Automation is a key component of most software development initiatives. It's not just for testing, it also figures into the build process, Continuous Integration (CI), and Continuous Delivery (CD). To that end, having a stable automation framework makes a lot of sense but what exactly goes into making that framework? Today, Matthew Heusser and Michael Larsen have a chat with Chris Loder, the "Rogue Automator" about where to start, what to include, and four specific areas every good automation framework must have to succeed.
When we think of making a website accessible, we often think of making sure a screen reader works to help navigate a site or to make sure we have alt tags for images. There are of course many other areas to consider and ways in which looking at accessibility can go well beyond making a site usable for people with disabilities and towards making sites and services more usable and effective for everyone. Matthew Heusser and Michael Larsen welcome Aditya Bangari and Riya Sharma to discuss how we can adopt an Accessibility Mindset and how that mindset can help guide us towards a more inclusive user experience.
One of the great challenges of software testing is the fact that software is often designed to accomplish goals for a user but is developed in a way that is resistant to testing. In addition to knowing what to test and where to test, we should be asking how we want to test and if our testing goals are even possible. Matthew Heusser and Michael Larsen welcome Gil Zilberfeld to discuss how do we make our products more testable and how we can leverage those capabilities.
This week's show comes live from the QA Summit, held in South Jordan, Utah on July 28, 2021. Matthew Heusser and Michael Larsen welcome back Rachel Kibler and Gwen Iarussi, as well as Pax Noyes to discuss takeaways from the QA Summit talks and to also highlight QA at the Point, Women Who Test, and other initiatives happening around the Salt Lake valley to inspire and help develop current and future software testers.
It's been quite some time since we have been able to attend in-person conferences. For a brief window, vaccination rates and easing of travel restrictions allowed Matthew Heusser and Michael Larsen to attend the Xpanxion sponsored "QA Summit 2021", held in South Jordan, Utah, at the end of July, 2021. As part of the speaking group at the conference, Matt and Michael met up with Gwen Iarussi and Rachel Kibler to discuss their talks and the conference in general.
How many times has the death of testing been touted? How many talks have been giving declaring the death of testing? Granted, those talks have a specific context that is not often noticed, but the statement gets said a great deal. In this episode, Senthil Ayyappan, Head of Market Strategy for Qualitest, joins Matthew Heusser and Michael Larsen to talk about how Quality Engineering is much more than basic testing and how it is very much a growing industry. In short, reports of testing's death, especially Quality Engineering's death, have been greatly exaggerated.
As the idea of melding operations and software development led to the discipline of DevOps, so has the idea of melding testing and operations led to the concept of TestOps where many of the operations areas also fall under the role of the testing teams(s) and help organizations actually get a handle on how they can better test for infrastructure needs and make sure that feature enhancements and code changes aren't just deployed efficiently but work their best as well. For this episode, Alex Langshall and David Vydra join Matthew Heusser and Michael Larsen to discuss TestOps, its role in the development lifecycle, and ways that organizations can leverage the benefits for better systems and better release management.
Does the idea of wearing a device that can monitor your movement, heart rate, and blood pressure to lower your health insurance premiums (or raise them in some cases) intrigue you or scare you? Does the idea of a plug-in for your car that measures your driving habits, perhaps affecting your insurance rates have you questioning things? If so, then come join Matthew Heusser and Michael Larsen as they talk with Simon Pickersgill and Anthony White about some of the areas related to testing in the world of insurance. Whether it be auto, home, health, or life insurance, more and more organizations are moving to models where big data, Artificial Intelligence, and Machine Learning are playing a part in determining premiums and claims payouts. There's a lot of coding happening and a lot of testing opportunities, so listen in and get a bird's eye view of an interesting area.
Today's show gets away from the typical risk and testing approach, as in what techniques to use. Instead, Jenny Bramble, Director of Quality Assurance at Papa, joins Matthew Heusser and Michael Larsen to discuss the more challenging aspects around talking about risk, specifically how to talk to people who don't want to recognize that it exists or is possible.
It's our 100th Episode and Qualitest has a new Chief Executive and "Chief Testing" Officer designate in Anbu Anbu Muppidathi who joins Matthew Heusser and Michael Larsen to talk about Quality Engineering as a unique discipline and differentiator. How does Quality Engineering go beyond traditional notions of Quality Assurance? Come join us for this milestone episode and find out how COVID helped make the case for quality orchestration and where Qualitest thinks quality is going both now and into the future.
For many organizations and educational systems, there's a need for testers and testing talent but there isn't a clear path for someone to go learn about testing and become a software tester, at least not in a traditional education sense. There may be a school or two that has some testing curriculum specifically but for many educations systems, it's taught superficially if at all. How does a potential tester learn what they need to and how can they be encouraged to pursue software testing in the first place?
Dave Harrison and Simon Prior join Matthew Heusser to talk about the need for software testing to be considered a viable path for colleges and universities, the type of education that would be helpful for institutions to teach, what types of people and educational background would work well as testers, and how to help them get the best leg up if/when they decide to make that decision.
What does test management mean in today's software development world? Matthew Heusser and Michael Larsen welcome Gwen Iarussi and Lalitkumar Bhamare to talk about the differences in test management of previous decades vs. today's needs and requirements. Finding that "what is the value driver for our business?" is a critical piece among many.
