Blurbing it out

I find it very hard to blog…It takes me fucking ages and then I lose the will to live…so I have been advised to blurb it…Small sections…A great idea..so this is something I’m gonna try..not sure what the relevance of this is..actually none. .its for me…so yeah…start as I mean to go on… 🙂 thanks Mel and Jokin

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European Testing Conference Pre..

Holy shit, the nerves are kicking in!  I am not sure why, its not like I haven’t presented this talk before, but damn I have never been invited to present!  This is exciting, but I cant help feeling unprepared.  I am trying to stay positive.  I am only in Feb this year and already so much is happening!  Whether its to do with work or my personal life.  So maybe the nerve shit is due to a few things happening…sorry for being vague..just cant be arsed to get into the detail! lol

I am not really sure what to expect from this conference.  I know its going to be the first one in Romania, so *fingers crossed* all goes well.  I haven’t really been to any other conference before besides TestBash.  I had been to EuroStar before but spent all my time in the Test Lab, sure that’s why I was there.  That was a pretty good experience.  But to have the opportunity to see how another conference is set-up and to meet more testers from around the world and hear what they have to say, well that’s pretty fucking cool.

I want to get the most out of this conference for 2 reason, 1 for myself, I am going to be there so it will be nice to get involved where I can, and also try to pick up a few things to bring back to my work place, 2 I have to present back to my work place.  Go through what I have learned, what I thought, etc…  It looks like my presenting days arent over yet! lol

I decided to read Rob Lambert’s The Blazingly Simple Guide To Surviving a Conference.  Its a great guide to attending a conference.  I have always felt I could have gotten more out of the event, but never really knew how or what more I could have done. 🙂  This really is a helpful guide, I particularly liked the “Socialise. Socialise. Socialise” chapter, great discussions are had over a beer (or whatever you peeps drink these days).  It was also nice to see that its not a bad thing to take a time-out and “Get away from it all”, get some peace and quiet, reset yourself, get centred and head out again. 🙂  I have to say that’s my favourite chapter, sometimes I can find myself being a little overwhelmed with everything, (I know its hard to believe, but it does happen), so its nice to know it is OK to take a time-out.

OK on that note, I am taking a time out, time to get the hell home, pack my gear, go through my talk and get ready for another adventure in the land of Testing! Booyacka!!! 🙂

I failed ISTQB…

To qualify for an ISTQB certification you have to pass a 40 question multiple choice exam, sounds easy right, and for most people it is, and yet, I still managed to fail it!

I used to be really embarrassed by that.  How can I fail a multi choice exam on testing.  The problem was I didnt want to just memorise what was in a 6 week training course.  I wanted to understand it, and see it used in the field of testing.  This didnt happen.  At the end of the training course I still questioned whether I was testing or not.  How could I test when all I did was read about techniques, we never used them, there seemed like no option.  We paid money to sit and listen and yet we didnt do one bit of testing!

Dont get me wrong, I really enjoyed it.  This was my first step into testing. It made me realise this was what I wanted to do, but it was only the tip of the iceberg.

The best thing I ever did was to Fail the ISTQB.  Why you may ask, well it made me look for another way to get into testing, to really see what else was out there.  I didnt have the certification, and that was fine, I knew there had to be another way in.  So many people can still do their dream job and not have the relevant qualifications, whatever they may be.  Where there is a will there is a way.

My eyes were opened once I started getting on Twitter, Software Testing Club, Ministry of Testing to name a few.  There was a whole other world that didnt include certification, but actual training, a different way of thinking and a place to ask questions and challenge certain theories.

I would hate to think what my life would be like if I had passed the ISTQB.  I wonder if I would have researched more, would I have assumed I am a tester because I passed a multi choice exam?  Would I have challenged anything, seek out more things to learn.  What kind of company would I have been working for?  If certification is the only thing they are concerned about, what does this mean for the testing team?  Would they be interested in different ways of testing, thinking, exploring?

Its a little scary when I think about it.  I am so lucky to be where I am.  I had to move country to pursue my dream, but you know what, it was well fucking worth it.  I have no ISTQB, but I do have some fantastic training (i.e. RST), I work for a company who have been great, they gave me a chance, and I swear it has been snowballing ever since!!

