A few weeks ago I had a chance to attend a great two day Software Testing conference in New York City called TestBashNY! Why was it great? Well I got to learn tons, I gained more knowledge & skills to help me become an even better Software Test professional, I got to actively converse with some very smart, intellectual testing people, and I gained insights into a lot of content, and teachings to bring back to my team here in Montreal, as well for for myself. And if that wasn’t enough – I also got to catch up with some old friends and make a few new ones!
Now before I continue, I would like to thank Richard Bradshaw for holding a contest to allow contestants a chance at a free ticket to the TestBashNY conference session. You see, I entered and was one the five winners. The contest was a classy act by Richard and offered a great chance to those interested to attend.
I would also like to thank my colleague and founder of the company where I currently work, Simon Papineau for investing in me to take the trip to New York, and giving me the opportunity to attend the tutorials as well as the conference session. I’ve bought back a great deal of information for our team here in Montreal.
The first day of the conference was the tutorial sessions. I registered for the Mobile Test Design tutorial instructed by JeanAnn Harrison which I attended in the morning, and in the afternoon I attended the Swimming with Sharks tutorial instructed by Martin Hynie and Anna Royzman.
Mobile Test Design
I registered for this tutorial as testing on mobile platforms is within the realm of testing that I do, and I always focus on and work at getting better at what I do, in addition to learning new and better ways to do what I do.
We spoke about how testing mobile applications is so much more than just the GUI, and how there are a lot more things going on in a mobile application that can be considered in test design, depending on what the application is, the type of application it is, and what it does.
We discussed a lot of great content in this tutorial, the questions and tips from the attendees gave me ideas to think about in the context of my own mobile tests. JeanAnn spoke about the different types of mobile applications out there including native apps, hybrid apps, mobile web apps, and mobile websites. Questions from the attendees helped us further break down how we can figure out within which category the applications we test fall under, and the types of applications that typically fall under certain categories. Determining and knowing the type of mobile application you are testing can really help you design effective tests, and prioritize them to help you gather important information for your stakeholders.
We actively discussed and brainstormed performance tests on native applications, hybrid applications and mobile web applications.
Towards the end of the tutorial, JeanAnn spoke about User Experience Tests and tips for designing these types of tests. There was a lot of content covered – so much that I’ve asked JeanAnn if she would be willing to share her slides from the tutorial (which she did), so that I can take some of the content introduced and learn more about it and build on it during my own time – which I look forward to doing!
Swimming with Sharks … Communication Tools for Testers
I registered for this tutorial as I am an advocate for effective collaboration and communication to help add value to your team. I’ve previously written and spoke on the subject, but the content I learned about in this tutorial will help me take my knowledge and collaboration skills even further as I take time to breakdown and study the tutorial, the exercises we did, their outcomes, and the lessons learned.
Martin and Anna used the Trading Zones metaphor to help create a visual communication framework for the group to consider and work within as part of our exercises. We worked in small groups of 3-4 people and using the framework shown to us, placed some of our real-life workplace relationships with people we work with at some level, within the framework in one of the four trading zones (Interlanguage, Fractionated, Enforced, Subversive). We discussed why the relationship was in the trading zone that we had put it in and sometimes discussing it with group members gave different perspectives of where that relationship really might be and ways to improve it, which in turn is a step in improving the collaboration level and communication within the team and/or workplace setting.
I learned about interactional expertise and how it applies to me as a Software Tester. I also learned about the Scarf Model, and how to think about it and begin to use it to better collaborate with others. These are two very interesting topics that were introduced to me that I’ve slowly started to learn more about and learning to better apply it in my own communication with others in my own communication and working relationship with others.
Roundup of the tutorials
There are so much more details, synergies, discussions, and hands on learning that took place in these tutorials, in addition to the actual content that was discussed, and taught – my post touches on the main topics of the tutorials, and some of the details around them . Both tutorials have taught me enough to take what I’ve learned and do the research to build on my knowledge and skill to apply my learning in my own situations.
Stay tuned for Part 2, where I’ll write about the second day – the talks!