Nicky Tests Software

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

A Recent Encounter with Dark Patterns

I first came across the term of "dark patterns" when I saw Emma Keaveny's talk about it on The Dojo. While watching it, then later looking more into it, I realised how many companies are out there purposely trying to get the user to do something, the user doesn't actually want to do.

Time passed.

Then I signed up to The Economist.

I signed up online and found it pretty easy to do so. But then I soon struggled to keep up with new issues - so I decided to cancel. Unfortunately, it wasn't simply a case of finding some "Manage Your Account" link and then clicking the "Cancel Subscription" button. Instead I had to "Contact my local print service centre"



Wednesday, February 8, 2017

How to incorporate humour into speeches

About 6 months ago, I completed my last project in the Humorously Speaking Manual. To be honest, I was really happy to get it out of the way. One of the objectives for each speech in this manual is "make people laugh". And I found that stressful. I mean, I sometimes make people laugh spontaneously when I talk to them but having to make people laugh in purpose? Well, that's another story.

I remember my 2nd speech from the Humorously Speaking manual was close to a disaster. I got a few awkward smiles at best and I thought "f*** why did I pick this manual?"

Then I reminded myself - it's because I love to listen to funny speeches or speeches that have incorporated elements of  humour. I want to do that. 

So I learned how.

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Handling nerves when public speaking

Yesterday I competed at my Toastmasters club's annual Evaluation Contest. During this contest, you have a test speaker give a 5-7min speech and then we compete to give the best Evaluation to the Test Speaker.

While the judges votes were being counted, us 5 contestants were asked to come up to the stage and be interviewed. The question I was asked, was something along the lines of "How did you find the Evaluation Contest?" or "What was your experience in participating in the Evaluation Contest?"

And I answered truthfully.

I said I was fine, up until 30 seconds before I had to deliver my evaluation. Then my heart started racing. It's like a switch flipped as soon as I had to enter the room to give my evaluation (we had to stand outside and wait our turn to give evaluations so we can't cheat and copy the other evaluators).

It amazed me how one minute I was joking with the other contestants saying "Don't forget us when you make it to the next level of the competition" and then next minute I can feel my heart racing and thinking "hmm, wonder what my Fitbit says my heart rate is right now".

I told the audience how I felt. And they also knew I've been a Toastmaster for 4 years.

Monday, January 30, 2017

My highlights from the Webinar: ARE YOUR TESTS WELL-TRAVELLED? THOUGHTS ABOUT COVERAGE

Earlier today, Dorothy Graham presented a webinar on her thoughts about test coverage. For me, listening to this webinar was a trip down memory lane - I immediately thought of the ISTQB Foundation exam I sat in 2012 and the multi-choice questions I had to prepare for when it came to the different types of coverage (But I really enjoyed hearing Dorothy’s analogies on coverage (I find analogies are a great way to explain things). This post is not a summary of webinar, but just some of my highlights.


The travel analogy

Dorothy started off with an analogy using Scratchie maps - those ones where you (typically) scratch off the countries you have visited. She questioned “But what do I scratch off? cities? states? countries?” Initially she scratched off 74 cities in the map, but we couldn’t really see them.

She then proceeded to scratch off states then countries. But she commented that it wasn’t really representative of how much of these places she’s actually experienced - it was “rather shallow coverage”. (For example: scratching off all of Brazil when you have only been to Rio de Janeiro)

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

The State of Testing Survey for 2017 is now open!

The 4th State of Testing Survey is now open: http://qablog.practitest.com/state-of-testing/

Have your say in how you do testing and your company, how many people are in your test team etc. to contribute to this survey, then later reap the benefits and get to see how everyone's jobs look like in the testing world.

Thursday, November 3, 2016

Interview with Rosie Sherry

Rosie is founder of Ministry of Testing (www.ministryoftesting.com) and an unschooling mother to 4 amazing children. She use to be a software tester, but now runs the growing Ministry of Testing whilst also unschooling her kids.You can find her on personally on @rosiesherry, RosieLand (www.rosiesherry.com) and UnschoolMe (www.unschool.me).


I read that you started with creating the STC forum and now Ministry of Testing has become a bit of an empire. You've got STC, TestBash conferences and the Dojo (among other things) - when did you realise that what you were doing could impact a lot of people and have a massive reach?


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)