Thought Round-up: 5 Everyday questions with Testing Answers

In this thought round-up we ask a few everyday questions — but with testing / QA in mind:

Are you hungry? We knew there was an appetite in our hometown, Atlanta, for Software Testers to get together. But we had no idea the inaugural Software Testers Atlanta Un-Conference (STAC) held last week would be so welcomed by the local testing community. The event was priced super reasonably at $100 per attendee and turnout was fantastic. STAC sold out in advance with over 225 registrations.

Key observation: Whole teams were able to attend together – with some flying in remote members — allowing the teams to explore new ideas together and share learnings as a team.

If this is not happening where you are, how can QASymphony work with you to make it happen locally for you? Let’s set up a time to talk about it.

Are you experienced? Real world experience with Exploratory Testing was on everyone’s mind at STAC. At Ken Riley’s session, Manual Testing in an Agile environment, people wanted to know about the practical side of exploratory testing. A few of the questions and his answers:

How much time do you spend on exploratory testing: One day in 10.

How do I explain the difference between ad hoc and exploratory testing to management: Exploratory testing has a clear charter and a time box. With exploratory testing you plan to go down the rabbit hole – but only so far. It’s a focused thing. You stay in one area.

How do you allocate time for exploratory testing in a sprint: We do a lot of testing on the last sprint at the beginning of the following sprint. We add a user story for the exploratory testing: one story with different paths and a time box for each.

Are you ready? What does ready for testing mean? Kyle Cochran in a recent SD Times interview says to “test early and often.” In order to test early, Cochran suggests using exploratory testing. “Exploratory testing allows your QA people and even other parts of your organization to get inside of your product, even if [it is] unfinished and as development is occurring,” he notes.

Another tip from a STAC attendee: “We have Testing Days where everyone in the company does testing. We give them a guide that gives them a basic framework for exploratory testing.”

Are you getting sleepy? You might enhance your testing skills by getting more sleep. “You need enough sleep to process new skills. If you don’t get enough sleep, your cognitive processes are affected. You can’t learn (that lack of attention), concentrate or remember what you’ve learned that day. The mind also takes the sleep period to settle the memories. If your sleep is disrupted or insufficient, those memories won’t stick.” Forbes story. Sleep deprivation can cause false remembering — read more in Medical News Today.

Are we there yet? “Just because a piece of software is completely bug-free, that doesn’t mean it’s good. Testers need to look past defects and consider things like how steep the learning curve is and how well it gets the job done.” In SD Times, Vu Lam provides some direction on driving the bus to Truly Good Software vs. No Defect Software. See the full story.

Meanwhile, how are you? Stressed? Relaxed and productive? Are you enjoying your craft as a skilled Tester? We will be at STP Con. Let us know if you plan to be there and would like to exchange insights in person.

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