Meet the uTesters: Steve Greenhill

524118_499758870038725_1059980591_nSteve Greenhill is a Gold-rated tester and Test Team Lead (TTL) on Paid Projects at uTest, hailing from England. Steve has over ten years of experience in software testing, including as a team lead, and has worked on both manual- and automation-driven projects. He has worked in a wide range of sectors from banking to education and TV broadcasting.

Be sure to also follow Steve’s profile on uTest as well so you can stay up to date with his activity in the community!

uTest: Android or iOS?

Steve: Most definitely, Android. I have always liked the flexibility along with the ease of capturing logs and other debugging information from a test perspective. I certainly think iOS set the bar initially, but it has been interesting seeing the progression Android has made. Admittedly, imitation at the start was the best form of flattery to Apple. Now, I do think Android is pushing technology a little better. It is not to say I don’t have a few Apple devices, though.

uTest: What drew you into testing initially? What’s kept you at it?

Steve: I studied Computer Science at the degree level, and at first, I thought I wanted to be a programmer. I have always enjoyed a social life, and while on University placement as a developer, I spent more time with the “cool guys” in QA. Which kind of made me think that I wanted their lifestyle a little more. That seems funny now, but I am glad I followed the testing approach. I love being challenged to find issues, to pursue a never-ending task of ensuring metrics are more effectively presented, and I love the daily “bridge-building” between developers and testers.

uTest: What’s your favorite part of being in the uTest community?

Steve: The favorite part is just that – being in a community. Throughout my years of “uTesting,” I have built a good relationship with Project Managers (PMs), TTLs and testers. This relationship is not only work-related, but has good social aspects, too. In terms of work, I literally have access to a wealth of knowledge. For example, I was struggling with a Japanese-focused issue, and I contacted one of my “uTest friends” based in that region for a translation of a field which just didn’t make sense in Google Translate.

On a social level, I work with some of the most amusing TTLs, so every day is quite funny! One thing I do say to people who are new to uTest is: Keep working hard — not everything happens right away. However, with the right focus and eagerness to succeed, you will soon be embraced by the Community.

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Top Tweets from SeConf 2014

The 4th Annual Selenium Conference kicked off yesterday in Bangalore, India. The goal of this conference is to bring together Selenium developers and enthusiasts from around the world. We didn’t have room in our travel budget this year to send our team, so instead we’re bringing you the top 5 tweets from the first day:

To see what other events are upcoming in the software testing world, make sure to check out our revamped Events Calendar. And if you’re curious about learning Selenium in general, be sure to check out our Selenium Basics course track at uTest University.

ISO 29119 Draws the Ire of Testers in uTest Community

Earlier in the week, you may remember that 30-year IT vet James Christie posted his thoughts on why the ISO-Logonew testing standard released by ISO (International Organization for Standardization) is bad for the testing profession.

The post kind of blew up on Twitter, with testers from within uTest and the greater testing community immersed in a flurry of tweets and retweets to their followers. Michael Bolton even called it a “must-read.”

So why are so many people up in arms about this standard and tagging their Twitter posts with the harsh #Stop2919 hashtag? Well, you can be the judge and read the initial post from James to decide, but some of our testers took to the uTest Forums after the blog post went live to explain what ticked them off about it:

“Too bad we can’t impeach ISO 9000 [another standard from ISO]. I will not work for a company that requires ISO. I’m a process guy that loves to have a defined process that works for everything I’m doing. I don’t like process for the sake of process and that is what ISO feels like when implemented.”

“I left my last company because the industry they worked in was so heavily regulated — all we did was process, process, process. We never did any real work.”

“To say that you MUST test a certain way, no matter whether it is a tiny phone app or a massive mainframe control suite, is, well, really nothing short of insane.”

Testers in the outside world, we want to know: Is ISO 29119 a danger to the testing profession as a whole? What would be your reaction to someone that wants you to sign the petition to #STOP29119? Are standards (and certifications from organizations such as ISTQB) bad for testing in general, anyways?

If you’ve got strong feelings against (or for) 29119, we want to hear from you in the comments below.

uTest Platform Update of the Week: September 4th Edition

Accept-or-DeclineOur testers on paid projects here at uTest are busy people – many of them have day jobs as testers. Thus, they pull off an evening Clark Kent transition into Superman to get even more work done in their spare time.

Aware of this, our Platform Team continually pushes to make the uTest experience more intuitive and time-saving for our busy testers. As part of this push, we’ll be updating you each week on the latest and greatest additions to the uTest Platform.

