Let’s Build A Framework – Session 1 Recap

Great big thanks to everyone that came out and joined us for our kickoff session around building frameworks for automation. As mentioned, we were able to record the screencast of this session, and I wanted to get this posted for everyone to take a look at and view (or review).

GitHub Page

Meetup Page

As we proceed with this series, I’ll update this post with links to the new videos, so be sure to check back often!


Let’s Build a Framework – Day 0

Building An Automated UI and API test framework

A big hello to anyone from the West Denver Test Engineering meetup who came to this page in preparation of attending or watching the 3 part discussion on building an Automated Testing framework for API and UI testing.  And to anyone who has just stumbled across this page a big hello to you as well.

For this blog post we will focus mainly on getting set up prior to the meetup or prior to watching the videos to build your own framework.  We will talk about what tools we will be using, and what you need to install.  In preparation for this I have created everything locally to ensure it works, but have done so on a Mac.  We will include information on how to install and run on a Windows machine as well, however these instructions have not been tested as of yet.  As we get feedback I will endeavor to keep this up to date with the most recent information on tools and installation for both Windows and Mac.

If you’re a Linux user, then you are probably used to trudging up the hard road so good luck to you.  Actually, in all seriousness the steps for the mac should be very similar for Linux users so try to follow those.

The Tools We Will Need

The framework we will be building is meant to be a hybrid framework to allow for testing of APIs and UI, and potentially mix the two together for some tests.  We will be using the following tools and languages as part of building, so please follow the instructions for each tool below to ensure you are set up.

If you are using a mac it is strongly encouraged to install homebrew which will allow you to install many of these tools through the command line with a simple command.  For Linux users similar installers such as yum and apt-get are recommended.

Continue reading “Let’s Build a Framework – Day 0”

Retesting Vs. Regression Testing | Software testing Blog.

A great article on the two different types of testing that people often get confused with each other.

How is re-testing different from regression testing? Is there a difference at all? Is regression testing a subset of re-testing? Quite a few times, testing teams use these two terms interchangeably. However, there is a vast difference between these two types of testing. Let us have a look – Regression Testing Re-testing Definition Regression testing…

Source: Retesting Vs. Regression Testing | Software testing Blog.

Testing vs QA

I wrote the article on Medium a while back, and forgot to link it here.

Turns out, it’s getting some traffic today…thought I should go ahead and get it posted. Be sure to check out the comments, as there is a good discussion happening there too.

Testing vs QA

Fostering Growth

One of the biggest frustrations I have run into as a member of an organization is how the leaders grow their employees. In my entire career, I have only had two leaders mentor me in such a way that I felt like I was growing as both an employee, as well as a person. Why there were not more people doing this, I will never understand. If you want to build an organization that is strong, it only makes sense to develop the next level of people below you in order to ensure that this happens consistently. This Harvard Business Review article says it best:

Regardless of what else you expect from your managers, facilitating employee learning and development should be a non-negotiable competency.

So how do you do this? How do you become a manager that people want to work for, and more importantly, how do you develop those people into the next wave of leaders in your organization? The first thing to realize is that there is no magic bullet. There is no secret recipe for success that is 100% repeatable. Instead, there are some key principles that you should keep in mind, and strive to work towards.

People vs Resources

I’m not talking about using resources other than people, but rather how you look at the people you have. Do you treat them like a resource to use as needed, or do you treat them as human beings, and use the individual/unique skills they bring to the table? Having the ability to recognize people for the unique individuals that they are is a lot tougher than it sounds, and takes deliberate and intentional effort. It is far easier to see them as a resource with skills that are defined by a job description, but that does not do anything to further the person, nor does it truly help further the organization. When you just throw resources at a problem, eventually you will run into a scaling problem.

Personal Interactions

When you connect with people on a personal level, they feel valued, and their desire for success, as well as their level engagement go up. In every position of authority I have ever been in, I have gotten the best results out of the people I was able to connect with on a personal level. This not a simple matter, and it is likely that you will have people on your team that you just can’t connect with. This is one of the key reasons why cultural fit is such an important part of the hiring process. When you spend as much time with your coworkers as you do your own family, you naturally want to enjoy that time (and conversely, your employees want the same thing). Having this feeling of camaraderie and friendship will lead the members of your team to want to do better by each other, and will result in a much higher level of efficiency.

Career Development

The resources on your team, regardless of where they are at in their career, need to be treated as a plant would be. They need fed and nurtured on a regular basis in order to keep them healthy and productive. One of the ways I like to do this is by sitting down with each person and outlining where they want to go in their career, and then take that and work with them to put together a list of goals for them to work towards. These goals should be S.M.A.R.T., should be a mixture of individual and teams goals, and should be measured on a quarterly basis at a minimum (I like to review during monthly 1-on–1’s). By including the employee in the process of creating the goals, you enable them to take ownership of their career, and thereby fostering better engagement on their part.

