Friday, 15 June 2012

High Six!

"What happens in Tallinn stays in Tallinn." 

That is not the case here as I will share some of the cool stuff that happened after the official Nordic Testing Days conference program. I had the grand master-plan to go into to the room and do some blogging, but obviously I chose to confer with my fellow testers.

The special event was at the 7th floor of the beautiful Meriton Grand Conference & Spa Hotel from where you could see the walls of the old town of Tallinn. The scenery was beautiful, the snack food was great, and plethora of beverages to suit the tastebuds of every mouth. More so, the place was loaded with thinking, breathing testers (which at one point demanded to go to the balcony to look at the great scenery). The opportunities to confer were limitless.

The conference organizers had invented this “speed dating” conferring game where a person had the opportunity to get to know another in 3 minutes. After 3 minutes the partner changed. Or that was how it was supposed to go. The people were so interesting so after 3 minutes the talking continued and the organizers had to go push people to switch partners. I met awesome people from Skype, Swedbank, Asa Quality services, and many other companies. The good thing was that they all had business cards. The bad thing was that I didn’t. Mental note: “Ask HR to get me some. In fact I DO meet people outside F-secure.”.

I had good conversations with Sami Söderblom, Jari Mäkeläinen and Rex Black about testing, economics and Jujitsu. Also Ainars GalvansHelena Jeret-Mäe, Tobbe Ryber, Raimond Sinivee, and the guys from Playtech! I really appreciate all the insights that I got from you about test automation and Model-based testing!

The hotel staff then ushered us out of the building and we went to a German restaurant to have some refreshment. The Estonian-Finnish-Swedish group ended up talking about how to improve one’s career. All in all the discussions after official program was just as good as the tracks and workshops. It was nice to share thoughts with other like-minded. And it was cool to see the pictures from the evening activities! :D

A little more than a week after the conference, I’m still feeling uplifted by the good people of Nordic Testing Days at Tallinn, Estonia. I was in the train a few days ago and I saw something that once again brought all the memories back to my head: High-Six!

What happens when you put Estonian, Swedish and Finnish people in a German restaurant? -High 6!

Be the best known if not the best!

This blog post is a summary and might not justify the zeal, the enthusiasm, and the humor the original keynote had. Again, this is my view about the track. There might be something that I have misunderstood, so challenge me. The first day's last keynote at Nordic Testing Days was done by Torbjörn “Tobbe” Ryber, a Swede with great sense of humor* and huge talent in speaking about testing**. I was never heard of this guy before although I had a book written by him in my bag!

Torbjörn "Tobbe" Ryber

I had expectations*** that we were going to receive a rant about getting oneself certified and perfecting the art of writing test cases, or something of that general direction. Little did I know that this was going to be one of those life changing experiences. Before the keynote I had some views about my own testing career and the direction I was trying to go, but the insights Tobbe would give. The track was called "How to become a really great tester"

The presentation started with simple introduction to what kind of career Tobbe had earlier, and ended into this magnificently inspiring talk about building a software testing career. From year 1995 he had been reading testing books and doing testing to some extent. If I remember correctly he was appalled by the bad quality of something their company was developing and he was thrown to test it. He had different experiences and events that affected the career choices he had made, but he tried to get as much information about testing as possible. Around year 2000 Tobbe decided that he was going to be the best known tester if not the best. Also there were no suitable classes for him, so he started to teach testing.

So, this guy decides that he wants to be a tester, and to be a good one. Can we just decide that we want to be something and then get it? Obviously we can. This reflects to my own career as a tester. If Tobbe started his career in 1995, mine began at 2007 by getting thrown into the deep end of software testing. I was assigned to do test planning, design and execution to a mail/parcel logistics software project. Having no experience of testing theory or practices, I began to search every single Finnish testing blog, book, and/or expert from which I could illicit information. I said to my boss that “I want to be the best tester in this company”, which was fairly easy as I was the only one.**** Nonetheless I had similar start on my career as Tobbe had; we made a decision and we started acting on it.

Back to the business! Tobbe describes his career in three acts: the second one beginning around 2000 and trying to float in the IT-crisis. He fought the situation by getting certified, by joining the Swedish Association of Software Testing, and by contributing to the community by teaching testing and applying his accumulated knowledge to his work. This all seems like an easy job, but I can assure you that while trying to do the best job at the office and simultaneously trying to gather as much knowledge and skills as possible is not a walk in the park. He started to build his fame by writing about testing, joining peer workshops and all kinds of activities. Eventually he published a book about Software test design and thus building even harder foundations to his career.