Here are the notable features launching today as part of the uTest Platform release for Sept. 4:

  • Intuitive bug list sorting: TTLs will be able to see bugs in order of report date, and testers will be able to see the most recently submitted bugs first
  • NDA improvements on test cycles: Testers won’t have to fill out NDAs to decline test cycles, and NDAs will have pre-filled fields for easier completion
  • Easier identification of tester roles on test cycles: When in a uTest cycle’s chat, a user’s name will be paired with a textual annotation and color scheme that matches their role (e.g. TTL/PM/CM/TM)
  • Updates to how you report and view new issues: When you begin a new bug report form, the subject line input will autofocus so you can start typing right away, and, after submitting a new bug, the bug you just submitted is highlighted in the bug list the same way that the last bug you had open is (different background color)
  • Quick navigation to test cycles via Chat sidebar: You will now be able to right-click on a chat room (test cycle) name in the chat sidebar on right-hand side of the tester interface to navigate directly to that test cycle

While we’ve highlighted these updates effective today in the Tester Platform, be sure to check out the complete announcement in the Forums on what these changes mean for you, and to ask any questions you may have about platform features – current or on the horizon!

Tour de uTest: Community Member Tours Famous Cycling Stages

IMG_1291While it’s sometimes a challenge for me to even get up the stairs of our uTest/Applause headquarters each morning, some of our global community of testers are climbing mountains or cycling around Europe.

Put uTester Silvano Parodi into that latter category as an avid cyclist who managed to tour two stages of the Tour de France this Summer. Silvano hails from Genova, Italy and is a Silver-rated tester on paid projects here at uTest, and a 10-year development vet in his day job.

Beyond uTest, cycling is one other area that Silvano has always taken to in his spare time, riding since the age of 13, when his dream was to win the Tour de France. Silvano may have not realized that part of his dream, but this summer, he certainly was a little bit closer to the stage that he idolized as a kid.

Silvano and his wife put their bikes, a tent, and their uTest shirts on the car, and made the long trek of about 400 km (about 248 miles) to check out two alpine stages of the Tour de France.

They arrived a day early before the first stage they wanted to see,  and at the summit of the final climb, placed their tent that was brought along for the trip. According to Silvano, crowds gather from all over Europe, and even from as far as the United States and Australia, with their campers, caravans, and tents placed along the climb, each with a flag of the attendees’ home country. Silvano, as you’ll notice in the pictures here, served as a sort of flag/banner himself sporting the spiffy uTest attire. Lookin’ good, sir!

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ISO 29119: Why it is Dangerous to the Software Testing Community

stop-29119Two weeks ago, I gave a talk at CAST 2014 (the conference of the Association for Software Testing) in New York, titled “Standards: Promoting quality or restricting competition?”

It was mainly about the new ISO 29119 software testing standard (according to ISO, “an internationally agreed set of standards for software testing that can be used within any software development life cycle or organization”), though I also wove in arguments about ISTQB certification.

My argument was based on an economic analysis of how ISO (the International Organization for Standardization) has gone about developing and promoting the standard. ISO’s behavior is consistent with the economic concept of rent seeking. This is where factions use power and influence to acquire wealth by taking it from others — rigging the market — rather than by creating new wealth.

I argued that ISO has not achieved consensus, or has even attempted to gain consensus, from the whole testing profession. Those who disagree with the need for ISO 29119 and its underlying approach have been ignored. The opponents have been defined as irrelevant.

If ISO 29119 were expanding the market, and if it merely provided another alternative — a fresh option for testers, their employers and the buyers of testing services — then there could be little objection to it. However, it is being pushed as the responsible, professional way to test — it is an ISO standard, and therefore, by implication, the only responsible and professional way.

What is Wrong With ISO 29119?

Well, it embodies a dated, flawed and discredited approach to testing. It requires a commitment to heavy, advanced documentation. In practice, this documentation effort is largely wasted and serves as a distraction from useful preparation for testing.

Such an approach blithely ignores developments in both testing and management thinking over the last couple of decades. ISO 29119 attempts to update a mid-20th century worldview by smothering it in a veneer of 21st century terminology. It pays lip service to iteration, context and Agile, but the beast beneath is unchanged.

The danger is that buyers and lawyers will insist on compliance as a contractual requirement. Companies that would otherwise have ignored the standard will feel compelled to comply in order to win business. If the contract requires compliance, then the whole development process could be shaped by a damaging testing standard. ISO 29119 could affect anyone involved in software development, and not just testers.

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How Apple Aims To Improve App Store Discovery With iOS 8

This story was originally published on the Applause App Quality Blog by Dan Rowinski.

