Archive | Careers in QA

Q&A with Alison Wade: President of Conferences, Training & Consulting at TechWell & Founder of Women Who Test


We were lucky enough to get another inspirational women to do an interview for uTest.

Alison Wade is an accomplished executive dedicated to the business of software. For the past fifteen years, she has worked with industry leaders developing programs for software development and testing professionals. Alison has been instrumental in building Techwell, a company with an outstanding reputation for delivering high-quality services, publications, events, and partnerships. With Alison Wade Headshot #2experience working in more than a dozen countries, her expertise includes: leading teams, business development, strategic partnerships, and agile software development. Alison is a Certified ScrumMaster and Product Owner.

Alison is also the program chair of Mobile Dev + Test Conference. She plays a pivotal role in the development of the Better Software, Agile Development Practices, DevOps Conferences, and STAR Conferences in the USA, in addition to directing Software Quality Engineering’s highly respected training curriculum and programs. She strives to increase awareness of diversity in the software industry with regard to both the workforce and the role of software beyond commercial products and IT departments.

In 2015, Alison launched Women Who Test, a day dedicated to women software engineers, which will happen in conjunction with the STARWEST conference.

Read more: StarWest Women Who Test

Through her work as a board member of Humanitarian ToolBox, Alison brings her years of experience to leverage technology and help skilled volunteer communities solve the needs of response organizations and communities affected by natural disasters.

twitterFollow her on Twitter @awadesqe

With Alison’s admirable career and dedicated strides she has made a huge impact to encourage women testers. We are so excited to share what she had to say because her ideas can help you be a better tester and help us become a better resource for women.

How did you begin your career in testing?

A: I had no clue I was testing when I broke my first Macintosh in 1985. While I was still in school, I was lucky enough to work part-time at a very progressive company, and they purchased one of the earliest Macintosh computers.  The sales rep, yes he came to our office, delivered to it me with a headset and a cassette deck. I took a tutorial via cassette tape to learn how to use it. Within hours, I managed to render it unusable and the sales rep had to pick it up.  He later came back and told me “you did things to the software on that machine you shouldn’t have been able to do, how did you do that?”  Tester born!

In the early 90’s I worked with a couple of developers to create some proprietary software that scheduled over 10,000 individual face to face appointments for thousands of users, over a two day period. It was impossible to test everything, and so I created a complex set of tests to validate that the software was functioning correctly. I had no idea I was writing a test plan and practicing risk-based testing. However, I did know if the paying customers didn’t get the appointments they requested, my life would be hell, so I needed to make sure the system worked.

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Augmented Reality Offers Glimpse of Future

New technologies are often built upon the successes and ideas that have come before them. Always building off and taking advantage of previous technology, development and advancement becomes an iterative process. Leap Motion has taken this process to heart recently, using a Hackathon in San Francisco to augment the Oculus Rift and turn it into an Augmented Reality machine that works in tandem with a traditional computer. The technology looks incredible, and although it is simply a tech demo at the moment, Leap Motion’s work is offering a preview of the future of interactive technology.

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STARWEST: Women Who Test

As you may have seen we are doing a UTEST4STARWEST contest this month. With the contest closing soon now is the time to enter your submissions for a chance to win a sponsored trip to the StarWest conference this fall!marketing tips for beginners

One of the many reasons STARWEST is a great opportunity for those in the testing community is their addition of a Women Who Test Day.

According to their website the description of the day is.

“Women Who Test is a full-day on Friday, October 2 for women to network with other women who work in software testing.  It is also a day to learn from and be inspired by each other. The program will cover testing topics and will support women’s personal and career journeys and include content like: reengineering your life, growing your personal brand, setting goals, discovering your career superpowers and how to problem-solve when you are a female in the tech industry where your gender is out numbered 7:3″

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The Present and Future of Manual Testing

A few years ago, manual testing jobs were in high demand on the job market. At that time, there were not many mobile devices and mobile applications available in the world of tech, and more andmanualtest more companies were beginning to realize that having a testing team is as important as having a development team. So what did these companies do? They hired many manual testers, some coming from other IT professions (business analysts, developers, helpdesk engineers), as well as many from non-IT professions. Becoming a manual tester was not very difficult, as there was no formal education available. And without formal education, all the skills needed to become a manual tester were non-IT skills:
– good cognitive skills
– attention to details
– willingness to learn new things
– good verbal and written communication
– a questioning mind
– creativity
During those years, testers were not at all technical when compared with developers. Things were good for manual testers for a few years, but since then, things have changed. Most companies began to enter the world of mobile, with mobile sites and apps. In addition, technology and testing advanced with Selenium, cloud computing, test automation, and virtualization gaining importance.
So where is manual testing today? I occasionally speak to local recruiters, so I asked them this question: One recruiter’s answer was that there are very few “pure” manual testing opportunities available. When one of these opportunities is available, the competition is fierce with 40-50 people competing for it. At the same time, there are more and more opportunities for testers with test automation skills, as many companies either have test automation frameworks that need to be maintained and improved or want to start their own frameworks.
Another recruiter’s answer was that most of testing roles seem to be hybrids. This means that the tester must be cross-functional and know both manual testing, a programming language, and a test automation framework. For this type of job opportunity, the competition is low. Many times, the recruiters cannot find people qualified and positions stay open for a long time.
Will this trend continue? I  believe that it will. Testers that invest in their own career, know a programming language and have other technical skills will have the first chance of getting most of the job interviews going forward. These testers will continue to get closer and closer to  software developers in their daily job requirements and skills.
Alex Siminiuc is a Gold Tester at uTest and lives in Vancouver, Canada. He writes occasionally and teaches test automation with Java and Web Driver on his blog.
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On-Site Job Opportunities Through uTest

Our Community is well established as a leader of in-the-wild software testing. We have freelance testers all over the russia-95311_1280world testing on real devices, in real-world conditions. With 175,000 testers in over 200 countries and territories, the uTest Community is an excellent resource for something else – full-time, on-site positions.