So if you want to be well-known in the community, you might consider the following:

  • Have something to say*****
  • Go and talk to other testers within your community
  • Hold  workshops, trainings, tracks, experience reports******
  • Write about what you do and what you would like to do

I started my career first by reading blogs and articles. Then I went where other testers were and started conferring with them. I got my first testing connection by sending an email to Maaret Pyhäjärvi and asking does can I have some of her training slide sets. Then I started going to events and trainings to get more connections and eventually started holding workshops on my own. I also started writing a blog about testing, first I wanted to challenge the community to be more loud about itself and then about what I did and what I wanted to do. So basically I started to spread my network, and gathering experiences and connection.

Tobbe had achieved his status in the community by doing all kinds of activities that supported his career, skills, job opportunities and familiarity to others. He chose to do things that he liked and not to do things he didn't like (thereby making testing more FUN). He wanted to enjoy testing. During the keynote he never said “certify yourself, “do this” or “read this book”, he stressed the freedom of choice for people to develop their own career to the way they choose. One thing he stressed, though. Everyone should have a plan how to develop oneself. The route chosen is one’s own business, but without a plan the route is hard to be travelled. The plan may get changed during the travel – even the destination might change – but that’s a part of growing and developing. Nobody knows everything, but one could consider planning it ahead.

When What How Why
2012 Have a public presentation Search for conferences near Helsinki and propose a track or a workshop. To gain confidence in performing and to gain familiarity
2012 Publish an article Search for a suitable publisher and offer an original article about something testing related To gain familiarity and to establish a base of references for myself or others
2013 Take the BBST examTalk to people who have done it and find out how, when, where it can be done, and WHY ...

I made my 5-year plan a year ago. I have almost achieved the goal in the first year, but I still have a long way to go. And I have also made a 10-year plan to complement the first. I have had a lot of sidetracks on my plan, but the overall direction has been the same all the way. I think Tobbe had had his share of sidetracks and obstacles during his career, but he is the best known Swede testing expert to me.

Just like Tobbe asked after his keynote, I will ask you: “What is YOUR Plan?” How are you going to become a great tester?

The first step is the easiest: Want it.

PS. My plan looks like this:

*) A Finn saying a Swede has a sense of humor means that he has an enormous sense of humor to the rest of you.
**) I haven’t seen him test so I cannot say he has a talent in testing. ;) I assume that he has some talent, but again this Finn-Swede-competition-thing might mean that he also has a huge talent in actually doing the testing.
***) Yes, I’m still a Finn. ;)
****) Later I rephrased it to be "I want to be the best in the company in testing" and later "I want to be the best known tester in the Finland".
*****) If you don’t have something to say you could start by challenging someone who has something to say. A good place is to challenge those whose blogs, papers, book you read. Even though the challenge might be Devil’s advocate –kind of challenge, it usually generates conversation and thus give you something to say (and you might learn something new).
******) You could start at your own office to get familiar with speaking out loud and to face challenging. You can then join peer conferences and share what you have already done to your colleagues. Eventually you can proceed to talk in conferences and events, if you feel like it.

Thursday, 14 June 2012

Bringing flavor to the functional testing

"Yo! Let's bring som flava to tha functional testin'!"
I had made a plan to attend at least one workshop on the first day. So instead of going to the Beta-testing workshop I decided to build my skills in the NFT-side. To me, non-functional testing is performance testing, security testing, conformance testing, etc. Things that measure the quality criteria of the product (how fast it is, how secure is it, etc.). As I am a mostly a black box tester, I usually try to focus on the behavior of the functionalities and what the product does. This doesn’t exclude the other approaches, but that’s just my main focus.

The workshop was Non-functional testing on mobile devices by Nikolai Pavlov. I was thrilled that I would be able to test mobile devices with an expert, so I was prepared to be blown away. Sadly, my expectations were not fully fulfilled. I will describe the session and what I thought about it.

