TestBash World 2022 - Ask Me Anything, Really Anything About Testing with Nicola Lindgren

In this AMA, Tristan Lombard (@ministryofmischief) is joined by the amazing @deament .

Nicola has been involved with different testing communities, from Stockholm all the way to New Zealand and has as well worked on projects in various industries including Education, Retail and e-Commerce, giving her a great position to be able to answer anything, really anything about testing!

We’ll use this Club thread to share resources mentioned during the session and answer any questions we don’t get to during the live session.

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About the talk :mega:

We have reserved this session for the end of TestBash World 2022 to give you the opportunity to ask anything, really anything about testing which might not have been covered by all the previous sessions.

In this AMA, Tristan Lombard is joined by the amazing Nicola Lindgren.

Nicola has been involved with different testing communities, from Stockholm all the way to New Zealand and has as well worked on projects in various industries including Education, Retail and e-Commerce, giving her a great position to be able to answer anything, really anything about testing!

Takeaways

  • Get your burning testing questions answered

About Nicola! :female_detective: :bug: :iphone: :computer:

I’m Nicola , a Senior QA Engineer/QA Manager based in Malmö, Sweden. I’m constantly looking for ways to learn, grow and adapt. In the past, I have worked on projects in various industries including Education, Retail and e-Commerce.I was the founder of the Stockholm Software Testing Talks meet-up and a co-founder of the WeTest Auckland testing meet-up. I was also a frequent co-instructor for the BBST Foundations course. If you want to read my thoughts on software testing, feel free to check out my blog: https://nicolalindgren.com.

Social networks :globe_with_meridians: :computer:

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Questions!

Live answered

  • @fullsnacktester .- how do you speak to Developers about Testing?
  • @friendlytester .- What aspect of testing do you enjoy the most? and why?
  • @karentestsstuff .- What frustrates you about testing currently?
  • @heather_reid .- How did you make the time to write your books? Have you any tips for anyone considering a similar path?
  • Rich.- What is the biggest change in testing that you’ve seen so far and what might be the next big change?
  • @pennytests .- What advice would you give to those who are mentoring testers who are new to automated testing. Any do’s or don’ts while helping them on that journey?
  • @parwalrahul .- What is that one question that you wanted to answer via this AMA but has not been asked yet?
  • Anonymous.- how do you keep your testing team motivated?

Not answered :frowning:

  • Anonymous.- Should a tester learn about test automation?
  • @mtomlins .- How do you help testers from burn-out? Like…self-care for the tester’s mind and soul?
  • Anonymous.- Which advice would you give to someone who struggles creating test plans/documents?
  • Anonymous.- How do you question your biases when testing? How does someone learn to improve awareness of their biases?
  • Anonymous.- Any suggestions about implementing the testing process in a development team that is not used to work with QAs?
  • Ben Dowen.- How do you record a bug that has been prevented?
  • @cpentecost13 .- Is there still room for Manual Testing in the world of QA or will it be totally phased out by Automation and Machine Learning?
  • Anonymous.- What do you see when the CTO says we want 100% test coverage?
  • Penny Howard.- What advice would you give to those who are mentoring testers who are new to automated testing. Any do’s or don’ts while helping them on that journey?
  • @simon_tomes .- You give so much back to the testing community! Thank you. What motivates you to do that?
  • Ben Dowen .- what was your journey into software testing?
  • Elizabeth Hurley.- What, if any, challenges have you overcome in your career? How? What have you learned and how did you apply it?
  • Jen Bauer.- What are your test portfolio recommendations when one’s day-to-day work is confidential and otherwise not shareable?
  • @maaret .- I talked a developer who said he but did not like testing because it is hard to say when you are doing a good job. How do you know if you are doing a good job?
  • Diana Dromey.- In three words only, what is software testing for you?
  • Anonymous.- What’s the biggest social media gaffe about software testing that you made when sharing knowledge on social media and what did you learn from it?
  • Anonymous.- What are you excited about right now?

Useful resources shared

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  1. I think it depends but I’m leaning towards a yes. I state my reasons why and factors I would consider in this blog post.