Have you ever wondered what happens when something like a nor'easter, a tornado, a blizzard, or a wildfire comes through your area? How to critical systems like utilities, hospitals, and emergency services deal withy these situations? How can they help ensure their IT capabilities will remain intact, or as intact as possible? Matthew Heusser and Michael Larsen welcome Kimberly Humphrey and Scott Swanigan to talk about Storm Readiness Testing and how organizations can plan for the worst and be up and running as quickly as possible.
In todays fast paced and ever more complex software development landscape, Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) are more important than ever. Testing them has their own unique challenges. This week, Matthew Heusser and Michael Larsen talk with Beth Marshall, Ben Dowen, and Andrew Knight about the unique challenges testers face when working with and testing APIs and the variety of methods to make those challenges a little less daunting.
Once upon a time, testing was about creating the right documentation, making sure requirements were correct, be the quality police, and tell everybody else to do their job well. Lagter, we focused on specific testing, diving in to find defects and problems, and act like an insurance policy so that if there's a problem, we find it, but stop telling people how to do their jobs.
Have we gone too far from that original focus? Is it possible for us to give generalized observations about the quality of the software we are delivering? How would we do it? To answer those questions, Rachel Kibler and Chris Kenst join Matthew Heusser and Michael Larsen to discuss where testing and quality interact and make a case as to which is more important and at which point in time.
On today's show, Matt Heusser and Michael Larsen welcome Johanna Rothman, long time management author and coach to talk about the changing roles in management, the ways in which traditional management culture is not well suited for the Information Age, and ways in which thinking about managing oneself and managing others can be improved for the realities of today's workplace, specifically in the area of software testing and testing management.
For many software testers, it can be challenging to build up a portfolio of work that can demonstrate skill, knowledge, and expertise. Having GitHub account for coding skills is one approach but many testers work on proprietary systems where people outside their company cannot see what you are capable of. Open source projects are a way to get involved in an externally visible way but where does a tester start and what can they actually do?
Dr. Jessica Ingrassellino from InfluxData joins us Matthew Heusser and Michael Larsen to talk about her initiative to make open source projects more available to testers and testing and ways that testers can get involved and why they would want to in the first place.
Many of us are familiar with the idea of negative testing, where we feed bad data or inputs to a program or application to see how it behaves. That works for a program or an app but how about an entire infrastructure? A discipline that has come to be known as Chaos Engineering is where this level of "testing" comes into play. Intriguing but what is "Chaos Engineering?"
Claire Moss joins Matt Heusser and Michael Larsen to discuss the good, bad, ugly, and just plain odd aspects of a discipline that is not readily understood but bears a resemblance to Exploratory Testing. It is also available to any organization that wants to implement it, provided they are ready and willing to go down a rabbit hole or ten.
Now more than ever, the idea of working for one company and doing one job for our working life is an outdated notion. For many of us, curating and developing a career is a job unto itself, especially in today's ever-changing job and career landscape.
Raj Subrameyer comes back to discuss his new book "Skyrocketing Your Career" and we all talk about our personal journeys and how we have arrived where we are and hope to go next.
In this day and age, everything is becoming code. It used to be just the applications but with the proliferation of software to create software (think of Jenkins pipelines) or the aspects to Terraforming servers in the cloud (and Terraform being just one way to do it), there is ever more code being written to set up and deploy software. Who tests all that, and how does one get to play in these extensive sandboxes?
Perze Ababa and Gwen Iarussi join Matthew Heusser and Michael Larsen to talk about these areas of recent and new development, the skills needed to be successful, and ways to make sure that you get to be in "The Room Where it Happens", to borrow from Hamilton.
Software fills many niches and does many things for individuals and businesses. Some software is designed and developed for mass user interaction, while other applications are designed for specific purposes and markets. Some software is literally developed to work within a company for the benefit of its staff and is never seen outside of the company it serves. Still, it feels as though the testing advice that is given and received often focuses on big players and customer facing software.
Perze Ababa, early show alumni, joins Matt Heusser and Michael Larsen to discuss his role in software initiatives that reach both to customers and those projects that are specific to organizations and their workers to be productive and effective. He explains how one size definitely does not fit all.
The title this week may seem odd but it is indeed correct, as Michael Larsen participated in and in effect helped to test out the various challenges and solutions that go with putting on a virtual conference in this current period of time.
In this episode, Michael talks with two long time veterans of the Pacific Northwest Software Quality Conference, Philip Lew (Program Chair) and Bill Opsal (a long time volunteer and troubleshooter) about the ups and downs of putting on a virtual conference, things that went well, challenges faced and some lessons learned that may help anyone with putting on a virtual conference in the future.
As organizations get larger or infrastructure/software becomes more relied upon, testing itself can have its share of risks. For this episode, Matt and Michael chat with Simon Evans about how to approach larger systems (and perhaps not so large systems), make the needed decisions to focus on important areas and make QA a less risky proposition altogether.
It's safe to say that 2020 has introduced challenges into people's lives in unprecedented ways (at least in our current times). Some are thriving but many are feeling the results of burnout. Raj Subrameyer joins Matthew Heusser and Michael Larsen to talk through common issues of burnout as it relates to tech workers and some approaches and methods that can be used to deal with said burnout if not banish it entirely.
There have been record and playback tools available for the past few decades, with varying results and reputations. They often over promise and under deliver. Today, Matthew Heusser and Michael Larsen are joined by Rex Feizi of Subject7 and Leandro Melendez (Señor Performo) to talk about the latest generation of record and playback tools, how to leverage them effectively and use them in spaces where they are intended (as well as explore other areas where they can be beneficial) and get some good advice about how to make the best use of these tools both now and into the future.