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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Authors in Testing Q&A With Mobile Tester Daniel Knott

Daniel Knott has been in software development and testing since 2008, working for companies including IBM, Accenture, XING and AOE. He is currently a Software Daniel KnottTest Manager at AOE GmbH in Germany where he is responsible for test management and automation in mobile and Web projects. He is also a frequent speaker at various Agile conferences and now a published author. You can find him over at his blog or on Twitter @dnlkntt.

In this uTest interview, Daniel explains the biggest mobile testing pain points that come up in his user groups, and gives us a preview of recently released book, Hands-On Mobile App Testing. At the conclusion of the interview, you’ll also receive a link to an exclusive discount for the purchase of the book.

uTest: You’ve been involved in software testing in general, but what specifically drew you into mobile testing?

Daniel Knott: Back in 2011 when I was working at XING AG in Hamburg as a software tester for web applications, I had the chance to switch to the XING mobile team to establish the QA processes. Working on this team was a great experience. I had the chance to build up a test automation framework for Android and iOS from scratch and establish a mobile testing process. I was also free to try several things out to find the right tools and workflow for my company and the development environment. This time and experience was just awesome and convinced me to focus on the mobile world.

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Authors in Testing Q&A With Agile Testing Champion Lisa Crispin

Lisa Crispin was voted the Most Influential Agile Testing Professional Person at Agile Testing Days 2012 by her peers, and enjoys working asCrispinDonkey a tester with an awesome agile team. She shares her experiences via writing, presenting, teaching and participating in agile testing communities around the world.

She is also the author and contributor of numerous software testing books, including her latest, released in October and co-authored with Janet Gregory, More Agile Testing: Learning Journeys for the Whole Team. You can learn more about Lisa’s work on her site, and follow her on Twitter @lisacrispin.

In this uTest interview, Lisa explains the reality of agile adoption and suggests ways teams can succeed with agile.

uTest: Where have companies or teams gone most wrong when rolling out agile in their organizations?

Lisa Crispin: Many organizations don’t understand that to succeed at software development, we have to focus on delivering the best possible quality, rather than focusing on speed. Too many think that “agile” means “fast.” You need a big investment in time and training so that teams learn important practices such as TDD, CI, specification by example/behavior-driven development, helping business stakeholders identify the most valuable features, and so on. Teams that don’t nurture a learning culture where failure is tolerated, experiments are supported, and the team has diversity, accumulate too much technical debt and fail.

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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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Authors in Testing Q&A: Dorothy Graham Talks ‘Experiences of Test Automation’

Dorothy (Dot) Graham has been in software testing for 40 years, and is co-author of four books, including two on test automation (with Mark DG-photoFewster).

She was programme chair for EuroSTAR twice and is a popular speaker at international conferences. Dot has been on the boards of publications, conferences and qualifications in software testing. She was awarded the European Excellence Award in Software Testing in 1999 and the first ISTQB Excellence Award in 2012. You can visit her at her website.

In this Q&A, uTest spoke with Dot about her experiences in automation, its misconceptions, and some of her favorite stories from her most recent book which she co-authored, ‘Experiences of Test Automation: Case Studies of Software Test Automation.’ Stay tuned at the end of the interview for chapter excerpt previews of the book, along with an exclusive discount code to purchase.

uTest: Could you tell us a little more about the path that brought you to automation?

Dorothy Graham: That’s easy – by accident! My first job was at Bell Labs and I was hired as a programmer (my degrees were in Maths, there weren’t many computer courses back in the 1970s). I was put into a testing team for a system that processed signals from hydrophones, and my job was to write test execution and comparison utilities (as they were called then, not tools).

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

Michael Larsen is a software tester based out of San Francisco. Including a picture-87071-1360261260decade at Cisco in testing, he’s also has an extremely varied rock star career (quite literally…more on that later) touching upon several industries and technologies including virtual machine software and video game development.

Michael is a member of the Board of Directors for the Association for Software Testing and a founding member of the “Americas” Chapter of “Weekend Testing.” He also blogs at TESTHEAD and can be reached on Twitter at @mkltesthead.

In Part I of our two-part Testing the Limits interview, we talk with Michael on the most rewarding parts of his career, and how most testers are unaware of a major “movement” around them.

uTest: This is your first time on Testing the Limits. Could you tell our testers a little bit about your path into testing?

Michael Larsen: My path to testing was pure serendipity. I initially had plans to become a rock star in my younger years. I sang with several San Francisco Bay Area bands during the mid-to-late 80s and early 90s. Not the most financially stable life, to say the least. While I was trying to keep my head above water, I went to a temp agency and asked if they could help me get a more stable “day job.” They sent me to Cisco Systems in 1991, right at the time that they were gearing up to launch for the stratosphere.

I was assigned to the Release Engineering group to help them with whatever I could, and in the process, I learned how to burn EEPROMs, run network cables, wire up and configure machines, and I became a lab administrator for the group. Since I had developed a god rapport with the team, I was hired full-time and worked as their lab administrator. I came to realize that Release Engineering was the software test team for Cisco, and over the next couple of years, they encouraged me to join their testing team. The rest, as they say, is history.

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