First of all, I really liked the approach that compared functional and non-functional testing, the What and the How. I have been doing functional testing and some non-functional testing, but Nikolai was able to bring out the essential in both testing approaches. I did however disagree with the test-case based approach to the functional testing, but I did not challenge him for that. I was there to focus on the NFT.

Nikolai used simple but effective examples to describe the non functional testing as a complementary approach to the functional testing. “User MUST be able to sign in (functional), and Sign-in time should be equal or less than 5 seconds (non-functional)”. So basically the NFT can bring more flavor to the functional testing and thus make it more efficient and deeper.

One aspect of non-functional testing is to keep things simple. There is a vast jungle of non-functional requirements out there, so we should focus on the ones that bring most value to the product and to the users. At Skype (Nikolai Pavlov is a Mobile QE Lead at Skype) their main focus was on 5 things: application size, start-Up time, responsiveness, memory footprint, and battery life. Some of those things had never even occurred to me as a non-functional requirement, so I was really looking forward to the hands-on-part of the workshop.

Nikolai then presented ways to test those different aspects of the product. They had really cool tools and methods to test and measure the NFR. I was really impressed by the battery-life testing tool. Also the aspect of integrating start-up time measuring to you automate tests was a really cool idea. However after the theory part was finished, the workshop ended. “No hands-on?” the inner voice in me screamed.

The workshop would have been more efficient if Nikolai would have cut out some of the theory and would have given something to tests during/after his theory part so we attendant would have brought more substance to the workshop. I’m still thinking how I could test my Android-phone the “non-functional way”, but I have no place to start as we had no hands-on testing in the workshop. I wish Nikolai will do some adjustments to the presentation and offer some hands-on testing in the next session. But all things put together, the track was inspiring and got me thinking different ways to implement to my daily work. Maybe I could focus my effort on the memory consumption, threads and stuff… What about the conformance? Can I use fuzzing to make the apps crash? ...

Wednesday, 13 June 2012

The Adventures of Exploratory Monkey

This is a summary of Sami Söderblom’s track about exploratory testing and finding the inner adventurer. He presented this at the Nordic Testing Days 2012 in Tallinn. I found this track one of the most interesting ones as this cuts to the core of testing by stripping the excess and unnecessary activities away and focuses on the essence of truly good software testing.

Before I start ripping the track apart (well actually quite the opposite), I want to mention that this is somewhat in line with James Whitaker’s views* about exploring the software. After watching a video about large scale exploratory testing** I saw great many similarities in Sami’s track. I wonder how much of an influence has James Whitaker been to this track…

Sami had some great stuff going on in the track about exploratory testing. Great to me, because he tackled some of the issues that I’m struggling with when I try to explain exploratory testing to people new to the concept. The loop of Design, Execution, Observe, Learn and Adapting was the kind of thing people should be familiar with. By removing some action from the testing, we will result in a cumbersome approach that hinders the effective testing that we are trying to achieve with exploring. Also it was great thing for others so that they can get a firm grasp of what exploratory testing is in its most fundamental level.  Sami had great examples using the Battleship metaphor, the Great explorers of different domains, and the way of surviving with as little documentation as possible.

We have all played battleship game, right? B4 and c8, hit, destroyed, and so on, you know the drill. Some people think testing like the Battleship game and rely that if we cover all the grids by test cases we will find bugs. But the bugs don’t play by the rules! There are ships outside the grid! There are ducks instead of ships! There are mines within the grid! Why should we play by the rules? Why not do everything it takes to find all the ships? Use hammers instead of “C4” (or even real C4). Use a vacuum cleaner to suck in all the ships. Use an umbrella over the mine so you won’t break the environment by accident (and thus hinder your testing effort). Use whatever tools and techniques you have to get the job done! Cheating is allowed in software testing!

Sami introduced a few cool people from real world and from fictional world as his favorite explorers. Dr. House is an explorer, there’s no doubt about that. He tries all things he knows and utilizes all possible resources, techniques, tools, medicine, etc. to get the problem solved. He might try things that don’t necessarily cure the illness but that uncover more information about the problem. Sami also told about Sherlock Holmes, Gordon Ramsay and Jeremy Clarkson, and made cool examples how they solve problems or challenging tasks. This made me want to read more about this Sherlock Holmes, and I already started recording the House tv-series from the 1st season.

