Three Things Testers Can Learn From Wine Experts

When I’m not testing, one of my favorite hobbies is alcohol. Wait…that didn’t come out right. What I meant was my hobby is learning about winSommelier_e_Tastevine, beer and sprits. Yeah, that sounds better.

While I do love a cold beer in the summer, a single-malt scotch when I’m feeling sophisticated, or an 1855 classified Bordeaux on special occasions, I think I spend more time studying booze than I do drinking it. I really enjoy learning about the various Appellation d’origine contrôlée (AOCs) in France, and the differences between a Pinot Noir from California and one from Burgundy. I sound pretty smart, huh?

As any cultured, refined wine connoisseur such as myself knows, the true masters of the bottle are called sommeliers. These fine folks are highly trained adult beverage experts who often work in fancy, fine-dining restaurants, setting the wine list, caring for the cellar and working with customers to help them select the perfect wine.

So what could a tester possibly learn from a someone obsessed with booze? Good question! I have three answers.

Be passionate

I have yet to find people who are more passionate about what they do than Master Sommeliers. Need proof? Watch the movie Somm (available on Netflix). The tremendous amount of dedication and effort these people pour (wink, wink) into their work is simply astounding.

A sommelier must be constantly learning and exploring. Each year, a new vintage of every wine is created. That means thousands of new wines are added to the multitude that already exist…and a sommelier is expected to be familiar with with all of them. And you thought the IT world was constantly changing!

There will always be a new product to test, a new approach to learn, a new idea to debate. Testers who are passionate about testing are excited about these new developments as they are opportunities to grow and improve.

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The 10 Hottest Devices for Mobile App Testing

mixedTesters within our community often want to know on which devices they should be testing. Concurrently, developers also want to know where their beautiful creations should be given the most love.

Thankfully we have a magical data team that can take any request we throw their way, and give us such statistics on the hottest devices requested by our customers.

We sent such a request over to our trusty data team, and magically (for me, anyways, as an English/Communications major), they came back with this list of the 10 most tested mobile devices at uTest. The criteria for this data were the devices (both phones and tablets) on which the most bugs were filed in the past 30 days. Here’s the top 10 in order of popularity:

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Testers Aren’t Psychic: Six Ways Developers Can Be More Transparent With Testers

Dear Developers:resized_business-cat-meme-generator-i-m-good-but-i-m-not-psychic-d50a02

Testers aren’t mind readers.  We’re not psychic or telepathic, either.  Please write your test cases and review our bug reports accordingly.

With Love,
Your QA Testers

Many testers dislike seeing the dreaded “Working as Designed” rejection reason on our bug reports because, in many cases, we had no idea it was designed to work that way.  To us, it just seemed like something wasn’t quite right, and it’s our job to tell you these things.

In fact, if a tester who has the perspective of a new user (someone who has no prior experience with what they’re testing and sees the environment in a way a brand-new user would) writes up a bug report on a feature that seems to be broken or working poorly, there’s a good chance new users will also think the same thing. Perhaps you should review the design and user experience to see if there’s a flaw there.

After all, quality assurance is not just about telling developers when a page errors or when a link is broken. It’s also about telling you when your software does not work in such a way that a user will find it to be a useful, quality, worthwhile experience.

It might seem like a pain in the butt, but we’re really just trying to do our jobs and help make your project a complete success.  Really! We’re on the same team, I promise.

When you ask us to test something for you, try and do the following things. They will help us help you and, in turn, your projects:

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Announcing the 2014 uTest Summer Bug Battle Champions

We’re proud and excited to crown the champions of the 2014 Summer Bug Battle, uTest’s first in almost four years.Marty3

If you’ll remember, in this recent edition of the uTest Bug Battle, testers were asked to submit the most impactful Desktop, Web and Mobile bugs from testing tools contained on our Tool Reviews site. After two weeks of heated competition, our Test Team Leads chose the top 10 most impactful finalists from the bunch, and the Community spoke by voting on their favorites from these.