2015…What a year…does it get better? :)

I am so crap at writing blogs, I mean to and then I sit down to do it and my mind goes blank, so lets do this, short and sweet! 🙂

2015…All year poker!  Texas Hold ‘Em…finally getting a lil better, but damn it there is still more to learn, almost feel this is like testing as well, you never know it all, but I love the challenge…note this could be a possible blog post…have the ideas mapped out!! 🙂  Booyacka

Testing…

Well I felt my testing career is going in the most awesome direction.

So far…

Monthly:

Our #TestActually Meetups are growing from month to month, not only that we do actually have them every month!  We are getting more people who want to talk, we are getting more sponsors and great venues to host in.  Some of the offices I have seen have been fucking awesome!  We also have a lovely Facebook page BrighTestActually, make sure you have a look and like. 😉

March:

TestBash Baby!!  Boy there were some great talks at last year’s TestBash.  I especially enjoyed Vernon Richards, Myths and Legends of Software Testing, Karen Johnson, The Art of Asking Questions and Martin Hynie, What’s In a Name? Experimenting With Testing Job Titles.  I am not going to harp on about these, you can see these here…TestBash Talks

June:

TinyTestBash:  Applied to present…topic of discussion “Dark Patterns”, and would ya believe it, I got accepted…

Weekend Testing:  I got to host a session on my Dark Patterns topic.  This was a perfect opportunity to get everyone’s thoughts and opinions on Dark Patterns as many people hadn’t heard of it!  This really helped me with my talk for TinyTestBash.  I also found it quite easy to host.  Joining up with Amy was fantastic.  Amy made it so easy, prepping me before hand and being on standby ready to jump in! 🙂  What a brilliant session, I really want to do another one, need to find a  good topic now. 🙂

August:

Mr. John Stevenson got in contact with me, he had prepared an Exploratory Testing Workshop which would be run remotely.  He had asked me would I like to be a part of it, and of course I jumped at the chance!  There were only 5 of us, which was a perfect amount of beginners.  The idea of the workshop was to educate beginners on exploratory testing.  Giving advice, tips on what techniques to use, and how beneficial it can be as well as giving a forum to ask questions no matter how silly.  The best part of the workshop was that we could use it with our own work.  This way the exercises had a lot more meaning.  There is a blog needed for this experience…..watch this space. 🙂

October:

TinyTestBash.  It was Fucking Awesome!!  My God my first time speaking out loud to a large number of people!!  Fucking hell it was unreal!  What an experience.  To top it all off it went really well and everyone loved it!  Needless to say my head was buzzing for the rest of the week…month…year!! lol  It was also really impressive to see so many first time speakers there.  It really was a great day.  It was nice that it was a smaller venue, it really had a more intimate feeling and the support from everyone was out of this world!  I truly loved it. 🙂  With so many new faces I can honestly see this becoming a huge hit. Here are some pics of the day: Tiny TestBash Photos

As a result of TinyTestBash I have been invited to talk at the European Testing Conference in Feb 2016.  I have never been invited anywhere like this…I swear its a great feeling, and a big Ego boost…but its OK I am quite a humble person! LMFAO

I dont know where the time has flown, but lets hope this year is as awesome as last year..onwards and upwards….Fuck Yeah!!! 🙂

Woah…..

 

Holy Shit as a result of my Dark Patterns talk I have been invited to show it off again at the European Testing Conference in Romania next Feb!

European Testing Conference Speakers

Never in a million years would I have seen this coming.  I am just barely over a year and a half testing, and already I see so much ahead of me.  Life is truly what you make it.

I know I seem to harp on about how lucky I am, but before this life I was in manufacturing wondering was this it, was this all there was going to be?  No job satisfaction, and never feeling like I am achieving anything, no matter how big or small.

Amazing what can change in a year!  Already my new year has started off on a high and we havent even begun! 🙂

Fuck I love my life! 🙂

Also on another note I really need to blog about the responses to Dark Patterns…time to turn the brain cogs…they are a little rusty. 🙂

 

Fuck Yea!!!!

