Why Are Testers Uninterested in Upgrading Their Skill Sets?

“The only type of testing that I can do is manual testing.”Distance-Education
“Test automation is very important, but I am too busy now to learn something new.”
“Test automation is useful, but I will learn it when I will need it.”
“I am interested in test automation, but I don’t know any programming and it will take a long time to learn it.”
“I want to learn test automation, but my employer does not have any training programs.”

Have you ever heard any of these stories? I have, and not only once, but many times, about test automation, load testing, and web service testing.

Most of the testers I know say in one way or another that they would like to learn more about their profession but, “not now, maybe later, when the conditions will be better, when they will need the new skills in their job, when their employer will pay for their training, when someone will train them for free, when they will be less busy, etc.” The list goes on.

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Latest Testing in the Pub Podcast Takes on Testing Weekend Europe

Testing in the PubSteve Janaway and team are back for more pub pints over software testing discussion, in the latest Testing in the Pub podcast.

In Episode 13, UK-based software testers Amy Phillips and Neil Studd talk Weekend Testing Europe. Weekend Testing Europe is the European chapter of Weekend Testing and was just relaunched in 2014 by Amy and Neil.

Weekend Testing is a program that aims to facilitate peer-to-peer learning through monthly Skype testing sessions. If you’ll also recall, uTest contributor Michael Larsen is a founding member of the Americas chapter of the program.

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Safety Language in Software Testing: Why It’s Not OK to Deal in Absolutes

Of course this has been tested. This is definitely working as it should be. images

How many times has a tester or developer uttered these words to only have them come back and haunt them? Or worse, lose credibility? As a tester, it seems like a no-brainer to use CYA language in your everyday work. Heck, one just has to look to prolific software tester James Bach’s recent talk at CAST to figure that out (“I’m reluctant to say ‘pass.’ I’d rather say, I don’t see a problem as far as I can tell”).

But is “safety language,” such as ‘it seems to be’ versus ‘it is,’ something that should be a part of every tester’s skillset? Gold-rated tester on paid projects and uTest Forums Moderator Milos Dedijer seems to think so. It was a discussion topic that recently cropped up in the uTest Forums:

Some time ago, I had an argument with my team lead about my use of safety language. I tend to use it in any argument, and I believe that it’s a good practice. I don’t use it in my factual reports, but I do use it frequently in my descriptive reports. For example, if I say that a set of steps has been executed I don’t use safety language to report results, but if I say that a certain feature has been tested I use safety language almost all of the time. Using safety language to preserve uncertainty appears to be one of the skills a tester must have.

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State of the (u)Testers: Software Testing Careers Survey

little-uWhat got your peers into testing? What are their biggest pain points on their testing teams? Are they seeing any career advancement from their software testing certifications?

uTest has never conducted a study of its community members who have testing as their full-time careers…that is, until now. By launching our State of the uTesters software testing careers survey, we hope to give our testers a better picture of their peers’ testing careers — what motivates them, their testing aspirations and some of the biggest pain points in their organizations.

But the data will only be as good as the participation, so send in your responses today if you’re interested in what your testing peers have to say. We will also be selecting a  couple of random participants for a uTest t-shirt from all entries. The survey should take just 10-15 minutes and will be open for submissions until Monday, November 24. We will be publishing the results of this study here on the uTest Blog in December.

PARTICIPATE NOW

uTest Announces New Software Testing Career Mentoring Program

mentoringACEing your work as a software tester just got a little easier.

uTest is proud to introduce the beta version of A.C.E. (Assisted Continuing Education), a new software testing career mentoring initiative beginning November 1. The program will be available to all members of the uTest Community.

The mentoring program is designed to help software testers build a solid foundation of testing education. By honing these essential skills, participants will be well-equipped to grow their testing careers and strive for professional success on many levels. This will be achieved through participation in various course modules, each geared to the software testing professional at various stages of his or her career.

At the November 1 beta launch of the program, A.C.E. will offer the first two modules of the program, How to find valuable bugs and How to write great bug reports. Testers will have the option of signing up for one (or both) of the course modules.

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STARWEST 2014 Interview: Qualities Test Managers Seek in Software Testers

Recently at STARWEST, I caught up with professional software testing team lead Richard DeBarba.

Rich gave some great insight into what qualities he looks for in a team member and how attending STARWEST helps him focus on the most optimal training materials and direction for his team. By attending conferences like STARWEST, Rich is able to keep up with recent trends in software testing and learn about progressive new tools or practices.

So what types of testers do team managers like Rich look for? Check out the video below to see what he had to say!

Testing the Limits With Testing ‘Rock Star’ Michael Larsen — Part II

In Part II of our latest Testing the Limits interview with Michael Larsen, Michael talks why test team leads should take a “hands-off” approach, and why testers should be taken oumichaellt of their comfort zones.

Get to know Michael on his blog at TESTHEAD and on Twitter at @mkltesthead. Also check out Part I of our interview, if you already haven’t.

uTest: In a recent post from your blog, you talked about the concept of how silence can be powerful, especially when leading teams. Do you think this there isn’t enough of this on testing teams?

Michael Larsen: I think that we often strive to be efficient in our work, and in our efforts. That often causes us to encourage other testers to do things “our way.” As a senior software tester, I can often convince people to do what I suggest, but that presupposes that I actually know the best way to do something. In truth, I may not.

Also, by handing other testers the procedures they need to do, I may unintentionally be encouraging them to disengage, which is the last thing I want them to do. As a Boy Scout leader, I frequently have to go through this process week after week. I finally realized that I was providing too much information, and what I should be doing is stepping back and letting them try to figure out what they should do.

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Four Reasons Software Testing Will Move Even Further Into the Wild by 2017

apple0132Ever since our inception, uTest and our colleagues within Applause have always been a huge proponent of what we like to call ‘In-the-Wild’ Testing.

Our community is made up of 150,000+ testers in 200 countries around the world, the largest of its kind, and our testers have already stretched the definition of what testing ‘in the wild’ can be, by testing countless customers’ apps on their own devices where they live, work and play.

That ‘play’ part of In-the-Wild testing is primed to take up a much larger slice of testers’ time. While we have already seen a taste of it with emerging technologies gradually being introduced into the mobile app mix, there are four major players primed to go mainstream in just a couple of short years. That means you can expect testers to be spending less time pushing buttons testing on mobile apps in their homes and offices…and more time ‘testing’ by jogging and buying socks. Here’s why.

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Latest Testing in the Pub Podcast: Part II of Software Testing Hiring and Careers

Testing in the PubThe latest Testing in the Pub podcast continues the discussion on what test managers need to look out for when recruiting testers, and what testers need to do when seeking out a new role in the testing industry.

There’s a lot of practical advice in this edition served over pints at the pub — from the perfect resume/CV length (one page is too short!) to a very candid discussion on questions that are pointless when gauging whether someone is the right fit for your testing team.

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STARWEST 2014 Interview: Mind Over Pixels — Quality Starts With the Right Attitude

How important is a tester’s mindset and attitude when it comes to testing?

I sat down with Stephen Vance, one of the STARWEST 2014 speakers, to chat about just that. As an Agile/Lean coach, Stephen is passionate about helping testers understand how to communicate with developers to better integrate into the software development process, and it all starts with the attitude you bring to the table.

Stephen teaches that investing in a “distinctly investigative, exploratory, hypothesis-driven mindset” is key to achieving process improvement at all levels of the software organization. He sees the value in the iterative approach that so well suits the skills testers bring to a collaboration, and encourages testers to be integral in more aspects of a project than just the black-and-white testing phases.

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