  2. @mtomlins i haven’t (directly) worked with a tester who has suffered from burnout. (That I know of). But in terms of taking care of the mental health of my team members, I do try to keep track of what each person’s “normal” behaviour is and if/when they deviate from that.

While I like to think I’m a good listener, I realise I’m not the person to confide in for everyone in my team. So I may ask if they have someone to support them and suggest they talk to someone (if not me).

  1. I’d be curious which aspect you are struggling with and what have you tried so far? There are a lot of resources and templates online including on the MoT site you can check out.

I also like to ask for feedback from other testers and non-testers to make sure the document is actually adding value. (I don’t like creating documentation for the sake of it)

Feel free to DM me if you are comfortable going into which aspect you are struggling with.

  1. I admittedly struggle with this at times because it’s easy to get into your own patterns.

Once every few weeks or so I do try to take a step back and question why am I doing what I’m doing. And I try ti come up with a different way to go about things and then ask myself why am I not doing it that way instead? (Forces me to justify my current way of doing things).

In terms of improving awareness of their biases I suggest you get the Testsphere deck of cards which has dedicated bias cards and check out these books:

  • The Art of thinking Clearly
  • Thinking Fast and Slow
  1. Include them and make them part of the test process creation. Hold a discussion with some ideas you have and ask for their input.

I think this will help you get buy in if they are part of the decision and are given an opportunity to raise concerns.

After a few weeks, follow up and ask people what’s working and what’s not, then adapt/adjust.

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  1. I don’t. But that’s a good question, it’s never occurred to me to quantify that.

Have you ever thought to keep track of that sort of thing?@fullsnacktester

  1. @cpentecost13 Yes. But I’m also seeing increasing demand for testers who also have test automation skills.

It’s not a case of either or, many employers seem to want both.

To know what your test automation suite needs, you need to test the feature/app/site first.

I don’t think test automation can’t replace hands on testing - it supports hands on testing.

You might find this blog post interesting to read where I talk about Should I learn test automation?

With regards to machine learning, I don’t have any work experience in that area so I can’t give an informed opinion.

  1. Ask them why and ask them to be more specific with how this coverage would be measured exactly.

Then I would lead them to talk about risk and ask what value exactly would come out of this relative to time needed to make something like that happen. (Would be way too much time)

Instead of just saying no, I would try and lead them to my reasoning as to why I don’t think it’s a good idea- so they understand.

  1. @pennytests I think I covered this question last night but feel free to message me if you want me to dive deeper into my answer.

  2. @simon_tomes thank you.

Earlier on in my career, I didn’t feel like I had anything to give/share.

Now I feel that I do.

It’s nice (and kinda surreal) knowing you can help at least one other person with something you have written/said.

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I’ve thought about it, but I haven’t found a good way to do systematically.

When I do testing I keep notes, and when I do this with a developer and they did something I’ll note it down even if we never raise a bug.

Sometimes there is evidence in PR reviews in git, or in comments in Jira tickets.

But I have no external storage of bugs caught early or prevented. Maybe I should make one

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Fantastic! And it’s such a good feeling.

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  1. For me, software testing is all about learning.
    Learning about the software; learning how to communicate your findings; learning how to help improve the quality of the software (with the information you have).

  2. I’ve probably made a few but can’t remember any big ones right now.

My only small regrets is getting in some little arguments on Twitter or LinkedIn but then when I’ve realised that I can’t see how either side can learn or gain value from it, I back out.

While I wouldn’t describe myself as non-comfrontational, I am very intentional with how I spend my time. I don’t want to waste my time if there’s nothing to be learned or nobody is being helped.

  1. On a personal level, seeing my mums side of the family in Philippines later this year. My children haven’t met them yet. (My mum has come to visit though)

On a professional level, my keynote at SANAE in Bratislava. I’m looking forward to sharing my story of being made redundant and being intentional with developing my career.

@dianadromey I was thinking of answering these questions on my YouTube channel and linking it back to here. Hope that’s ok?

@jenbauer i answered your question about test portfolios in my latest video

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@maaret I answered your question on knowing if you are doing a good job in my latest video How to Know If You're Doing A Good Job as A Tester/ QA - YouTube