Fuck Yeah…I did it…not only did I do it, but I totally smashed it!  What you may ask…well…TinyTestBash….Yours truly went up there and spoke for the first time in her life, and not talk shite, but actually something worth discussing and highlighting!….Dark Patterns

What a rush!!

With the after lunch spot I was feeling the pressure!!  Trying to concentrate all morning on the amazing talks at TinyTestBash, it was a little hard to get in the zone.  The thought of getting in front of 80ish people started to niggle at me!  What happens if I run through it?  What happens if I swear way too much?  What happens if I forget important points?  What happens if I look stupid??!  I am sure you all have come across these feelings and questions.  Damn hands shaking, working yourself up, thank God I didnt give up my nasty smoking habit…I am sure without the nicotine and the countless cups of coffee who knows how I would have handled it! lmfao

It came that time…after lunch…everyone has finished eating…up to a warm room for a lil snooze…not on my watch kids…not on my watch!

I had my presentation on screen waiting to buzz into action…second slide flips up along with my music…eerie…slightly creepy, but enough to wake the post lunch snoozers…thats it…I had them, now work your magic…remember be you!!

The next 20 minutes seemed like a blur…it was amazing…I didnt run through it…I got to my 20 minute mark…I didnt drop too many F-Bombs…but lets face it, this is what is expected, and I dont mind as long as I can still present something worthwhile and thought provoking.  This is what happened with my Dark Patterns talk, it got people talking, it got people questioning, it was something new, something that isnt really talked about or highlighted.

Seriously, such an incredible feeling.  I was buzzing for that night and then for days after.  Even now as I write this I can feel all the energy from it, the excitement, and that I actually did it…I fucking did it!  This has definitely inspired me to talk again, to be not a one hit wonder! 🙂

As much as I would like to take all the credit (I am very modest like that) I wouldnt have been able to do it if it wasnt for SpeakEasy (Carsten Feilberg) who guided me through my slides, Kim Knup for being patient and being an excellent sound board, to my co-workers at Interica, they gave me such awesome feedback which I was able to use and make my talk even better and last but definitely not least my girl Denise, she gave some great insight into her thoughts on dark patterns, and played a great devil’s advocate which really spurred up some amazing conversation.

For those of you who are thinking of talking….dont think….just do it!  There is so much help out there and support, you honestly cant go wrong, and even if you do, no one will ever know, its your talk, own it, make it your amazing creation!

In the famous words of Shia LeBeouf “Just Do It”

Forgive me if this seems all over the place, but I wanted to write this for so long, and today I just got into the mood to blast on the page, so yea its a lil all over the place, but those who have met me, I am a lil all over the place and full of energy, so what are ya gonna do! lol

Our 1st Sprint and Retro

My first proper sprint has gone!  Just like that, in a blink of an eye.  This is the time to reflect on what happened.  I feel I didnt do a whole lot on the sprint.  Epics and sub tasks were created.  Out of these I believe I spent a day helping to create some of the sub tasks and working on one.  This proved a little uneventful.  I was helping to set up a new OS, VM on our server so that we could have a clean box to use in our automation tests.  The one thing I found difficult was spreading my time between jiras I was working on (which were in the sprint) and helping set up the VM.  The VM took a bit of time to install, and there were various hurdles which we kept coming upon, so it meant a lot of starting and stopping.  I didnt feel I was being very useful, so any of the downtime we had I got back involved with my testing, the only issue here was that I would be in the middle of something and we would be ready to carry on with the set up.  This happened 2 or 3 times.  By the 3rd time I was already involved with an issue and didnt want to leave.  As a result I wasnt there when the OS finished reinstalled and the VM was setup.  Honestly I am not sure how I feel about that.  It would have been nice to have been there to see it through, maybe better time management for the next time, cos there bloody well be a next time! 🙂

OK so fast forwarding to the retro…this was pretty damn good, for the simple fact even though not a lot of work was done and there were a few hurdles, there was still a lot of positivity and understanding!  That was impressive.  All of the team are on board with what we are trying to set up, and for our first retro it was a damn success!  Everyone felt safe enough to voice their points whether they were good or bad.

