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Thursday, September 4, 2014

New Challanges yet again

So after almost three years at Blocket I decided it was time to move on and try my wings as a consultant at Claremont. A bit scary since I am totally out of my comfort zone, which is a hard place to be and not somewhere I want to stay for too long. But it has been almost two weeks now, and I'm starting to get to know people at the office, how the coffee machine works and such. So my my worse headache is to get my CV in order and to get an assignment. I wish me and my CV were more friends than we are, but I got really inspired when a read a post on LinkedIn from Human Workplace where they talked about the Human-Voiced-Resume, where one important part is that it is ok to write your CV using "I". When I tried this it was so more easy and inspiring to write! Writing that "Ann worked as a Test Manager and did a lot of stuff.." is no fun. But writing and telling my story was awesome! I highly recommend it!

Thursday, October 11, 2012

The Insperation

As I mentioned in the last post I was having some students over for a visit. They just started their first semester learning about testing. Their assignment was (I think, it was quite fussy for all of us) to visit a company and study and learn how testing worked at the company.

Just a small disclaimer; I think it is great that we have vocational education in Sweden. But I was a bit scared of what they learned.. I met eight young men whom in less than two months have been taught that to be a tester you have to be curious, driven and alert. So far, so good. But they were also taught that you as a tester have to; go over requirements, write test cases and test plans, and from what I understood from them, that would take about 95% of the time. The students seemed a bit concerned that 95% of their working life would be really boring. I get that. It sounded to me that they were told that you should be great! And then do boring ISTQB stuff and test 5% of their time. Needless to say, I had something else to tell them. I told them of how I run my apartment at Blocket, three testers supporting more than 40 developers in eight teams. I told them how I got fed up writing test cases that made no sense at my previous job and introduced Session Based Test Management.

But I also told them that my way of working will perhaps not work in every industry, and not at every company. And that doesn't mean that those companies are  doing it wrong. There are all sorts of reason why a company work the way it works. Sometimes you are forced e.g by government to deliver certain things. Or the company just don't wont to be agile. That is not wrong. It is up to them. But you as a tester has to decide; Do I want to work that way?

I think, and hope that the students saw that there are so many different ways of working with test. No one can judge and say "this is better", YOU have to choose what rocks your boat. In the same way you as tester can focus on exploratory testing or performance testing, you can go to a company that is crazy agile or steady waterfall. None of them are wrong, they are just different. People are different, and need different things. I think it's good that you can choose. The responsibility to choose the right place for you to be the greatest you can be, it's up to you.

After almost three hours the group went home. I hope I inspired them to see that when it comes to testing, you have options. Not everybody has to get on my crazy super agile boat, there are others. But I think I might get a few applications of intern-ships in a near future.  I hope ;)

Over and our, Happy testing!

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Spreading the love

I had a great time last week!

In March I attended a great conference, Testzonen 2012 and meet very interesting people there. One of them wanted to come and visit my work place. So last week I had a visit from four agile coaches (all though they thought the term a bit missleading) from Adaptiv. They were interested in how I/we work at Blocket with XP and testing. So we had a tour of our lovely office and an hour of Q&A. I think I had some good answers.

Next week 8 guys that just started an education in testing this semester are coming for at case study. I get to inspire the future! Good times :) More on that when it has happened.

Happy testing

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Testing with your programmer

It has been way to long since I shared my thoughts here, which is a shame because the last half year I have had been thoughts about testing and software development. I just had a really nice experience so I thought I just share it.

So, one of the teams has rewritten some functionality, which affects more or less everything. They came to me 2 days ago saying happily as always "We're done!" I started testing and after 30 minutes I had like 15 bugs so I decided they needed some more time. Same thing happend yesterday. And today. Starting to feel that this is not very productive I asked if one of the developers could join me when I was testing, some good old pair testing. After half an hour the developer had written done at least 20 new bugs. But this time he had seen it for him self, what I did to make it happen. And it was really good having him by my side because of course he saw things I hadn't noticed. I really have to start doing this more, especially when it is an iteration that keeps dragging out because new bugs pops up everywhere. Also when you have IE-browsers always acting strange, it is far more effective having your programmer next to you.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

In the zone

It has been almost 2 months since I started at Blocket. Two really interesting months. As always when starting a new job it takes a while to understand how things works. One of my tasks as Test Manager was to get some sort of test process in order. As I support five teams it was challenging to get a clear picture of the bottlenecks, how much testing effort was needed and the work flow. The first weeks I went to every team asking them if they had anything for me to test. Some times they did, some times they didn't. I was always sitting with the feeling that there might be something to do, but it is very hard to keep track of 5 team boards at once.

So I did what I love most, I did my own whiteboard. It is called The test zone. Whenever the developers has something they want to have tested they bring their note and add it to the board. If the note fulfills the entry criteria that are listed of course. Then it's really easy for me to see how much that needs testing for the day and when the board is empty I can focus on for example broadening my domain knowledge.

Beside from being very visually clear how much there is to test, the board also keeps me from acting as a mum or a police to the developers. I function as a service provider, if they don't want the service and my help to test something, that's fine. Then that's their choice. This means I'm not positioning myself as in charge of Quality. Which is a big relief on many levels. At my previous job I would get really nervous and try to keep track on everything that should be tested. Now I let the teams be responsible for that decision. AND, if this "fails", and a lot of bugs are being released etc, it is up to the development process to change how they want to work so it includes more testing.

I also added a timeline to the board so that the teams can mark when they are planing to release. That way we migrate the risk of two teams wanting to release at the same time..

I must also add that this is a great place to work. When I started the fist day I went and said hi to all the teams. Every team said things like "Finally, more testers!" and "Can you start now? We really need you". It not often the whole development department are so unanimous in wanting more testers.. It was a really cool experience :)

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Acting on your feelings

Hellooo everybody!

So my last contribution was about taking the big leap of changing jobs. And is was a big leap. But then I figured out that even though there are plenty of perks to being a consultant, it's not my piece of cake. I realised that I love being at the same place for a long time and being able to suggest and implement change. And not just being a resource. Soooo I switched jobs. No fault of Know It, it's still a great company with really fun, skilled people! But for me, my new job is perfect. Starting in October I am the Test Manager of At the moment I manage one person, beside myself. And it's not so much me managing him, as him teaching me..

I think this is a nice challenge, they "do" XP, something I haven't come across before, and I'm intrigued to see how testing from my point of view will merge with that.

So, as I get in to it I'll hopefully have some insight in how to fit XP with QA-testing. From where I'm standing right now they contradict a lot. But as James Whittaker said at Star West a month ago, we tester will be obsolete. I don't fully agree, but being at a place that actually practice the one methodology that I think "should" be able to do with out dedicated testers is exciting! I'll keep you posted...

That's all for now, happy testing

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

New challanges

And I'm back.. But in a new setting. At the moment I am sitting at my new office at Know IT where I started yesterday. It's true, after 3,5 years I have left bwin. I never thought I would be able to do that! I have had such a great time at bwin it felt so distanced changing job. But I felt that it was time to move on and try something else and I choose Know IT which is a consultant company within IT. The plan is to try as many different areas as possible and broaden myself. It will be very interesting seeing how test is viewed upon depending on company and business.

But it was a hard decision to leave bwin. I have grown up there; my testing family who has taught me so much is there. I have developed as a tester, scrum master, colleague and person at bwin. It has been the best school one could imagine. But sooner or later one has to graduate and go out to the world and stand on your own two legs, and that is what I am doing. It is scary, but exciting.

So hopefully I will have a lot of news from different workplaces that I can reflect upon. So hang in there, it is my intention that I will be writing a lot more from now on!