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!

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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

Slack – TestersIO ADDED 2/24

Slack – #testing ADDED 2/24

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?

My Favorites

I created this post as a page initially, but thought I should also go ahead and make it a post as well.  If you want to see the most recent version, you can find it here.

I often get asked questions about what I would recommend for people, or what I use, so I thought I would put this page together to help people find out more details. The format is inspired by folks over at The Setup, who follow it for their excellent Interview series

What hardware do you use?

I currently have a 2013 11″ Macbook Air that is fully loaded with 8gb RAM, and 512gb HD.  This thing runs my life, and I use it every day. My mobile needs are handled by a variety of devices, namely a iPhone 6 Plus, that is my main device when I am away from my laptop. I have it setup so that I can do 90% of my daily tasks right from there if need be. This is especially handy when I am running from meeting to meeting every day. I also have a 1st-gen iPad Air, and a 1st-gen Retina iPad Mini that I alternate between when I want a bigger screen for media consumption. Both are setup similar to my iPhone, but their usage has gone down since the Plus came into my life. I also have a Surface Pro 3 that I use for work purposes, but it pretty much never gets taken off my desk anymore. It’s a good machine, but for the way I work, it is more of an impediment than a help. And lastly, for audio consumption, I have a pair of Beats Studio headphones that I use when at my desk at work, and a pair of Motorola Bluetooth headphones that I use when I am working around the house.

And what software?

I am constantly trying new things out to see if they make life easier, but the apps I list below are the ones that are currently in use on a regular basis.


The main apps that are always open on my latop are OmniFocus, Outlook 2013 for Mac, Spotify, Skype, Airmail, Safari & Ulysses 3. If one of those apps are not open, I’ll know pretty much right away as most of my daily activities happen within them. I also use Lync, Day One, nvAlt, 1Password, Evernote & Transmit on a semi-regular basis, along with a handful of other apps for random things I need to accomplish. As far as utility apps, there are a couple that are always running: Caffeine, Bartender, Dropbox, OneDrive, BackBlaze, Keyboard Maestro, TextExpander & BetterTouchTool. These apps are always there, and always on, and are key to getting through my pile of to-do’s for the day.


IMG_0673I use a LOT of apps on my mobile devices, although the list has consolidated somewhat since iOS 8 has come out. As you can see from the screenshot of my homesceen, there is a lot of variety on there. I also have a send page that contains all of the stuff I use on a regular basis, but maybe not daily. These apps include things like WordPress, Editorial, Screens, various financial apps, cloud storage providers, and other messenging apps. A few notes about a couple of apps on my homescreen: Acompli is simply the best mail client you can get on a mobile device, especially if you use an Exchange server due to it’s native support (Microsoft just bought them, so it’ll just get better); Drafts is where all of my quick notes go; Flipboard is where most of my news comes from; Overcast is my podcast app; and finally Unread is easily my favorite RSS app. Also, I used to use Pocket for my read later service, but went back to Instapaper, and have been very happy since doing so. The experience is far more pleasant, and cleaner overall.

What would be your dream setup?

A retina version of the Macbook Air (which I have heard is coming in the near future) would be my ideal daily computer. Pairing that with a retina 27”-30” display that I can hook up to at my desk, and I would be in heaven. For everything else, I am pretty happy with where I am at. I am constantly trying new things, and looking to simplify the experience, so if you ask me this question next week, it might be different!

Know Anyone Like This?

9 Toxic Employees You Should Fire Right Now

I’m not sure I completely agree with their method of dealing with these folks, but they are right in that they are very toxic, and that needs to be addressed.  I’m pretty sure we all know people like this, either where we are at now, or in past roles.