It’s that time of year again – when I sit down, think back, and write about the year that’s coming to an end and look towards the year that’s about to begin. Twenty Seventeen was an interesting year to say the least, with both good and not so good times like most years, but the good absolutely outshines the not so good. The things I’ve learned, the application of that learning, professional & personal growth, personal health & fitness all continued to improve this year.
This year, my team and I started working on and testing the company’s VR projects! It was a fun and exciting time for both the team and the company. To kick off the year, I spent time researching VR – the applications out there, the technology, the development platforms, the capabilities, the equipment, and what people in VR were writing and blogging about. This, combined with examining each specific project’s context, helped us come up with an effective test approach for our VR projects. For the first retail VR project of the year, we presented our test approach and objectives to the project management and stakeholders, worked very closely with the project manager, our developers, and the UX team. So much of retail VR is visual and performance related, and a lot of it boils down to having a good user experience. We learned a lot working side by side with the UX team and our developers during our pair testing sessions – lessons that we took into account testing other VR applications during the year.
While VR is a different technology compared to the other types of software systems we test – there are aspects, test-wise that remain intact (we are looking for important quality related information about the VR application), there are also differences (how we are going to get that information). That being said, and something most skilled tester’s already know – every software system, and the situation surrounding the project is different, which impacts (or should) the approach to testing it.
We got more familiar with Unity, we were able to check out code and test difference branches as needed. The VR applications we tested were all developed for the HTC Vive, and a few for the Samsung Gear VR.
One of our VR projects ended up winning an award. You can read more about that here.
Building up my team
I hired another software tester to the team. Both myself and the VP of Technology were looking for something specific – a skilled tester with critical thinking skills, good technical skills, with a great attitude (amongst other things). After numerous interviews – we found the person!
We work in a very fast-paced environment, often with very little or no documents outlining specifications and requirements. We often need to go and seek out that information, assess priorities and risks with the PM’s, design effect tests, and carry out our tests. I am working with project management to test early and often, as part of development.
For us to be able to do good work, and good testing in our agency setting, I do different types of trainings with my team. Things ranging from mind map training, exploratory testing, test prioritization, risk assessment, test coverage, bug reporting, test reporting to name a few.
I also like to help each individual on my team improve. Every individual is different in the way they learn, in the way they like feedback to improve, how they improve, and what their goals are. I work with my team to help them improve in the areas that are important for our team to provide great service + area’s that are important to them. I think about and work with the team to help them achieve their goals. It requires creativity, and thought, but it’s fun and I get to learn a lot!
Personal health and fitness
I started biking/cycling again three years ago. This year I took it to a whole new level – I cycled for a total of 623 KMs this year! My longest rides were a 60KM ride and a 50KM ride – plus tons of other shorter distance rides. Many times during the summer, I cycled to and from work. I absolutely love cycling and it’s done wonders for my cardio and overall fitness.
I’ve also continued working out at the gym. My workout’s changed a bit this year, with more focus on cardio as well as core strengthening exercises. There are a lot of difficult and extremely challenging exercises that do not require weights which made me much stronger.
I also picked up swimming this year. I thought my cardio was great with all the cycling I did, but swimming is a entirely different type of cardio. I had a lot of fun with it.
I played badminton this year for the first time since my college days. It was still very fun and yes I am still very competitive (just ask my wife 🙂 )
BBST Bug Advocacy
I successfully completed the BBST Foundations 2.0 course a few years ago and have been looking at taking the BBST Bug Advocacy course for the past two years but with the course only being offered twice a year, the timing never worked out with some personal events and engagements on my end. Well, that’s about to change because I’ve registered for the course in 2018! I am looking forward to this and have been for quite some time now.
Gearing up for Twenty Eighteen
As this year comes to a close, I am looking towards next year. As mentioned, BBST Bug Advocacy is high on my list of things to look forward to in the upcoming year. I’ve started taking a look at Richard Bradshaw’s course on programming, java, and selenium this year and look forward to completing it in Twenty Eighteen.
A few days from now, on January 4th I’ve enrolled in a webinar by Cem Kaner: An Introduction to Domain Testing. I find myself curious to learn more about the course and domain testing.
I look forward to continuing to build up our test team at work, with new people, new trainings, new projects, and doing even more exceptional work. We have some new thing’s we’ll be implementing this upcoming year which I will be blogging about.
I really enjoy reading books and although I did read a few this year, I’d like to get in more books in the upcoming year. There are a lot of books on my list on both the software front and the self improvement front that I will be reading.
I will be continuing having fun cycling, swimming, working out, and some badminton.
Last but not least, I look forward to continuing my journey exploring & travelling, enjoying great conversation & delicious food with the wife, great friends and family, and spending time enjoying life!