Here’s who YOU, the Community, crowned as the 2014 Summer Bug Battle champions, winners of $1000 in prizes, along with their corresponding winning entries:

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Highlights From the CAST 2014 Testing Conference in NYC

Co-Chair Keith Klain of Doran Jones, a software testing consulting company, kicked things off in rousing fashion this past Tuesday, announcing that the 9th Annual eIMG_3763dition of the CAST conference was sold out. From there? The festivities officially started with a lively keynote from James Bach (are they ever not lively with him?).

CAST 2014 was held at the Kimmel Center at New York University (NYU), just outside the confines of beautiful Washington Square Park in lower Manhattan. What separates CAST from other testing conferences are the lively discussions and the varying viewpoints. With other testing shows, you may hear a speaker give a one-sided discussion with an agenda to promote his or her product — at CAST, you’re getting varied viewpoints that can actively be challenged and refuted by the audience.

The star of CAST is the ‘Open Season’ at the end of each speaker’s session — testers can hold up various color-coded cards which signal either a ‘new’ thread for discussion points, or replies to some of the threads that were already started. Questions were fielded both from the in-person audience and online viewers throughout the course of the conference.

The ‘Hits’ From CAST

A couple of the biggest hits from CAST came from Day 1. James Bach’s keynote led off Tuesday’s slate with a lively discussion that preIMG_3784ached the quintessential underlying theme of the show — that testers have to have that ‘thinking’ part — otherwise, they are nothing but bodies checking off boxes, running test cases. And that ain’t testing.

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The uTest Interviews From CAST 2014

For those that weren’t able to make this year’s 9th Annual Conference of the Assocation for Software Testing (CAST 2014), or follow along with our live coverage, we’ve compiled all of our interviews from over the course of the week at the show.

uTest was on hand to live tweet the event, as well as sit down in between sessions for informal chats with major personalities from the New York City testing conference. These chats included everything from what separates CAST from other testing shows, to what testers can do to better improve their relationships with developers.

Be sure to stop by this weekend to the uTest Blog as well, as we conclude our CAST 2014 coverage with a full recap and thoughts on the show. In the meantime, here are some of the interviews from New York:

Interview with Hilary Weaver:

Interview with Jessica Nickel:

Interview with Michael Larsen:

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Live From CAST 2014: uTest Interview With Michael Larsen

The last of our interviews live from CAST 2014 was with one of the figures from the organization responsible for bringing everyone together in NYC this week — the Association for Software Testing (AST).

Michael Larsen is a software tester from the San Francisco Bay Area, and is on the Board of Directors for the AST. Michael also co-led a session earlier this week at the conference. We learn from him a little bit about what sets CAST apart from other testing shows, and why one of the biggest problems in testing today is the de-emphasis of critical thinking.

Live From CAST 2014: uTest Interview With Jessica Nickel

Jessica Nickel is a Test Lead with Doran Jones, a software testing consultancy based in NYC, the host city of CAST 2014. uTest had an off-the-cuff discussion with Jessica on what sets CAST apart from other conferences and what the biggest threat to testers is today.

uTest will be interviewing attendees and speakers all week from CAST in NYC, and live tweeting @uTest using the #CAST2014 official hashtag. Check out the interview with Jessica below.

Live From CAST 2014: uTest Interview With Hilary Weaver

Hilary Weaver is a QA Engineer that bills herself as a “prolific swearer.” She kindly agreed to dial it down for this uTest interview just this once.

We interviewed Hilary in between CAST 2014 sessions this morning to discuss some key takeaways from her Tuesday session on the rift between testers and developers, and what testers can do to improve the relationship. We even take time to discuss her love for Star Wars — the title of her session was a quote from the film (“He doesn’t like you! I don’t like you either!”).

uTest will be interviewing attendees and speakers all week from CAST in NYC, and live tweeting @uTest using the #CAST2014 official hashtag. Check out the interview with Hilary below, and be sure to view all of the video interviews from CAST 2014.

Live From CAST 2014: uTest Interview With Martin Folkoff

Day 2, the final of CAST 2014, is just underway, and we took the opportunity to talk briefly with another CAST attendee in between sessions.

Tester Martin Folkoff hails from Washington, DC, and shares his thoughts on why CAST is exciting and why testers should bring a development mindset to the table. uTest will be interviewing attendees and speakers all week from CAST in NYC, and live tweeting @uTest using the #CAST2014 official hashtag.