Nicky Tests Software

Thursday, October 27, 2016

What I learned from giving my first ever workshop

Earlier this week I was a co-presenter for a 2 day workshop on SBTM (Session Based Test Management) at Unity. 

While I have a solid amount of relevant experience (speaking at conferences, organising and speaking at meet-ups, being a co-instructor for BBST Foundations course multiple times, mentoring and coaching testers in previous projects and mentoring and coaching speakers at Toastmasters), actually facilitating a 2 day workshop for over 40 attendees is another kettle of fish! All of the experience I mentioned helped me prepare for this workshop but it was almost definitely the hardest thing I've done in my career so far.

I was paired with someone who had some experience giving workshops - so that gave me some piece of mind. Having a co-presenter with you up there to help you share experiences and ask the participants questions was very helpful. I also really liked the fact we were able to share two different perspectives - sometimes contrasting. There were times where I was very nervous and scared, and turning to my partner in crime, Johanna Forsberg really helped. (I can't imagine how lonely it would've been giving a workshop to 40 people by yourself)

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Interview with Olof Svedström, QA Chapter Lead at Spotify

Olof Svedström has worked as an engineering lead within software testing and quality at Spotify for 5 years, during a period when he has been part of the journey where they have grown from 5 to 100 million active users and from 150 to 2000+ employees. Before Spotify he spent some years as a tester in a spectrum of companies, ranging from small product ones to international giants.

What does your role as QA Team Lead at Spotify involve?

Being a chapter lead (team lead) at Spotify is a people manager position and not e.g. a test lead position. I do very little to none test leading as the development is done in small development teams, each owning the responsibility for the quality of what they produce, with a QA in each dev-team. QA at Spotify stands for "Quality Assistance" and not "Quality Assurance", we are there to help the dev team (as a part of it) to deliver.

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Leetspeak: My First Developer Conference - An Experience Report

Up until yesterday, I had only gone to testing conferences - for me these were a safe familiar place. I was with my "own kind".  So when my boyfriend asked me a few months ago if I wanted to go to Leetspeak, I surprised myself a bit by saying yes. After all, the price was very reasonable (less than 200SEK/20EUR) and it was on the weekend so I didn't have to ask for time off work.

To be honest, I wasn't sure what I'd get out of it. Walking into the conference venue - I didn't really have any expectations of what it'd be like.

It was a single track conference with 6 speakers and the MC who gave the opening and closing keynotes. 

Strangely enough, I found myself being a bit more shy than I usually am. During the Q&A session for Evelina's talk, I wanted to ask her a question (can't remember what it was now), but I was too scared to ask it as it would draw attention to myself. If I remember correctly, no women asked questions. (Edit: my memory served me wrong, there was at least one woman who asked a question)

All in all, I really enjoyed this conference and am keen to attend Leetspeak 2017.

Here are some of my key takeaways:

  • Leetspeak is a conference that is purposefully made affordable and on the weekend (in your own time). Martin Mazur explained to us that when they looked into what prevents people from coming to conferences, price and time are two key factors. So they solved this with this one (very well might I add - the conference had 600 people and was sold out).

Saturday, September 10, 2016

Adjusting to life in Sweden - My reflections after the first year

It's been just over a year since I moved to Sweden from New Zealand and I'm loving it. I admit my social media accounts (such as Instagram and Facebook) is more of a highlight reel, but overall - I'm happy here.

When I first moved here, I wasn't sure which challenges would lay ahead and how I'd adjust. After all, I figured Sweden is another Western country - can't be too different. And it's not. The differences don't stare me right in the face but are somewhat more subtle.

Below are my experiences and thoughts in adjusting to a few aspects of Swedish life (from the perspective of a New Zealander)

Friday, August 26, 2016

Protecting your time

Last night I attended a software testing meet-up  where Örjan spoke about his experiences in Managing Quality in an Agile team. He raised a few interesting points from a management perspective - but it was one in particular that caught my attention: protecting time.

In order to help his team achieve the tasks they planned in sprints, he would try and stop people hindering his team unnecessarily. He wanted to help make it easier for his team to work. And I get that. I've been on both sides of the equation - I've been the person trying to ask a developer questions only to be blocked by their dev team lead and I've also been the person who's been "protected" by their team lead so I can focus on my work and reach a deadline. From both perspectives I've been able to appreciate both the frustrations and the benefits of such an approach.

But what interests me - is the different ways people go about protecting their time.

Blocking off certain periods of times for meetings

At a recent project, they protected their time by blocking off meetings on Tuesdays and Thursdays. If you wanted to have a meeting on one of those days, it'd just have to wait until the following Wednesday and Friday (this has been going on for almost a year now)

Friday, June 10, 2016

Starting a Testing Meet-up - the first few steps

A few months ago I started a testing meet-up in Stockholm. There have only been two meet-ups so far - but I thought it'd be a good idea to share my experiences because:

  1. I hope to inspire others to start a testing meet-up in their local area (especially if there isn't an active one yet)
  2. If you have been to a testing meet-up, you may be curious as to what it's like "behind the scenes"

A few things to keep in mind when you read this:

Why start a Testing Meet-up in Stockholm?
There weren't any active testing meet-ups at the time (around mid March 2016). While there were a few testing Meet-up groups there hadn't been any Meet-ups for 6 months (according to - and I really wanted to meet some people from testing in Stockholm.

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Interview with Maria Kedemo

Maria has worked in software development for 15 years with context driven testing as her main focus. She is passionate about learning and coaching and is currently teaching software testing at a 1.5 year vocational education in Sweden. Maria is active on Twitter ( and sporadically blogs ( She is also a mentor with Speak easy, a member of ISST and an international conference speaker. She is a bit of a foodie and enjoys lifting heavy things at the gym. 

1. What have you learned from teaching software testing, that you plan to apply when you go back to consulting? 

I have been able to dig into subjects of software testing which I have not really had the time to study and practice in depth before.  To be able to teach it has been necessary for me to better understand different test techniques such as user testing, domain testing and risk testing. Coming up with different practical exercises and how to actually teach and explain a concept or a techniques is  something I highly value and which I hope I can apply in future assignments.