Nicky Tests Software

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 Meetup.com - 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 (https://mkedemo.wordpress.com). 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.

Monday, May 30, 2016

My 4 Main Takeaways from Let's Test 2016

Last year, I wrote a two-part reflection on my experience at Let's Test, which detailed every session I went to. This year, I've decided to take a different approach. While there's a lot I can say about every session I went to this year - I feel my time would be better spent on focussing on a few things that I took away from Let's Test 2016


1. Context > Process

In his workshop, Patrick Prill had us do a few activities where we discovered that instructions to do the same thing, can lead to wildly different results. One question that was asked was "How do you make good coffee?" - as someone answered the question, all I could think was Aren't you going to ask if they want milk or sugar? Part of me thought, there's no point having "good coffee" if you add condiments where they're not wanted.

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Experience Report: Giving a talk at Let's Test as part of Speak Easy

Preparation

A few months ago, I approached Maria Kedemo to be my mentor as part of the Speak Easy Program. She said Yes! :D So we started working on my proposal and then later the actual talk itself together. At the start, we first discussed our expectations around how we would do this (to be honest, I remember having this discussion but not exactly what our expectations were, so I can't list them here). We collaborated on Google docs to work on the proposal and then later, the talk itself. We also had a few Skype calls (about an hour long on average) to prepare for Let's Test.

I practiced my talk with her for the first time (in full) about 1.5 - 2 weeks before Let's Test. At this point she gave really useful feedback and how to improve my talk which I took onboard including the use of specific examples from my past and tying the closing points to the opening story. I then practiced in front of Martin Hynie and Maria the night before I gave the actual talk.

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

My 5 Biggest Takeaways from the BBST Bug Advocacy Course

I recently completed the BBST Bug Advocacy course and am currently waiting to hear whether I passed or failed. I was somewhat freaked out when I got sick (a damn cold) during the exam period and found myself having to reread the questions multiple times before I could figure out what I was supposed to do (thanks to my headache at the time). To add to that, none of the questions I practiced for were in the exam (I reviewed for about a third of them) so the first word that went through my mind when I went through the exam was S***.  I ended up splitting up my answers into multiple sections so that I could actually understand what I needed to do (this turned out to be something the reviewers really liked funnily enough). Enough of my wee rant, below are my biggest takeaways from the course.

1. Irreproducible bugs should still be raised

This was a big one for me. I've always thought "What's the point if I can't reproduce it?" The thing is, if a lot of people encounter the same bug over a period of time and can't reproduce it - then they (as a whole) can help gather evidence so that someone can fix it. If these bugs are never raised in the first place, then you can't gather evidence. It's worth noting though that you should state that you haven't been able to reproduce it.