Home Python 10 years in testing – Mirek Długosz private web site

10 years in testing – Mirek Długosz private web site

10 years in testing – Mirek Długosz private web site


Precisely 10 years in the past I began my first job as a software program tester.

That doesn’t imply I began testing 10 years in the past. Again once I was in highschool and at college, I did spend a while doing testing and quality-related stuff for numerous open supply initiatives – Debian, KDE, Kadu, LibreOffice, Cantata, and a few extra. I don’t bear in mind any longer which was the primary and when precisely that occurred. I think about my first contribution was fairly uneventful – maybe a message on customers discussion board, a response confirming it is a bug, and an encouragement to report it on bug monitoring system or devs mailing checklist.

Nonetheless, “first job as software program tester” is an efficient place to begin counting. First, it’s straightforward – I’ve papers to show the precise date. Second, from that day I’ve spent about eight hours a day, 5 days per week, each week, on testing-related issues. That provides as much as loads of time, but it surely’s the consistency that units it other than any open supply work I’ve performed. Final however not least, the choice to begin this particular job set me on a path to deal with testing rather more significantly, and which finally led me to the place I’m at the moment.

I’m not a lot of a job hopper. In these 10 years, I’ve solely had two employers. However I did change groups and initiatives rather a lot – I’ve been on 4 initiatives in first firm, and now I’m on my fifth venture in second firm. The longest time I’ve ever been in a single venture is 2 years and seven months. Particulars are on LinkedIn.

I got here into testing after getting a level in sociology. In my time at college, I had a possibility to get my toes moist in empirical social analysis. I approached testing the identical method I approached empirical sociology, even when solely as a result of I didn’t actually know anything – I assumed there’s quite a lot of issues the group wish to know and my job is to find out about them and report my findings. The laborious half is that we don’t have direct entry to among the issues we wish to know extra about, so we have to rely on quite a lot of proxies of unsure reliability. X might be attributable to Y, and we noticed X, however is that this due to Y, or another issue Z? How can we rule out Z? Right now, I can confidently say this isn’t the worst option to method testing.

Once I began my first job, I’ve been utilizing Linux as my fundamental working system for about 7 years. Throughout that point I realized find out how to use shell, I received accustomed to the concept that issues change and transfer round, I confronted numerous breakages after updates. Typically making an attempt to repair them was irritating, however I did learn to seek for info, I picked up few methods and I realized how numerous elements can work together in advanced system. That was one other main supply of experiences that influenced my method to testing.

I suppose I even have sure character traits that helped me to turn out to be an honest tester. I are usually cussed, I don’t surrender simply, I self-identify as perfectionist and I attempt to truly perceive the factor I’m dealing with.

After a yr and a half I made a decision that I need to know extra about testing, particularly established testing methods and options. My work was praised, but it surely was all based mostly on instinct and previous experiences from different fields. I felt I used to be lacking fundamentals and I feared I is perhaps lacking some apparent and elementary testing methods or expertise. I attempted to fill these gaps by attending an ISTQB preparation course, but it surely didn’t ship what I used to be wanting for.

My supervisor knew about my disappointment and at one level offered me with the chance to attend a testing convention in one other metropolis. One of many talks given there was known as “Context-Pushed Testing: A New Hope”. This can be a humorous title, as Context-Pushed Testing was already 15 years previous at the moment and “colleges of testing” debate has lengthy left group conciousness. I don’t bear in mind many particulars of the speak itself, however I did left the convention with a sense that I ought to be taught extra about CDT, as they could have at the very least among the solutions I used to be wanting for.

I believe I began by studying “Classes Realized in Software program Testing”, and what a e book it was! It not solely revolutionized the best way I take into consideration testing to this present day, but additionally gave me much-needed confidence. I discovered I used to be already doing among the issues that e book advisable, however now I knew why they had been price doing. That is the e book that everybody who’s critical about testing ought to learn, and doubtless re-read thorough their profession. I believe I learn it at superb second, too – I had about three years of expertise on the time. I really feel I wouldn’t get that a lot from it if I learn it earlier.

