The Ministry of Testing is amazing at getting people together and talking about Testing. From the epic TestBash Conferences and Workshops to the excellent content that can be found on the Dojo. I saw a post on Twitter that mentioned 30 Days of Testing
, I was immediately intrigued – A challenge with absolutely achievable daily tasks, some of which were outside of my current comfort zone, it was right up my street!!
I entered this Challenge knowing that I wouldn’t actually be able to finish it in 30 Days, not because I would have serious trouble doing any of the tasks but because my Wife is due to give birth to our Daughter in about 2 weeks…so I’m just trying to stick with it for as long as I can until I’m facing another new challenge!!
My Current progress as of 09/07/2016:
Day 1 – Buy one testing related book and read it by day 30.
So this was a tricky one for me – There are several amazing books out there that people have recommended on Twitter or via their talks at conferences, I’ve had a few of these on my bookshelf for a while and for several reasons/excuses I’ve not read them all yet. I’ve had “An Introduction to General System Thinking” by Gerald M. Weinberg for over a year and it’s always scared me, so I thought now was the time to step up and take the plunge. I posted a message on Twitter and straight away it dawned on me that maybe it wasn’t the best idea to tackle such a beast. After many recommendations I brought “Thinking in Systems” by Donella H. Meadows instead, hopefully, this will give me a base understanding of System Thinking so that I’m much more prepared to attack Jerry’s book.
Day 2 – Take a photo of something you are doing at work.
It turned out that this day fell on a Saturday but lucky for me, I work from home and I have an office in my house. I wasn’t technically “working” but I was catching up on a webinar that I missed during the week. It was a talk by Alan Richardson called “Risk Mitigation Using Exploratory and Technical Testing”. Really solid information and I took loads away from it – You can watch it back here: https://www.qasymphony.com/blog/risk-mitigation-using-exploratory-technical-testing
Day 3 – Listen to a testing podcast.
I’ve never been a frequent listener of Podcasts but I do listen to “Testing In the Pub” when the guys have a new episode out – Dan Ashby and Stephen Janaway do a fantastic job, they always have great guests and really interesting subjects. As I’d listened to the latest episode already, I looked elsewhere to complete the daily challenge.
I saw Patrick Prill mention this podcast a few times so I went to check it out, it just so happens that as I was scrolling down the website I saw Patrick’s name in the description of one of the episodes – my choice was made. Alan Page and Brent Jensen were discussing Patrick’s recent TestBash talk – worth checking out both the talk and the podcast episode.
There are a few other podcasts that I’ve seen mentioned by the good folks on Twitter like Test Talks, PerfBytes and Let’s talk about Tests to name a few.
Day 4 – Share a testing blog post with a non-tester.
My initial thought was to share a post with a family member (Wife, Parents, Sisters etc.) but I couldn’t quite find what I was looking for at the time, There’s some great stuff out there by Michael Bolton
and Katrina Clokie
that would have done the job but I opted to share a post with a member of my team instead. I shared Michael’s post “testers get out of the quality assurance business
” to my team’s Scrum Master.
Also, as I was in the sharing mood, I send this Whiteboard Testing
video over to one of our developers – He seemed to like it so that’s a good thing!
Day 5 – Read and comment on one blog post.
by Christian Kram
is the one I choose to comment on. Reading blog posts is something I’ve enjoyed doing for a number of years now. The MoT testing feeds
site was the first place I was made aware of testing blogs and from there Twitter has become the main source of the posts I read. People I follow always post interesting things that they have either written themselves or shared links to other people’s work. I find it very difficult to read everything I see, I make use of services like IFTTT or Pocket to capture and store posts that I can pick up when I get some spare time.
I also think that these guys do a great job at sharing blog posts that people have written, they have shared out a couple of mine over the last couple of years so I’m very grateful for this. Start following these guys on Twitter if you’re not doing so already!
Day 6 – Perform a crazy test.
What is a crazy test?! I was seriously stuck with this one and I went a non-software testing route (total cop out!).
Tried listening to this
for as long as I could – Put it this way, it wasn’t the full 10 Hours!!
Day 7 – Find an accessibility bug.
This has been an area of testing that I have struggled with over the last few years, I’ve always focused my efforts in other areas so this was a great opportunity to learn something new.
As the challenge is a very well talked about on Twitter, I was able to find some new tools to aid me uncovering accessibility problems. I choose to use WAVE
like many others did and pointed it at the Action For Blind People
website – I thought that they would be all over accessibility…
As with most tools, this uncovered areas of the site that had accessibility problems but this is just an invitation to investigate and explore the site further. Maybe using other similar tools, that highlight these issues, ensuring that the tool that you have chosen to use is giving you the correct information. Screen Readers are another great way of backing up some of the issues that the accessibility checkers have brought to your attention – I really like pairing up tools this way as they tend to compliment each other really well.
How many people used WAVE to check the WAVE site? Come on, I can’t be the only one…
Day 8 – Download a mobile app, find 5 bugs and send the feedback to the creator.
I was looking on the App Store for an application that I could test – I didn’t really have a preference in mind. I came across “Event Countdown Free” – It had 4 stars and over 450 reviews but as it dealt with timed events, I thought it was worth checking out and seeing what I could find.
I created a report of what I found so that I could send it off to the Developer but I’ve haven’t been able to get in touch with them yet. The Developer website in the description on the App Store links to a Facebook page and as I’m not a user of that site I cannot leave any messages there.
These are the rushed details of my testing that I prepared – I made them available in a Google Doc with the intention of hopefully opening up a dialog with the developer and having a shared place where, if needed, we could talk through what I found.
The Findings from my testing:
Day 9 – Create a mindmap.
I was starting to do a bit of planning for the future new arrival and decided to create a mindmap about a some of the important things…still a work in progress and something that I can add to when I think of all the thousands of items I’ve missed off!
Day 10 – Find an event to attend (Online or face to face).
“To avoid common mistakes of brittle checks, bad choices in checking tools and wasted time fixing broken checks, we need to take a step back and ask ourselves why we are running these checks and what risks are we are mitigating?”
This was a great talk by Mark that I found really interesting, I took my new things away with me and I’m trying to work out how I can trickle feed some of his points into our Regression Strategy.
Stay tuned for more updates from the challenges….