The State Of Testing Survey 2015

It’s great to see Joel Montvelisky and the Practi-test team running the State Of Testing survey again.

The State Of Testing
The State Of Testing

 

“The survey seeks to identify the existing characteristics, practices and challenges facing the testing community in hopes to shed light and provoke a fruitful discussion towards  improvement.”

Feedback via surveys like this are valuable to the community as they highlight interesting trends and insights in to how our industry is changing. The survey opens next week.

http://qablog.practitest.com/state-of-testing/

SupportOps – a resource for those supporting a service

Shipping software is important but so too is supporting a service or product – especially as there will always be issues and service challenges.

As such it’s always worth knowing more about how to support a service from pros doing it on the front line of some pretty impressive companies.

That’s why I thought I would share with you a great resource I’ve been tuned in to for some time now called SupportOps. On the SupportOps site there are plenty of articles and links to helpful stuff but the one thing that’s pretty awesome is their weekly SupportOps hangout.

SupportOps is run by Chase Clemons from Basecamp and features Carolyn Kopprasch from Buffer, Chase Livingston from Automattic and Jeff Vincent from Wistia. Each week they tackle an interesting challenge facing those who support web based products.

Here’s a couple of standout hangouts:
http://supportops.co/hangout-35-downtime-happens-so-be-prepared/
http://supportops.co/60-training-your-support-team/
http://supportops.co/61-how-far-should-we-go-with-customer-happiness/

I like their manifesto to supporting products and services too.

We believe these things
Customers matter.
 Say what you mean and mean what you say.
 Customers are human. Let them know you’re human too.
 Bring clarity to confusing situations.
 Give concise replies to complex problems.
 Speed is great but accuracy matters more.

What a great way to approach the support of your product and service. Enjoy.

EuroSTAR – Star – Paul Gerrard

This is a short series leading up to Christmas where I feature a tester that was at EuroSTAR 2014, who I personally believe you, my readers, will benefit from knowing.

The last tester in this short series before Christmas is Paul Gerrard.

Paul Gerrard at EuroSTAR 2014
Paul Gerrard at EuroSTAR 2014

For those that don’t know – Paul Gerrard was conference chair at this years EuroSTAR conference – so we have Paul, and his excellent conference team, to thank for the content we enjoyed at EuroSTAR.

I’ve known Paul for years now, mostly through his excellent UKTMF event in London each quarter. Paul is very active in the testing community; he’s published many books, speaks at conferences, runs a consultancy business, organises events and is contributing greatly to our industry.

You can find Paul on Twitter – https://twitter.com/paul_gerrard

Paul’s website is here – http://gerrardconsulting.com/

Paul blogs here – http://gerrardconsulting.com/?q=blog

EuroSTAR – Star – Declan O’Riordan

This is a short series leading up to Christmas where I feature a tester that was at EuroSTAR 2014, who I personally believe you, my readers, will benefit from knowing.

Next up is Declan O’Riordan.

Declan O'Riordan
Declan O’Riordan

Before EuroSTAR 2014 I’d met Declan a couple of times and seen him present a good talk at SIGIST.

I didn’t get a chance to see his talk at EuroSTAR this year but I did hear very good things about it.

However, Declan did win this years “Best Conference Paper”.

When he collected the award he did a passionate acceptance speech as Dublin holds special memories for Declan and his family. It was clear how much the award meant to Declan and it was a fitting end to a great conference. Declan also got the ‘Do-over session’, a chance to run his presentation again. “The Do-Over Session is a repeat of the best conference session as decided by conference attendees”

Here’s some text from Declan on why it meant so much:

“The motivation for speaking in Dublin was to pay a belated tribute to my father who died the week after my son was born in June 2006. He’s the one on the right in the photo below. I didn’t have time to mourn when he died because I had my hands full with a new baby and a very demanding job. When Paul Gerrard announced 2014 would be in Dublin it triggered a lot of emotion, and the energy to give it a go. I’m massively grateful to everyone who helped me along the way, especially the EuroSTAR, TMF and SIGiST organizers, speakers and delegates. It has been an amazing journey!”

Declan's Father during the war years
Declan’s Father during the war years

 

You can find Declan on Twitter.