He talked also about reporting bugs. This is quite contradicting to the track made by Ainars Galvans, as Sami sees that everything must be reported as they might be a manifestation of something more severe. The root-cause is what matters! So if we don't know the root-cause, we might miss a terrible bug by thinking it's trivial.

All in all Sami managed to bring new information about the world of exploratory testing to the audience and about the building blocks of quality. I’m happy that he showed the Venn-diagram that had "testing" and "verification" in separate circles AND emphasizing that both of them need the other to be at their most effective.

I recommend reading Sami’s blog about exploratory testing. He has great thoughts about testing and quality. He will eventually write report of the conference, so follow the blog and hear his thoughts about his own performance and of others.

"All testing is exploratory!" -Sami Söderblom

*) “Exploratory Software Testing: Tips, Tricks, Tours, and Techniques to Guide Test Design” by James A. Whitaker 
**) YouTube video about large scale exploratory testing by James Whitaker

Monday, 11 June 2012

The branch that you’re sitting on is getting cut

The third track at Nordic Testing Days 2012 was a multiple case study or an experiment report from Kristjan Karmo from ASA Quality Services Oü. There were 5 cases that Kristjan introduced in his track, all real scenarios with some data changed to protect the privacy (also some figures exaggerated to make them more dramatic). They were all entertaining but each of them had a punch-line that summarized the case to a lesson learned. In the end all projects had one fundamental flaw that affected the results. Read through and see what it was.

The process is a tool - a fool with a tool is still a fool. Communication is the key!
The first case study one was a company called Wolf Inc., a company that wanted to change name and become Strawberry Inc. The task was supposed to simple: Find-and- replace and go to production. Simple, fast, infallible. No testing required. What happened was exactly the opposite. “Wolf” as a word changes in different situations: wolves, wolf’s, and even more if in a different language. Also all the logos, brochures, documents, templates, etc. were affected. All this was to be avoided by asking questions about the task, by listening to the people making the change. It was all about communication.

The second case was a “CRM on steroids” by a company called Fields & Co. There were lots of people involved, lots of locations, lots of documentation and interpretation thereof. The most catastrophic mistake was a misinterpretation of a date. The date was THOUGHT to be the “ready for testing” –date but it turned out to be the “ready for LIVE” –date. 1 hour session of critical exploratory testing on the product by all parties involved. Group effort and commitment to the end product saved the day this time.

The third case was a company called Forever Ltd. where testers were doing the best they could and producing bug reports. These reports ended up on the developer’s desk and were returned with a stamp “works on my machine”. The system consisted of multiple integrations of different products so the all the contractors said that the problem was on the other contractor’s court. The solution was to meet with all the parties and talk it through. People were negotiating about their defects and issues and then he proper stakeholder would claim the bug and fix it.

The fourth case was Pepper plc., a company that had a testing team of end-users. When the testers were introduced to the project, all testing done by the developers stopped. The problem was solved introducing a few experienced experts to the team and mandating the train testers to make more effective bug reports and testing was done using the exploratory approach. The lesson here would have been the experience and the structure the testers brought to the team.

The fifth case was a company called BadCom Corporation. The requirements for performance had been made early because the system was performance dependent. The product that came to testing was 200 times slower than the requirements stated. So the team did an effort to increase the performance and they managed to get it to be 10 times faster. That was still not enough, as the system still took lots of time to respond. An assumption was made that the 20 times slower would still be good enough. The reality was far worse at the performance rendered the system inoperable and useless.

So here’s what I think:

  • In the Wolf-case the work group didn’t know what they were doing or they were blindly taking orders. No-one questioned the orders by looking at the id-tag hanging from their necks, etc. So questions that needed to be asked were not asked, thus creating a situation where a consultant firm was called to douse the fire.
  • In the second case there were project management and consensus problems. Floor-level did not know enough about the scheduling thus making interpretations about them. What lacked was communication between stakeholders. The last minute exploratory testing show might have been a confidence boost, but feels like a show more than productive effort. Don’t know, but feels like it.
  • Third case is a typical multi contractor problem. Everyone’s interested on part made by them and will not think of others because they’re not paid to think about them. The more bugs the other contractor has, the better we look. So there was no big picture or team in this case and everybody tried to cover their own asses. Again communication and challenging could have done the trick and much earlier.
  • The fourth case was a basic bottleneck-situation, where the developers thought that they can now concentrate on their job and leave the testing to the test team. The problem was solved by amping up the test team, which was a good solution, but not what I’d had done. I would have talked to the developers and convinced them to do more testing and would have shown them the results if they did the testing.
  • The fifth one was burned even though a consulting agency did their best to get things better. Here the issue was realized so late in the product life cycle that the fix was almost impossible. The performance would have been the top priority regarding testing if it was a performance ciritcal system.

