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Lies About Work

This week my sister was visiting us for big family celebration, that is the reason why this blog post is extremely short. My sister doesn’t work in IT, her topic is marketing and communications. I like to exchange business staff with her, because she lives in different information bubble and has different views. Last week we talked a lot about communication especially about coding the message. We also talked about team motivation and aspects which indicates or lets us to measure it.
Besides everything else, she suggested a book to read: Nine Lies About Work: A Freethinking Leader’s Guide to the Real World

After checking index, I really got curious about the book. Who else wants to join me to read it?

Update:

I think I did not explain enough why I want to read this book. It is not only about the index. Everyone in testing knows that communication has important role in software development, but how often we really try to understand the other side? I remember once I was listening to my colleague complaining about the project manager she had to work with. I could easily understand her frustration because I have worked with him before and suffered myself. This time as an outsider I could see that the PM is visually stressed, I could see that something is wrong. I surprised myself by suggesting my colleague to have lunch with PM and to find out what is going on. Her reply was: “no way!” I am sure if someone had similar suggestion for me, I would respond in the same way.

For me that conversation became a turning point. I started to look for opportunities to build bridges with other people involved in software development. I had very interesting time, getting to know people, things what they do and work problems what they face. Time to time I met difficult people, who were comfortable in their silo or didn’t want/were afraid to open up and to have a conversation. I chose to leave it like this. I told myself that I respect their choice, but in fact I gave up. Since I have a teenager at home, I keep saying to my husband and to myself – in times when it gets harder, we need to double our love, patience and understanding. “Nine Lies About Work” maybe controversial, but it is mainstream book about corporate world. World – which I always tried to ignore. I learned from my mistakes and now I am ready to have a lunch together.

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 I teach my ISTQB Foundation Level students – you cannot assure that there are no bugs, but you can collect information about bugs you have found. You can analyse them e.g. with aim to create set of actions how to secure your software developing process from reappearance of that type 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 (and we should not) test on production environment with production data. 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, PMs and customers think that testers are there to save the word and to give certificates that the software they are working on, works perfectly as described.

What to do 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, 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, customers 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!

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.

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