratulations & have fun learning time at Oktobertest!

#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

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

AM I A SEXIST?

some weak guy from google search

Recently many say and write words about “men in tech,” which led to some negative reaction on Twitter. I believe I owe my readers an explanation. Some of them already got confused and came to me with the question: “If you’re so much against slavery, where is this female sexism coming from?” Let me explain what’s going on. Indeed I am a big fan of freedom, but recent hysteria around gender equality is not helping us to become more free. Instead it is causing quite the opposite effect.When I was a kid my parents and my teachers told me that I had to be a lady. That literally meant that I had to treat men with respect and always remember that they were weaker than us women—physically and emotionally.I had to let them copy my math homework, I was not allowed to debate with them as I did with my female friends, I was punished for being smarter in front of them, and many other things. I did all this not only because of what I was taught, but also because I saw that they indeed were weaker. They were physically and emotionally different from us girls. They played wars, we played families. They wore grey and brown shorts and t-shirts, we wore whatever we wanted. They cried behind closed doors when someone was offending them and we showed emotions and got stronger. It was always obvious that we were the troublemakers, but also the protectors of common peace, who those weak creatures eventually one day would marry.

Now back to the main problem: men in tech. I’m a software tester myself. I wrote and debugged test automation code every day. I also managed testers, programmers and projects. My 20+ years of experience in software development tells me that this job is not fun most of the time. It’s hard, it requires a lot of logical thinking. It’s exhausting and constant war against men, who are too afraid to acknowledge that they failed, who are afraid to change and against  programmers who produce unmaintainable and unreadable code.

I don’t feel good about sending man, who cannot accept that he is not so smart, into this war. I also personally don’t like the idea of men being doctors, managers, teachers, master chefs, caregivers or male-nurse, even though it’s not up to me to decide what they do for a living. Those jobs are stressful and dangerous, both physically and emotionally. Not that I believe that men can’t take this stress, I just don’t want them to suffer. There are plenty of ladies who can do that instead.

Do I respect men who write code on a daily basis? Yes, a lot. Because I understand how much stress they have to go through. Would I recommend my husband to do the same. Defiantly not.

Am I a sexist? Maybe. But the real question is: what will you do about it?

post scriptum

If you wonder why did I wrote this article, that now it is time to say – I did not write it. I took an old blog post from somebody, switched “men” to “women” and “women” to “men” and did few adaptions to make the story smoother, with an aim to hold a mirror for you.

Why?

Because recently I got an offer to give a talk about me as a woman in IT and I cannot decide to accept it or not. Here some thoughts why:

  1. I am sick and tired to speak or listen about it. 20 years in business and nothing has been changed.
  2. I do not want to be labelled as women who has problems with men.
  3. I want to give talks about testing software or requirements, about digital transformation, software development, agile practices and my life as a trainer.
  4. If nobody will talk, nothing will change.

This blog post is another experiment. We will see where it goes. May be it will help me to decide to give or to refuse a girl-in-IT talk.

add on

After I published my post, I got to know that there is a tool for swapping genders on the websites: GenderSwapper!

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