Monthly Archives: April, 2014

What is Your Legacy – Part 2

I recently attended a women’s conference with the theme “What is your Legacy?” Before I get back to my onboarding new testers series I am writing a few postings on testers who I believe are leaving a legacy in the testing field. It is important to understand that you do not need to be a consultant or own your own business to make a difference. Testers in the trenches can influence change not only in their organizations but also in the testing community. In part one I discussed a few testers that I admire for different reasons. Of course this is an endless list as each of us will admire different leaders. There are many well known leaders such as Cem Kaner, James Bach, Michael Bolton, and many many others. But my focus is more on the testers in the trenches and how they are leaving a legacy that have inspired me! I hope that you realize that everyone can have a legacy. Today I am sharing a few more testers. And think about your legacy – how will you be known – and how are you known presently?

Darren McMillan
I became acquainted with Darren through Twitter and was immediately impressed with his approaches for challenging how testers approach problems. He would tweet asking if anyone was interested in participating in a testing challenge that he was facilitating with his team. Different problems were identified such as “the world could end in 5-minutes” and “testing the future”. Testers would have a time-box to complete the assignment and would provide how they approached the problem, then Darren would meet with them and create a mind map with all the solutions and ideas. You can find his challenges on his website. I have used these challenges as part of my training program as they are a fun way to learn and you will find where you fall into thinking patterns that need to be broken. Plus it shows the power of teamwork over individual, silo testing. As a team we are stronger by bringing together different ways to approach the same problem. I remember when Darren started to blog about using mind maps to write test plans, test ideas, and test cases. It was very interesting to me since it was a lean way to capture information and visually was easy to read. He wrote about mind mapping in Tea-time With Testers and I found an opportunity to use them in test planning and execution. What I witness was testers around the world adopting mind maps as a way to plan and manage the complexities of testing. I don’t know if Darren realized the impact he would have with his blogs and articles but imagine if he did not blog about his ideas with fear they would be rejected.

Michael Larsen
Michael Larsen is an endless supporter of the testing community. He is a Black Box Software Testing (BBST) instructor. BBST is a challenging software testing program that I have not yet attended since it is always filled before I have a chance to enroll. My understanding from Michael and from the BBST website is that it is a blended learning approach using videos lectures, quizzes, different homework assignments, and a final exam. The homework and the exam are peer-reviewed. Every participant in the course reviews work submitted by other participants and provides feedback and suggests grades. What I really like about this approach is that you demonstrate your skills through various activities and at the end of it if you pass the course it really means something! Michael also maintains his own blog with interesting postings from book reviews, software testing techniques, and information on conferences. I love Michael’s book reviews because it has helped me identify books for my testing team. Michael also is a facilitator of Weekend Testing Americas and as the chapter has grown more facilitators have been added. I do admire how much Michael gives of himself to the Testing Community and his own beautiful family.

Elisabeth Hendrickson
Elisabeth has extensive experience as a developer, tester, manager, and quality engineering director in a variety of companies ranging from small startups to multi-national enterprises. You can learn more about her through her Test Obsessed blog. I love her book Explore It! Reduce Risk and Increase Confidence with Exploratory Testing. It is a small book in size but it is packed with valuable information and you only need to read a few pages to be inspired on how you might approach a testing problem differently. This is a great book to be part of your journal club to slowly work through the material to determine how it influences your testing and how you view testing. Take your time and do not rush the reading. Instead read a few pages and let the information sink in before moving on. I also love her book There’s Always a Duck. It is a collection of her postings from blogging and other places she published. It is a great collection of stories and information spanning her 15-years of writing. I love how she brought together this information in an e-book format making it easier to read and locate information. Elisabeth is a gifted writer and both books are important contributions to the testing community as they hold a wealth of information based upon her experiences.

What is your Legacy?

The Gift of Time

Recently at work I made a presentation regarding the Software Testing Department future direction. As part of that presentation I shared stories about a few testers who have made a difference in the field. The next day I attended a women’s conference that was focused around “What is your Legacy?” It was a fabulous conference that gets you thinking about how you live your life today forms how people remember you. It forms your legacy. For this posting, I wanted to share a few testers and leaders who are building or have built a great legacy! I hope one of your take-away from this posting is that you can influence change and make a difference. I bet when some of them started blogging on their ideas they did not imagine the impact!

