How Sesame Street Can Help You Become a Better Software Tester

indexAll I really need to know, I learned in Kindergarten.

STARWEST presenter Robert Sabourin – a 30+ year veteran and well-respected member of the software development community – took that nugget of conventional wisdom and put his own unique tech spin on it in his course on Testing Lessons Learned from Sesame Street.

While the topic was fun and lighthearted, Rob took his subject matter seriously and impressed on attendees just how important it is to learn and master the basics. But what are “the basics”?

Let’s take a closer look at what you really need to know to build a solid software testing foundation.

Rob’s presentation focused on two main areas of professional – and personal! – development: cognitive skills and social skills. Developing your cognitive skills allows you to think more analytically, to develop efficient models and lay out precise explanations for your processes and reasoning. Strong social skills elevate your ability to collaborate to a whole new level of effectiveness and can help grow your reputation as a thought-leader.

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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!

Mad Scientists Welcome at the STARWEST 2014 Test Lab

Testing is dull, boring, and repetitive.

Ever heard anyone say that? Well at STARWEST 2014, the theme is Breaking Software (in the spirit of Breaking Bad), and this crowd is anything but dull! Creativity abounds at this conference, from the whimsical (yet impactful) session topics to the geek-chic booth themes (I do so love a good Star Wars parody!) to the on-site Test Lab run by what at first glance appears to be a crew of mad scientists. Boring or repetitive? I don’t think so!

Because the Test Lab was such a fun space, I interviewed one of the mad scientist/test lab rats, Paul Carvalho, to get the lowdown on what STARWEST 2014 attendees have been up to. Check out the video below for a tour of the STARWEST Test Lab, complete with singing computers, noisy chickens, talking clocks, and more!

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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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Top Tweets from STARWEST 2014

If you haven’t stopped by and seen us at the ol’ uTest booth, now’s the time! CM’s own Sue Brown is at the show along with the Applause crew.

But if you’re not there, have no fear, as Sue will be reporting back with some video interviews with testers and her own thoughts on the show here on the uTest Blog. In the meantime, we have selected some of our favorite tweets from STARWEST as the tail-end of the show is in full swing:

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Dynamic Testing According to ISO 29119 the Subject of Software Testing Book Excerpt

As testers, you know that software testing is a critical aspect of the software development process. A new book aims to offer a practi804Hasscal understanding of all the most critical software testing topics and their relationships and interdependencies.

The Guide to Advanced Software Testing (second edition) by Anne Mette Hass, published by Artech House, offers a clear overview of software testing, from the definition of testing and the value and purpose of testing, through the complete testing process with all its activities, techniques and documentation, to the softer aspects of people and teams working with testing.

Practitioners will find numerous examples and exercises presented in each chapter to help ensure a complete understanding of the material. The book supports the ISTQB certification and provides a bridge from this to the ISO 29119 software testing standard in terms of extensive mappings between the two.

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uTest to Provide Coverage Next Week from STARWEST in Anaheim

star_west_logo-150x150Headed to STARWEST in Anaheim, CA, next week? uTest will be there for the final three days of the nearly week-long esteemed testing event of the Fall. We’ll also be live tweeting and interviewing conference attendees all week.

In a clever spin on the hit TV show Breaking Bad, the 2014 theme is Breaking Software. The conference is billed as the premier event for software testers and quality assurance professionals—covering all your testing needs with 100+ learning and networking opportunities including: keynotes featuring recognized thought-leaders, in-depth half- and full-day tutorials, and conference sessions covering major testing issues and solutions.

Some of this year’s keynotes include The Power of an Individual Tester: The HealthCare.gov Experience, by Ben Simo of eBay. If you weren’t there for Ben Simo’s similar session at CAST 2014 in NYC in August, you’re in for a treat — this was a cant-miss keynote.

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Tickets for UK’s TestBash 2015 Now on Sale

3-TestBash-Banners-2015-10Tickets for one of the biggest testing events of the year in the United Kingdom, TestBash, are now on sale for the 2015 edition.

According to host of the event Ministry of Testing, “TestBash is the leading software testing conference within the UK. We invite testers who we believe are the best and most interesting people to talk  all sorts of crazy things related to software testing. Our mission is to inspire a generation of testers to learn more about their craft and create professional friendships that create a long lasting support network.

Some of the sessions for TestBash 2015, taking place March 26-27, include:

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Top Tweets from CITCON 2014

This past weekend, Croatia played host to CITCON (Continuous Integration and Testing Conference), the Continuous Delivery conference that pre-dates the term “Continuous Delivery.” CITCON brings people together from every corner of the software development industry to discuss Continuous Delivery and the practices that go along with it.

Here are the top 5 tweets from attendees using #CITCON:

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Software Testing Events Fall 2014 Preview

For those of us in the northern hemisphere, fall is officially here, and that means the folks at Applause and uTest will be diving head first into our fall eBusiness Communication Duplicate modelvent lineup. To that end, we wanted to share with you some of the awesome events at which we will be in attendance.

STARWEST
In just two weeks, the STARWEST conference kicks off in Anaheim, California. Hosted by SQE, an organization that has delivered training, support, research, and publications to software managers, test professionals, and quality engineers worldwide since 1986, this top-notch conference caters exclusively to the needs of quality assurance professionals.

While you’re there, you won’t want to miss keynotes from such notables as Paco Hope, a principal consultant for Cigital, and Julie Gardiner, the principal consultant and head of QA for Redmind.

STPCon Fall
In the first week of November, the STP Conference will be heading to the Mile High City – Denver, Colorado. STPCon is a fantastic event where test leadership, management and strategy converge. The hottest topics in the industry are covered including agile testing, performance testing, test automation, mobile application testing, and test team leadership and management.

Be sure to check out some of the featured speakers including Lynn McKee and her Keynote on ‘Quality: Good, Bad and Reality,’ and also Mark Tomlinson in his track ‘Infuriatingly Fun Performance Puzzles.’

If there already wasn’t an incentive for you to head to Denver, uTest has also managed for an exclusive discount for uTesters, so be sure to get more information on this discount code if you plan on registering soon for STPCon.

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