In 2015 we’ve seen a significant increase in the number of request from customers to help them staff full-time, on-site positions. Requests from our customers predominately feature QA positions; however we’ve also fulfilled requests for Automation Engineers and Mobile Developers.

While a number of these have been filled, below is a taste of what we’re looking for when recruiting an on-site role:

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Software Testing Q&A: uTester Interviews Exec Jennifer Bonine

A VP of global delivery and solutions for tap|QA, Inc., Jennifer Bonine began her career in consulting, implementing large ERP solutions.5J1A0324

Jennifer has held executive-level positions leading development, quality assurance and testing, organizational development, and process improvement teams for Fortune 500 companies in several domains.

In an engagement for one of the world’s largest technology companies, Jennifer served as a strategy executive and in corporate marketing for the C-Suite. In her career, she has had several opportunities to build global teams from the ground up and has been fortunate to see how many of the world’s top companies operate from the C-Suite viewpoint.

While at STAREAST 2015, I sat down with Jennifer to discuss her views on crowdsourced testing, and her advice for software testers on being successful in the profession.

Anna Momatava: Jennifer, you are a frequent speaker at various software conferences, including STAREAST. In your opinion, what is the most beneficial part of events like this?

Jennifer Bonine: I think there are two parts to it that are valuable to people. One is getting ideas on what’s hot and what the current trends are in the world of software testing. The other piece is networking and meeting folks struggling with similar challenges, and learning from them — and I think a lot of people miss out on it. They come to a conference thinking, “I’m here just to attend my sessions,” so they actually don’t meet others.

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Software Testing Industry Salaries Stagnant in nexo QA Survey

indexIn a recent software testing salary survey sampling one country’s workforce, one could say that testing was a thankless job last year — nearly half of the survey’s respondents — 47% — saw no salary bump going into 2015. A sliver even saw a small cut in pay.

This is one notable finding from the recent ‘Survey on Salaries of Software Testing Professionals 2015,’ promoted by nexo QA, SoftQANetwork and uTest, and conducted by nexo QA, the organizer of the expo:QA testing conference in Madrid.

While the survey is heavy on data from Spain, other countries were sampled including Argentina, Colombia, Uruguay and the USA, despite there not being enough data for a comprehensive report.

In any event, the slice of salary data from 185 testing professionals in Spain tells a nice story on how one country pays its testers. Some other notable findings from the report:

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Software Testing Industry to be Valued at $71 Billion by 2018

Mobile-AppsApple is releasing its polarizing-yet-hotly-anticipated Apple Watch this week amongst much fanfare, and just capped off a couple of quarters with its most successful iPhone sales ever. The just-released Galaxy S6 was labeled the best Android phone of all time, and will likely sell like hotcakes, along with its S6 Edge counterpart.

On the apps side, where these devices truly shine, you’ve got Snapchat valued at $15 billion. And this is a business model that has only started to generate any revenue.

Is it any wonder, then, that by 2018, the global software testing industry will be valued at nearly $71 billion?

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‘Make Like a Tester’ in Your New Role

It’s not hard to find articles about recruitment and testers. Hell, I’ve even written one myself. It’s also not that hard to find material onblog_copy what test teams can do to bed their new testers in once they’ve got them, and I particularly like the way Testhead and Joep Schuurkes talk about it.

But I don’t see so many pieces aimed at testers starting a new role.

Over the last seven or so years I’ve been recruiting testers, my expectations about what I’d like them to do when they start work have changed. That’s for all sorts of reasons including that: Our needs have changed, I’ve had great suggestions from the team, I’ve seen brilliant and unexpected action by new team members and even that I have more of an idea of what I’m doing now (Yeah, even managers don’t always know everything. Who’d have guessed?).

So, here’s some of the stuff I say at the moment to my new hires. As always with testing, there are few, if any, absolutes: What works for one person in one context at one time might not work well for others in others at others.

You’ll notice that some of the suggestions overlap and some are in tension. The context arguments apply to you, too — your context will differ day to day, and so the actions you take should differ, too. Keep that in mind. I certainly do.

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Software Testing With a Spoon (And Other Interesting Interview Topics)

indexFrequent uTest contributor Daniel Knott recently penned a nice piece on ‘how to test a spoon.‘ It was a question used during a software testing job interview that Daniel stumbled upon.

OK, so you’re probably asking — why in the heck would I test a spoon in the first place? But if you’re asking this question according to Knott, you’re just in the wrong mindset when this curveball is thrown your way.

Knott argues that it’s less about the process of actually breaking the spoon, and more about the thoughts the question elicits:

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What’s In Your Work-From-Home Toolkit as a Tester?

indexMany of our testers around the world at uTest work from the comforts of their own homes when testing away on the latest mobile apps.

Check that — if uTesters have made the decision to take on paid projects with our customers from around the globe, they are working from home, as our community of 150,000+ is always testing in the wild where they live, work and play. Additionally, there’s a large contingent, that, while they may not be testing with uTest specifically, are on teams in their day jobs that are remote.

I myself enjoy the comfort and flexibility that uTest and Applause have graciously afforded me by working from home from time to time, but I’m also a realist. I know that it can be a distraction, and need some tools in my digital toolkit to keep me productive.

There was a great piece recently in the Harvard Business Review (HBR) that covered such things to buy, download or do when working remotely, and some of them no doubt can be helpful to the testing world:

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