Gerald Weinberg
Many of my readers will know Gerald Weinberg – many consider him the Father of Software Testing as he formed the first official testing department back in the 1950’s. He has inspired so many technical people through his writing, consulting, mentor-ship, and problem-solving training seminars. This short list does not do him credit for his influence in the tech world. For his 75th birthday a book was written to honor him called The Gift of Time that was written by influential testers and consultants to honor him regarding his contribution to Information Technology and how he influenced their careers. Imagine your legacy living on and people honoring you in such a way on your 75th birthday! Jerry writes for Tea-time with Testers and is involved with the content of the e-magazine and provides regular guidance. You can learn more about Jerry through his website.

Lisa Crispin
I have admired Lisa for many many years and was thrilled when we started to connect through social media. Lisa along with Janet Gregory were influential in helping testers find their voice as part of an agile team. I remember when the agile manifesto came out in 2001 and it was an exciting time since many of us worked in waterfall environments where it quite literally took years to get software to our customers. It was wonderful to hear that software could be delivered in smaller increments. But at the same time there was a buzz that testers were no longer needed on these agile teams. What did that mean for our careers? Were we destined to remain in the waterfall world with heavy documentation and long release cycles? Lisa and Janet both made a difference for us testers by finding our voice! I can only imagine how difficult this must have been since being a change agent is a very difficult role to fulfill. You will make sure that you read their book: Agile Testing: A Practical Guide for Testers and Agile Teams.

I am honored to be invited as a reviewer for their new agile book coming out later this year. I am inspired by the problems Lisa has tackled and how she freely shares this information to the community. Plus her dedication to travel around the world to speak and train at conferences. She works in my viewpoint, endlessly! You can learn more about Lisa by visiting her website.

Mike Talks

Mike is a wonderful story teller with the ability to view the world as if there is not any boundaries. As a former teacher, he provides a different way to approach testing problems coupled with his degree and knowledge of physics. I find that Mike will challenge your approach on a problem that opens up new avenues that you did not think about. I first “met” Mike through Twitter and his new years posting called: Let 2012 be the death of Superman! You can find that posting here. I used this posting as the starting point for my department’s start of the new year because there is nothing wrong with asking for help or admitting you do not know something. That is why a team approach is typically more effective than a silo approach. Often in the business world we can place too much emphasis on “solo superstars” instead of the integration of the team where you can still highlight your specialty.

Mike is a great mentor and I hope you take some time to get to know him. Mike’s ebook Software Minefield is a great book on his more than 15-years experience as a tester. It is written for experienced testers but there are chapters that are good for a new tester to read. You can learn more about Mike by visiting his website.

Ajay Balamurugadas
In 2009, Ajay was a co-founder of Weekend Testing designed to bring testers together for about 2-hours to test a web-based application focused on a testing charter to further develop their testing skills and knowledge. What I find amazing is this concept spread to Europe, US, and New Zealand. A small group of testers from India influenced testers throughout the world on a different way to progress their skills! I like their catch phrase: Test Learn Contribute. In the Testing Community it is about giving back to the community because we are stronger as a community if we each contribute. Ajay has written several e-books that I am pleased to say that I read before they were published. They are from a viewpoint of a new tester and are packed with a lot of great information! You can learn more about Ajay by visiting his website.

Heartbleed – Internet Security Hole!

heartbleed

Many of my readers of “The Testers Edge” may be pretty tech savvy when it comes to passwords and security. On my other blog “Realistic Cooking Ideas” I Previously wrote a posting about creating strong passwords for your accounts. Many people use “weak” passwords that are vulnerable for hackers. This time we have an Internet security hole for websites that start with “https” in the URL. The media is telling everyone to change their passwords; however do NOT change your password until the website provider applies the patch. Once they have applied the patch then you must change your password.

This is a very serious security hole that does not affect all Internet sites that have secured logins. There are a lot of sources to find out what sites are affected. This link provides a list of sites that are impacted that have applied patches and ones that are not impacted. Here is another link about Heartbleed that claims it affects 80% of websites! Here is a link I found regarding WordPress. And here is a tool to check a website heartbleed test. As a side note, I am in the tech field but on the software side. I do not specialize in security but I hope that sharing this information is helpful.

Once you know if a site you use is impacted, do NOT use it until there is a PATCH and then

CHANGE your password to a STRONG password!