EuroSTAR – Star – Stephen Janaway

This is a short series leading up to Christmas where I feature a tester that was at EuroSTAR 2014, who I personally believe you, my readers, will benefit from knowing.

Next up is Stephen Janaway.

Stephen Janaway at EuroSTAR 2014
Stephen Janaway at EuroSTAR 2014

I’ve known Stephen for a few years now and we regular speak at the same conferences.

Stephen works for Net-A-Porter and is currently working as an agile test evangelist! Sounds pretty awesome.

I didn’t get a chance to see Stephen’s talk on mobile testing at this years EuroSTAR but Stephen is clearly an expert in the mobile testing world. He’s also a great person to be around at the social events – another tester who’s passionate about mobile, testing and sharing this love of testing with the wider community.

Stephen blogs here – http://stephenjanaway.co.uk/

You can find Stephen on Twitter – https://twitter.com/stephenjanaway

EuroSTAR – Star – Alex Schladebeck

This is a short series leading up to Christmas where I feature a tester that was at EuroSTAR 2014, who I personally believe you, my readers, will benefit from knowing.

Next up is Alex Schladebeck.

Alex Schladebeck at EuroSTAR 2014
Alex Schladebeck at EuroSTAR 2014

I’ve known Alex for a while now after meeting her at Agile Testing Days about 5 years ago. It’s always great to meet up with Alex as she’s hilarious and incredibly passionate about testing.

I didn’t get a chance to see Alex’s talk at EuroSTAR this year but I heard it was excellent, and of course there were biscuits.

Alex very kindly answered some questions I was originally going to include in this series (but have since chosen to drop the questions in this series as I didn’t have time). I’ll include here though Alex’s version of BDD. No, not behaviour driven development but biscuit driven development.

What is BDD?

“BDD is Biscuit Driven Development! It’s based on the idea that people react well to praise, feedback and rewards and that food is a natural gel for conversation. I will offer biscuits as an exchange for assistance, I like to have biscuits in my office to encourage people to come and chat, and I use good tasty sweet food as a way of calming tough situations. It works well as a way of encouraging communication but it can’t be the only motivator. It’s just another tool in your box.”

Perfect.

You can find Alex blogging on her company’s website – here is one about her trip to EuroSTAR 2014

You can find Alex on twitter here – https://twitter.com/alex_schl

EuroSTAR – Star – Amy Phillips

This is a short series leading up to Christmas where I feature a tester that was at EuroSTAR 2014, who I personally believe you, my readers, will benefit from knowing.

Next up is Amy Phillips.

Amy Phillips at EuroSTAR 2014
Amy Phillips at EuroSTAR 2014

I didn’t get a chance to see Amy’s talk at this years conference but I did see her at last years and it was a great talk.

It’s really the first year that I have spoken to Amy properly and she’s a joy to talk to. She’s so incredibly passionate about the company she works for, SongKick, and the kind of testing that she is doing. It’s always great to meet fellow testers who see their role as helping the company succeed and not just through testing.

Amy is a great ambassador for SongKick. Amy is like a growing number of testers who are becoming brand evangelists intent on improving their company’s ability to ship software but also promoting that work to the wider tech community.

You can find Amy on Twitter – https://twitter.com/itjustbroke

Amy blogs here – http://testingthemind.wordpress.com/

EuroSTAR – Star – James Christie

This is a short series leading up to Christmas where I feature a tester that was at EuroSTAR 2014, who I personally believe you, my readers, will benefit from knowing.

Today’s tester is James Christie.

James Christie at EuroSTAR 2014
James Christie at EuroSTAR 2014

I’ve known James for a while now and he’s recently been sharing his strong views on the new testing standard ISO 29119.

James used to be an auditor and this provides a unique perspective on the insanity of simply complying with checklists and regulations without understanding why they may be helpful.

James’ talk at EuroSTAR this year was about a similar topic “The Triumph of Process Over Purpose” – an experience report of his time working on a high profile UK Gov project. It was a great talk full of the woes around why strict process adherence matters to some companies/organisations and why it’s not always the right thing to do. Really great talk. It left me wondering though how we stop the insanity of starting projects we know to be doomed from the outset.

You can find James on Twitter – @james_christie

He blogs on his website – https://clarotesting.wordpress.com/