So, all in all, all cases were doomed because of the lack of conversation and the critical thinking of a professional tester. By outsourcing testing you outsource thinking, and might lead into these situations all over again. So think before ending in a situation where the branch that you’re sitting on is getting cut. Use challenging, questioning, feedback, workshops, to raise communication in within the project.

Communication is the key to success.

Making a requirements pie

This is a summary of the track by Ainars Galvans at Nordic Testing Days 2012 and how I viewed the subject. The topic was “Care for quality, not for bugs! Do you know the difference?“.

I met Ainars the day before the conference at the hotel and we discussed about bugs and quality. We are on the same line with the overall quality but I disagree with some points he made. So here is what happened and how I saw it and some thought about challenging the claims.

“The best tester isn’t the one who finds the most bugs or embarrasses the most programmers. The best tester is the one who gets the most bugs fixed.” –Cem Kaner

See the difference?
True and true. Ainars had great thoughts about increasing the value of the bugs. By focusing on the bugs that had a story that compelled to the developer (and the triage of people deciding which to fix), you will get more out of the bugs that you find. When I think of myself as a tester, I tend to get as much information about the product and thus uncover as much bugs as I can. I know that by doing so I learn about the product, the risks, the critical areas, the things that people making decisions value the most. When Ainars said “don’t report the bugs that aren’t getting fixed”, I was shocked. Am I doing it the wrong way? I may have a huge amount of rejected bugs, but it’s my way of learning. What if I uncover some minor looking manifestation of a bug that turns out to be a showstopper? I don’t know if I don’t ask and communicate.

Usually when you start communicating with the developer about a bug that seems like a show stopper, he will immediately see that it should be fixed immediately. If he can pinpoint the problem, you won’t need to make a bug report if the problem is sufficiently communicated onwards. So this is where I disagree with Ainars; I will make bug reports but I get the important ones fixed.

Ainars had great thoughts about prioritizing testing. He said that he’s not going to spend his time on testing something he KNOWS is going to pass, so he tests something he doesn’t know that will pass. He saves time doing so and can focus on the important areas of testing. So you should always do the most important testing at the every moment.

How do you know what is important? Ask! I ask if there is some area that is valued by the product owner and I focus on that. Then I ask what the next valuable thing is and focus on that. By time I get some testing done I can start formulate my own view about the importance of different things. So Ainars had a good thing going on there, as he knew the product so good he was able to guide his own testing prioritization using his knowledge of the product. The knowledge acquired by learning and testing the product.

Picking up requirements.
Ainars also introduced a cool way to do exploratory testing. He called it “Requirements driven exploratory testing”. They were almost like test cases but more like missions or topics, which were then tested. They were measured using traffic lights: Green (good enough testing AND good enough quality),Yellow (not started) and Red (not good enough testing OR not good enough quality). I challenged the concept as the testing team was focusing on only documented requirements, and I still do! There is a need to test also things that the client takes for granted and things that are discussed but not documented. I also challenged the fact that requirements are usually ambiguous, and that “requirements are not items to be gathered”. They're not like apples that you can get into your basket and bake a testing pie out of them. Ainars could clarify that if he can. From the presentation I did not get an answer to that.

As a summary, I got a lot out of the track as it provoked me to think about how I do my testing, but also I got a chance to challenge the speaker. I feel that Ainars has a lot to say about this and I will be checking his blog as often as I can. I hope he has a way to address my concerns about the requirements and “not-important” bugs.

How to cope with few end-user-testers in a testing project?

This is a summary about the 2nd track of the first day at Nordic Testing Days 2012, how I interpreted the process presented and what learning from that track. The track focused on building skills for the Business end-users to be able to test the system under test properly and as quickly as possible.

The track was performed by Maili Markvardt and was called “Testing: saved by the end-users”. I wasn’t expecting much out of it (I wonder why? Was I biased somehow?), but what eventually went down was very inspiring. Personally I have been in situations where the testing budget is so small that all guns must be brought to bearing. I thought this was one of those rants that “we didn’t have enough time” or “the client was behaving like child” kind of situations. Luckily it was not.