Later I’ve learn “Excellent Software program” by late Jerry Weinberg. I believe it is a nice e book for individuals who simply begin in testing. It absolutely helped to ascertain a few of my information, however I don’t assume it was as influential for me as “Classes Realized”. It will have been if I learn it earlier.

Lastly, I’ve learn the whole archives of James Bach and Michael Bolton blogs. This isn’t one thing I can suggest to anybody, as each are very prolific writers – every authored few tons of articles. I believe it took me effectively over a yr to get by means of all of them. Nonetheless, this allowed me to totally immerse myself of their considering and I can confidently say I perceive the place they’re coming from and the place they’re going to. This additionally allowed me to encounter few very priceless articles and assets that I nonetheless refer to.

There’s so much that I realized from all these assets, however I wish to level out two overarching rules that I typically come again to. One, my position as a tester is to point out prospects and broaden the view of the group. My job is to transcend easy and fast solutions. Two, each single day I have to ask myself: what’s crucial, most impactful factor I can do proper now? After which do that precise factor, even when it means placing apart earlier plans and concepts. Change is one thing to embrace, to not be afraid of.

About 5 years into my profession, I started to slowly transfer into extra software program development-heavy position. To some extent, that was out of necessity – I noticed many duties that may very well be rectified with a tiny little bit of programming. On the identical time, I used to be within the atmosphere the place growth was thought of increased on organizational totem pole than “handbook testing”, and exhibiting programming expertise was a transparent method for extra respectable assignments and better wage. Much like my testing journey, that was not the second I began to be taught programming – I’ve written my first shell scripts and perl packages again in highschool. Whereas I did wrestle, I felt assured sufficient in my programming prowess to do some easy issues.

The occasion that basically helped me to take off to the subsequent stage occurred a few yr after I joined Pink Hat. We had a UI take a look at automation framework, which was lately rewritten by a few contractors. They labored in a silo and in consequence many of the group was not accustomed to that code. My job was to be taught it, contribute to it and turn out to be one of many maintainers.

I believe contractors felt threatened by my presence and thought their job safety trusted them being the one individuals able to working with the framework. In consequence, they made code evaluation a nightmare. They threw all of it – passive-aggressive feedback, unhelpful feedback, deceptive feedback, requests to vary code that was already authorised in earlier evaluation cycle, calls for to elucidate nearly each single line of code, replying anytime between a day and per week. That was all on high of working with unfamiliar, advanced and barely documented libraries.

I don’t look again at the moment with fondness, however I’ve to confess it was an efficient studying train. I used to be compelled to grasp issues above my capabilities, and finally I did perceive them. This was very a lot the second programming lastly clicked for me. Additionally, I realized exactly what to keep away from throughout code opinions and when educating others.

Since then, my pursuits began to maneuver extra in course of software program design and structure. I do know I can write ok code that works. However I additionally need to write code that’s maintainable in the long run and permits for changes in response to altering atmosphere or necessities.

In these 10 years, I’ve primarily been a person contributor. That is the position I really feel comfy in and which I believe fits me effectively. Nonetheless, I did act as a form of group lead in two separate events. Each occasions I used to be not formally a supervisor for different individuals and I didn’t really feel I’ve all of the instruments essential to make them do the required work. The primary time I used to be utterly unprepared for a problem in entrance of me. The second time went just a little bit higher, as I knew extra about methods to informally affect individuals.

These can be the tough abstract and most vital highlights of my 10 years in testing. There’s no narrative closure, as I’m nonetheless right here and intend to remain for some time longer. I’m comfortable to speak about testing, open supply, software program engineering and associated matters, so be happy to get in contact with me if that is one thing you discover attention-grabbing, or if you need to attract from my expertise.



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