I know a lot of this seems pretty simple and basic on paper, but it is surprisingly difficult to accomplish in reality. The key is to make a deliberate choice with each and every employee to connect with them on their level, and be genuine in your conversations with them. You won’t win them all, but trust me, word will get around, and you’ll find that people are wanting to come to your team or organization. It’s not easy, and there are definitely some bumps along the way, but you will find it all that much more rewarding!

Building for the Future

One of the hardest things in a leadership position is figuring out how you want to build and structure your team. It makes sense then that your hiring process is an important part of this. Identifying talent inside of an organization is hard enough on it’s own, but trying to evaluate a complete stranger from nothing but a resume and a conversation is difficult at best, and usually far tougher than that. So, given that this is such a difficult process, what is the best way to find and identify those people that will move your organization forward?

If you’re me, you start the process by asking about their Tetris experience. I’ve been asking this question for years, and while I have often taken flak (the good-natured kind!), it has thus far proven to be a very effective barometer of a candidate’s critical thinking ability, as well as their ability to quickly problem-solve. From my perspective, these are the most important qualities a person can bring to the table, and are absolutely crucial if you want to build a nimble and agile team that is capable of functioning at a high level.

Another key characteristic that I look for, is their ability to fit in culturally. When I interview someone in person, I am most concerned with how well they connect with me, as well as the rest of the team. For us at HomeAdvisor, a candidates ability to fit in culturally is just as important as their technical abilities, and in some cases, even more important. We are in the midst of transitioning from a startup-type of environment to one where there are multiple delivery teams, and we need to have people that are capable of taking the QA direction and focus and integrate it within their teams.

Finally, the last key thing that I look for in a candidate is their passion and enthusiasm for QA. I want people on my team that are genuinely excited to deliver quality software. I want people that are engaged in the local meetups and communities in the area, and want to broaden their skill set. I want people that want a career in QA, not just a job.

A Change of Course

Over the last 10+ years, my career has taken a number of twists and turns, and my writing has predictably followed those same winding roads. Now that I have entered the next phase of my career, it’s time for my writing to do the same. When I started writing this blog, I was focused primarily on the hands-on aspect of testing, and the tips, tricks and gotcha’s of that side of the equation, but now, I plan to shift the focus and content to be more leadership and career building.

My goal for this blog going forward is to help prepare the leaders that are out there trying to put together the best QA teams they possibly can, and to create a resource for taking your career to the next level.

Thanks to everyone who has stuck around through the long hiatus…hopefully the next few months more than makes up for it!

QA Logo 250

Helpful QA Resources

I was recently asked about some resources to help figure out a good QA strategy, and after digging through all of my links and resources, realized it made a lot more sense to compile it all into a blog post that I can just point people towards. I will add additional content as I come across it, or I think it is relevant.

So without further ado, here are the links!

Discussions/Presentations/Blog Posts

Agile Testing: A Lesson in Diversity

Test Specialists Are Essential Members of Software Teams | A1Q1 Blog

The QA Mindset | Rands In Repose

How to Break the Software Rewrite Cycle

The Forgotten Layer of the Test Automation Pyramid

Guidelines for Automated Testing

Avoiding the most common pitfall of large-scale agile

Shields Down

Continuous Integration & Delivery – Illustrated

Five Ways to Make Test Automation Fail

Why Didn’t You Find That Bug?

Michael Larsen on Testing Career Paths


Technical Approaches/Implementations

Distributed JMeter testing using Docker



List of QA Twitter accounts ADDED 2/24/16

Slack – TestersIO – Request Access UPDATED 10/15/16

Slack – #testing – Request access UPDATED 10/15/16

5 Signs You Might Be a Workaholic – Forbes

5 Signs You Might Be a Workaholic – Forbes.

Workaholics have a lot of bad habits that can hamper health. Constrained for time, some turn to junk food, some inhale lunch at their desks and others skip meals altogether. Exercise is often abandoned and sleep habits get thrown off schedule.

I hate that it is true, but I definitely suffer from this.  One of my goals for this year is to be a lot more intentional about my time, and this is a great place to start.

The Weirdest Interview Questions Hiring Managers Ask

The Weirdest Interview Questions Hiring Managers Ask | Fast Company | Business + Innovation.

“It’s to test a job candidate’s critical thinking skills, see how they think through a problem out loud, solve through a problem and come up with the best solution, not always the right solution, but the best solution,” Scott Dobroski, Glassdoor’s community expert, told Fast Company.

An older article, but an interesting one.  I’m always interested in how people find and sift through talent, and odd questions always come up as an effective method.  I personally like to ask if the candidate has ever played Tetris, and if so, were they any good at it.  Weird, right?