She started the track by presenting the situation: a total makeover of all information systems in a company, 7 large systems with ~90 interfaces, integrated in a “big bang” fashion. Immediately she got my attention, I’d been in a situation like that in my previous company (although not that bad, but similar on many levels). The system was done by many contractors and had about ~250 people involved. No professional testers and 1 test manager, Maili.

The problem was being solved by giving her a bunch of business people – people with no testing skills apart from some IT-skills acquired from previous life. So there was the lack of skills that needed to be taken care of.

How she handled the situation? Well, she trained the testers. The truth is that you can’t train people to become testers without them having enough time and motivation to be trained, or it can be very difficult. What she did was tackle the source of the problem: get a written mandate from the manager of these business people to be available as tester the promised amount of time. And holding them to that promise was (if I interpreted it correctly) an uphill battle. The business people obviously had their own work to take care of.

The would-be testers had little to none experience in testing. What Maili trained to them was the basic testing skills; mindset, test analysis and bug reporting. The approach was test case driven and governed by the test manager. Some challenges started to immerge at early points of testing; the business process was still unclear and under constant change, documentation was too complex, test cases too generalized, and people lacked the base knowledge to execute the test cases.

This is where I started thinking the possibilities of doing the testing the exploratory way. Could they have utilized the Rapid software testing approach to maximize learning and be more responsive to change? As the testers face these kinds of problems, strict and over-documented processes tend to fail due to lack of flexibility. I immediately reflected this to my own work and saw that we had the advantage to use RST to our advantage and benefit from the learning. Sure we also had problems, but the way we communicated with the stakeholders enabled us to make our testing more “to the point” and we uncovered lots of information that the stakeholders didn’t know they needed.

The ugly world of constant change took its toll on testing. Lots of bugs were found and not all of them were reporting real issues. The bug tracking process required the test manager to be a filter that would channel the bugs to correct stakeholders. Due to ambiguous documentation and knowledge about the interfaces (the testing for some of them was postponed to very late stages of testing), testing was difficult and the systems suffered from poor quality, and thus led into postponing the “Go LIVE” three times. The testing might have been the best quality available in that situation, but the amount of work forced the prioritization to ignore some areas until the very last days of testing.

All this put aside, Maili was able to create a process which involved described the process of training business people as testers. The process feels very sturdy and practical, but simple enough to be implemented by all test managers trying to cope with little resources. I hope people got as much out of the track as I did even though I didn’t expect much. Eventually I learned a lot about using what resources you have and to make most out of them. It’s the context driven way, I think: “Throw in whatever you have and the kitchen sink” to get the work done. To my view, Maili succeeded in the task that was very difficult to begin with.


Wednesday, 6 June 2012

The tired travelling man (with no business-cards to share at the event)

The last day came and went at the Nordic Testing Days 2012 -conference  and feeling a bit sentimental. I feel like I left a whole bunch of new friends behind the pond: Raivo Päts, Kaspar Loog and Kristjan Karmo to name a few. The last day as a milestone for me also as I held my first conference talk which was a workshop about Heuristic testing using Mind maps. I have video and slides about the workshop, and also some pictures when I get my hands on them. Main thing was that I had a blast and I got the impression that at least some people got something out of the workshop too.

So today didn't go as planned but I feel I made the right choices overall. I saw Mr. Rex Black talk about Quality management (which I will be doing a minor post later), I held my exhausting workshop (which I will analyse with more depth and because I like to talk about myself ;) ) and a long hands-on exploratory testing workshop by Mart Toom (a great guy with a knack for ET - I'll write a good analysis fattened with constructive feedback). I was planning to take the shorter workshop and attend the tracks, but I felt that I would get/share (the experience) more if I was able to participate in the workshop.

I have all my notes in mind maps. I will try to get them online as soon as possible for all the tracks. Some are less extensive than the others but I will write posts of the most interesting ones (not to say the others were not interesting but I may not have enough to share about those.