Here is a little summary (thanks to Richard):

Good Points:

  1. We had a direction for the sprint, something that was lacking before
  2. The Epics were broken down in to tasks and sub-tasks
  3. Some pairing did take place
  4. Good Team Spirit
  5. Stand Ups were short and to the point, with any problems highlighted for further discussion

Bad Points:

  1. There is still a lack of direction from higher up, (something we are trying to improve on)
  2. Few people worked on the sprint tasks
  3. Lack of priority when it came to bugs Vs. tasks to be worked on
  4. Progress is slow
  5. Outside sprint influences are still having an affect on team members time on the sprint

Sprint 2 has been planned, which consists mostly of Sprint 1 tasks, and I am sure it will be like this for maybe another week, if it goes on a little longer, this will have to be flagged as changes will definitely have to be made.

Again I am still very positive as are the team, and thats half the battle!!! 🙂

Day 2 Stand Up…

OK Day 2 of the stand up..it was short and sweet, and YES! informative.  Managed to find out a bit more information on some scans I was running yesterday, or should I say trying to understand yesterday.  We didnt digress, we kept it around the sprint.  I am feeling very positive about this.  Seems like everyone is on board, although there might be some hesitancy from one member, but I think at this stage they dont really care as they wont be here for much longer, otherwise this could have been a hurdle to try and overcome.

Again its just been an awesome week! 🙂  Short and sweet

1st sort of Stand Up…

Our 1st stand up…since we dont have really anything in place it was just an overview of what the team had done yesterday, which covered multiple projects, some related to me and some not.  It only last 15 minutes which was good.

I dont know why I feel so wary of these, even this morning I did kinda feel a little whats the point of hearing from everyone else about something completely unrelated to the sprint.   I did probe that question, and because we havent properly started it was just a good opportunity to get everyone together and start the process.  Actually thinking about it now, that really isnt a bad thing, once we dont go off track and it is still of some benefit.

Some of these blogs might only be short ones, again its just a great way for me to keep track of how this process or way of working is going.

Damn look at me I feel like I am growing! lol

Start of Sprint….a small one to start with…..

Today was…shit still a good day… I knew it would be from the moment I jumped outta bed! 🙂  There was a good feeling travelling through my body.

I shall not bore you with most of my work day, but I can honestly say I am feeling more productive lately, I feel like I am finally get some sort of handle on this product I am testing, and the many great ways that I do test it.  I have to thank John Stevenson, a good bit for this.  His Exploratory Testing Remote Workshop really is keeping me motivated. I believe I will blog about this, really I should have already.

Anyway I digress (love that word).  After weeks of talk over our so called Agile process and how we really aren’t Agile we finally had a prep Sprint meeting today.  It was a meeting with the team where we basically had an open platform to say yay or nay with some of our ideas on how best to deal with our next release and certain elements of automation in order to help us do our job a little more smoothly.

I have to say it was refreshing to see the team on board.  I am quite excited to be a part of this.  I have heard Agile been thrown around for over a year but have never really been a part of it, so this will be a good learning experience.  And for those who don’t know me I really am all about the learning and man I kick some kick out of it! 🙂

We are starting off on weekly sprints, and at the moment 3 biggish tasks have been assigned to the sprint which then can be broke down into sub tasks.  Since we don’t have a scrum master the onus is really on us as a team to drive this.  If one person picks up a task and they are unsure of how to go about it, or they get stuck, it is up to them to seek help, and to raise a hand.  We will of course be having our daily stand ups (which I am a little dubious about, I have experienced these before and didn’t find them that useful, but alas I will try, what’s the worst that can happen) where these issues or problems can be addressed.  I just hope that the team will feel comfortable in asking for help if they need it.  I find it easy for me because I am still relatively new and I am not gonna lie there are times I definitely use that to my advantage! lol  Maybe I should not have said, but fuck it! lol

So there ya have it, I finally managed to blog about something a lil worthwhile, well it will be to me…a look back of what we have started and hopefully how far we have come… 🙂

Excellent…1 hour 45 minutes and then off to Brigh Test Actually!!  More learning, pizza and some good ole beer! 🙂

Stay tuned nizzles!