Embrace TestBash Family: Eyes Wide Open Experience in San Francisco from a Beijing Tester

By Tracy Zhou

Winning A Scholarship

I first found out about TestBash through my former co-worker Stephanie Dukes. I always wished to attend, so you cannot imagine how excited I was when I found 2018 November conference would be held in San Francisco, which is headquarters of the company I work at!

So I quickly arranged my business trip from Beijing to SF around conference time, with my super supportive boss. I was so surprised to find out Stephanie’s team was helping to organize the conference and she recommended me to apply for a scholarship. After sending out the application email on how I eager I was to go and how it would benefit me and the QA team in Beijing, it was patient waiting and prayer time. Words cannot explain my joy when I received the email from Richard. This is my first testing conference, my first Testbash, and also my first time to win a scholarship! The best was yet to come!

TestBash San Francisco Time

You would be firstly impressed by the warm welcome at the registration. All those exquisite T-shirt, bags, cups, coffee, tea, delicious food and creative cookies with TestBash logo icing, really told you how this community is organized and creative.

Adventure to Expand Your Comfort Zone Exponentially

“Great Minds Think Alike”  8th November, 2018

Conference opened by Elisabeth Hendrickson’s vivid presentation on mindset shift and practical implementation on Influence > Authority. Although being a manager for several years, I continuously learned from coworkers who were good examples by leading without authority, guess it’s time to promote for all our Beijing team members to make a little change!

There were two talks I can really echo with the presenter about “Automation Declared Software” and “Creating a Culture of Quality Assurance”. I feel really blessed as one of the projects I worked on really emphasized on “Testing is a team responsibility” from top down. And talk about how I love Adrian puts the ant tester in his head! His presentation was catching and brilliant, felt like I got the key to a developer’s brain on effective communication to make a far-reaching impact.

Richard and Dan impressed me with Models! Working in a financial software company whose clients are big hedge funds and Fund admins, we know how complicated testing scenarios and calculations can be, model creation is crucial in our daily work! It enlightened me to do a model journey presentation a tthe next company kickoff!

Many great new concepts were learn as well! Like Mob developing as a tester, and all those great tools, introduction on Mobile Testing Pyramid, and testing serverless cloud applications. I quickly forward that information to other projects in my company who are actively testing IOS Apps on mobile devices.

“All about those cool stuff”  9th November, 2018

  • How to test a voice skill?
  • How AI enables cross-app reusable test cases, test data, test plans and test strategies?
  • How to create and manage dynamic data on the fly for smarter apps like Twitter?
  • How to do subcutaneous testing in React application?

All those cool stuff I never thought of, but could make a huge impact! One of the new initiatives my company is working on is using React, and my coworker really likes the headless browser testing idea. He said “Great sharing, this is closer to how I wish we can test UI component since the entire API can be mocked!”

How bold is it to have a centralized testing to benchmark the quality of your app versus your competitors! What a coincidence that my boss just told me that we are going to explore AI in Data Services products. Good timing in preparing myself with AI knowledge in testing!

A/B testing is also new concept for me. Classical financial software, whose client base is small, don’t have a high demand for that. But it was a good learning experience!

Embrace Intimate TestBash Family

What makes TestBash so special is that it’s such an intimate family. The community was so open, welcoming and all passionate about testing! It was so easy to get into conversations with speakers, they joyfully answered my questions about some details in their presentations and even gave me great suggestions and encouragement. The 99 seconds talks were amazing and really touching as well. How grateful I was to see people feel so safe and comfortable to share even intimate personal life journey and feelings!

Not to mention the fun Family Feud games and post TestBash social time, when all testers having fun, making friends and talking about everything from how companies/industry/jobs compare, culture differs to life journey sharing! And Stephanie who kindly took care of me by introducing me to everyone she knew, really made me feel at home. And imagine, I am someone who is so shy and barely social with any Chinese while I am in Beijing. I guess it’s the magic of TestBash!

What if Dreams Do Come True?

It’s fascinating to have the opportunity to embrace these kinds of insights for someone who has worked in one company for over 10 years, and in a classical financial industry! If given the chance to make wishes:

  • Doing a 99 second talk or even a presentation at the next TestBash.
  • How about TestBash China 2020?

Big thanks to Richard, the MoT team, and the Scholarship Heroes that made all this possible!

About the Author

Tracy works as a Senior QA Manager in Beijing office for SS&C Advent, which is a financial software company which provides investment management organizations of all types and sizes to 60 countries relying on our solutions. She has been a tester for over 12 years, working on many different financial products from classical client based to cloud/web based, from back office accounting system to middle office trading and rebalancing system. Data and report calculation accuracy is core for financial products, but nowadays market demands for faster and high quality products--monthly/weekly release instead of yearly release. She is an enthusiast of Agile, CI, layering of testing, and high ROI UI automation.

Outside of work Tracy is a big fan of Michael Jackson, likes to spend time with family, travelling and reading. You can connect with her on LinkedIn.