So, tomorrow I will be heading to Technical University of Tampere to join the Testauspäivät ("Testing days") and to have a lightning talk about mind maps and exploratory testing. Let's see how that event turns out... ;) Hopefully even more friends and peers to talk about testing with! :D

- Peksi, the tired travelling man with no business-cards to share at the event

Tuesday, 5 June 2012

The morning after (The second day of NTD2012)

Rise and shine!

10 minutes until the event starts so I need to be quick about my writing.

I have the workshop in the morning so I'm a bit nervous right now, but that will pass after I get my slides up and the people to testing.

The Pekka's Choice for the Day 2 is the following (goes with the same formula as the yesterday's choises):

Now I got to run to catch the Keynote by Rex Black! I'll be back!

- Peksi

Monday, 4 June 2012

Testing at Skype -track by Tiit Paananen

Lunch == Toss the food into your voice hole and write summaries about the conference talks.

First was about the testing done at Skype by Tiit Paananen. The talk was inspiring at the least and below are my notes on that session. :D

One thing that I liked about the show was the concept of testing maps. Testing maps are developed to increase visualization of the testing process. People can choose the media that they present it but they must visualize the effort that they will put into the testing.

I will update on the other tracks as soon as I can, but the time between the tracks is so short and I also have to confer – that what this is about!

- Peksi, a guy willing to borrow an iPad as this fragging laptop is so hot it makes me sweat like a pig!

The wings of procrastination

The morning came and went in the wings of procrastination. ”If I don’t go to gym I can sleep for 20 minutes longer. (Snooze!)” Now that I have rested and “broken fast” (I got that one from Game of Thrones), I can enjoy the conference fully.

Soon I will get to see the Skype keynote and see how things are done here in Tallinn. It has come to my attention that this is the first Nordic testing days –conference. The facilitation has been awesome here and hopefully the content is as good as the facilities. Stay tuned 'cause I'll be updating the  blog throughout the session.

-         - Pekka at 8:55 waiting for the conference to start.

Integer != Natural number (night before NTD2012)

This is a blog post about my feeling on the night before the Nordic Testing Days 2012 conference.

I just came from the restaurant of Meriton Grand Conference & SPA Hotel. I was there chatting with Ainars Galvans, a Latvian tester that I met the first time today but has great ideas about testing, bugs and test management. We ended up talking about bugs and reporting them in a valuable way (by the way he’s going to do a track about bugs tomorrow here in the conference). He had a good example about interpretation of a specification. It went like this (sorry Ainars if I misinterpreted it somehow):

The testers were testing a random generator that had 2 input fields – “from” and “to” – and some basic GUI elements; buttons, checkboxes, whatnot. The application gave an output of random number between the numbers in the input fields. Simple enough. The number was supposed to be either integer or floating point (chosen with the checkbox). The application threw an error on negative numbers.

Isn’t integer allowed to be negative? I hope to hear more stories from him about bugs and specifications. That leads me to the agenda of today:

What is going to happen tomorrow and on Tuesday?

On Monday there’s the “How do we test at Skype” –keynote which I’m really looking forward to. With tens of millionsof users the quality of a product is very important. Sometimes even business critical. The other keynote for that day is the  "How to become a really great tester" which is also sounds pretty interesting. That is after all why I am here – to become a better tester.

I decided to choose 1 session that I really look forward, 1 that I never thought I would find interesting and 1 workshop. Obviously this strategy allows me to attend more than just those, but I believe that I will get my mind expanded by the tracks and workshops. I feel awful to miss Kari Kakkonen's track, but if there'll be a webcast, I'll check that out later. Also the Behaviour driven development and test automation with Cucumber -workshop would have been great, but I have to choose.

So here’s my list for Monday:
- Testing, saved by the end-users, by Maili Markvardt
- Care for quality, not for bugs! Do you know the difference?, by Ainars Galvans
- The anatomy of testing- ASA emergency room practices, by Kristjan Karmo
- Exploratory Testing – find you inner adventurer, by Sami Söderblom
- Non-functional testing on mobile devices –workshop, by Nikolai Pavlov

Caffeine + entusiast tester = Blogging at 1:00am
After the first day I will have my head full of juicy information about quality, testing and bugs! And guess what! There’s the other day also! How great is that?!?

So, now I got to get some sleep as I hiked through the city to find the hotel. I was exploratory… hmmm… exploring of the beautiful city of Tallinn. Note to self: No coffee after 10pm. But <enter adult beverage> is still allowed...