Tuesday, 21 June 2016

I'm not 'The QA Guy'

One of the many things that Razor Jam are excellent at is partnering with other companies or agencies to help them build good stuff more betterer. We're currently working with a small team of in-house developers to bring them up to speed on tools, process, best practices and being agile (with a 'a' not necessarily a 'A').

I've been chatting via Slack with their chap who is new to testing and is on his own in making up their Test department. He was pleased to speak to another 'QA Guy'.

I threatened to poke him with a stick if he called me that again.

To save myself a lot of typing, I pulled out this gem from the wonderful Whiteboard Testing Channel. It's my go-to ammunition in the 'I'm a Tester. Everyone is responsible for quality' debate...

But one thing I haven't done for a long long time is to just hit Google for a definition. I've taken for granted that I know what Testing and Quality Assurance mean, so I haven't bothered to look them up.

Something something complacency...

I was very pleased to find that Wikipedia is actually a pretty good place to start! The Software Quality Assurance page is very sparse and as expected it bangs on about ISO this and IEEE the other. But it also backs up the argument:
SQA encompasses the entire software development process, which includes processes such as requirements definition, software design, coding, source code control, code reviews, software configuration management, testing, release management, and product integration.

The Software Testing article by comparison is huge. Wikipedia states that it may even be too long to read and navigate comfortably. And the first line is this quote from our very own Cem Kaner.
Software testing is an investigation conducted to provide stakeholders with information about the quality of the product or service under test.
It includes references to many other types of testing. While the exact definitions may differ slightly amongst the community, the general outlines are good and give enough of an explanation for you to carry on exploring and make up your own mind.

So. It just goes to show that everyday really is a school day. And the best way to learn more about something is to teach it to someone else!

Thursday, 14 January 2016

Ok. We've got a Tester. Now what?

This post could also have been titled "Ok. I got a job as a Tester. Now what?"

This is the sort of question that I seem to have been asked quite a lot recently. A number of small web agencies sprang up around Sheffield over the past year or so, and they're just getting to the size now where they realise they need an actual tester - not just a PM with a spare 5 minutes to 'have a quick look' at the latest release as it goes out the door. It's great to see a demand for Testers, and even better to see people with the right skills being hired, despite a lack of experience or qualifications.

It's not easy being the only person on your team tho. So this post is basically a link-dump of resources and places to start looking... I've cobbled these links together in various emails when I've been asked by friends and ex-colleagues so it's probably time I compiled them into a blog post for the next person who asks me about it!