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Sometimes you can’t find the app you are looking for.

A single app in Apple’s App Store is just the perfect one that you are seeking. With 1.2 million apps, it has to be in there somewhere, right? It may be a new calendar app to that syncs your iCal, Google Calendar and Outlook meetings. Or it is a messaging app that focuses on standard and proper English, eschewing the craze of emoji and emoticons endemic today’s popular communication methods. You know somebody at some point must have built this app, but it is impossible to find.

App Store discovery has been a massive problem for developers, users and Apple for the last several years. App Store search is inadequate for most people’s needs and the top lists that Apple relies upon have created a top-heavy capitalistic market that breeds poor quality apps.

Apple is not ignorant to this problem. In 2012 it spent a reported $50 million to improve the App Store and acquired app search engine Chomp to enhance discoverability. The improvements proved minimal and Apple eventually shuttered Chomp and rolled its intellectual property into iOS 6. Judging by the current discourse among the iOS developer community, Apple still has a lot of work to do to help app makers sell their wares.

Apple has some more improvements for the App Store coming with iOS 8 that it hopes will arrest the issue.

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How to Get Started on uTest Projects

The best part about working in the uTest Community is seeing the number of new testers who join our ranks everyday. We see testers new uTest-logoto the testing world, as well as veteran testers who have years of experience. No matter your experience level, we have resources to help guide you toward your first paid project with uTest.

The first step is to sign up with uTest and make sure you have an Expanded profile. Not sure? Check out this simple set of instructions. 

The first stop in our journey after registration is a course in uTest University called “Getting Started with uTest Paid Projects.” This course contains answers to many of the questions that new uTesters typically have, like how to update your Expanded profile and how to get invited to the Sandbox program.

Keep in mind that, in order for uTest to match you with incoming projects, you will need to keep your testing profile complete and up-to-date. For example, if a project requires testers in Canada with BlackBerry devices and your profile matches these requirements, we will then be able to notify you of an upcoming test cycle. Be sure to update your profile as you pick up new gadgets (mobile devices, laptops, etc.) and update your software. Many customers are especially interested in testers with the latest devices for testing purposes. Removing outdated items you no longer own is also very important.

The next stop takes a step back from uTest and examines the greater software testing realm. In short, without a solid foundation in testing fundamentals, it will no doubt be tough to develop as a tester at uTest. “Building Your Software Testing Skills” is a great primer for new testers and vets alike, and contains many testing resources, those recommended by a 15-year software testing veteran, that are intended to help you grow as a software tester.

Coming back into the uTest world, the next stop is the “5 Steps to Succeeding in Your First uTest Project” course. Once you’ve been invited to a uTest project, there are helpful steps outlined in the course that will assist you, such as how to accept your first invitation, review the scope and chat, submit your bug reports, submit your test case, and check in on your bug reports in the event a Project Manager or Test Team Lead has a question.

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Load Testing Tool LoadStorm Introduces LITE Version

Untitled5Creator of cloud testing tool LoadStorm, CustomerCentrix, today announced that it has released a LITE version of its cloud load testing tool.

This version is designed to be a cost-effective, easy-to-use complement to its enterprise level tool, LoadStorm PRO. According to the company, LoadStorm allows users to set up tests in the web application and run them from the cloud with no hardware to purchase and no software to install. Users will be able to try LITE for free from their site.

Don’t forget to leave a review of LoadStorm if you’ve used the cloud load testing tool in the past, and be sure to check out the complete library of testing Tool Reviews to check out comparable load testing tools and see which is best for your testing team’s needs.

uTest Announces Tester of the Quarter

uTesters may be pretty familiar with uTester of the Year already. Continuing the theme of recognizing and championing our best testers,little-u uTest is proud to launch a brand-new, community-wide recognition initiative — Tester of the Quarter!

This quarterly program exists solely to recognize and award the rock stars of our global community, and differs from uTester of the Year in that it puts the power of nominations directly in the hands of our testing community:

  • Testers will be able to easily recognize their peers’ dedication and great work in various facets of their participation at uTest: test cycle performance, course writing, blogging, etc.
  • And not just peers – testers will have the chance to recognize Test Team Leads and Project Managers, as well as mentors who have helped them along their testing journey on paid projects at uTest

Additionally, once the nominating is complete, all winners will have their names proudly displayed on a “Hall of Fame” recognition board. The Hall of Fame will serve as the recognition hub for not only Tester of the Quarter, but all uTest award programs, including past uTesters of the Year and uTest Lifetime Achievement Awards (coming soon!), and will be a mainstay on the uTest site.

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