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We Are On The Move!


The QA Consultancy logoMost of you know by now, but I recently started a QA consulting firm, The QA Consultancy, that specializes in assisting companies and organizations with their QA strategy. I am not looking to do the testing itself, but rather help develop the correct strategy for them.

Due to this, I will no longer be posting to this blog, but rather will be moving all new content (and some of the old) over to the new blog page that is hosted on our main website. I would love for all of the wonderful followers of this page to head over there with me as well!

The QA Consultancy Blog

I am planning to keep this page alive for the older content, and also so that the QA Meetup posts have a place to live on.

 

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Finding Efficiencies in Software Testing – Melissa Tondi


A huge thanks to Melissa for presenting last week!

Slide Deck
Finding Efficiencies in Software Testing – Melissa Tondi

 

Session Recording

Recap: How We Do QA: HomeAdvisor Automation


Sorry for the delay in getting these posted, but here is the slide deck that we went through in our last meetup.

Thanks again to everyone that was able to make it!

homeadvisor-automation

Let’s Build A Framework – Day 2 Recap


Thanks to everyone who came out for the 2nd day in our current series around building an automation framework.

This one is audio only due to a miss during the session, but the issue should be resolved for future sessions. In addition, we are going to try and update with visuals as well if possible.

Sorry for the delay in getting this posted…totally slipped through the cracks!

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

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!