My Learning Curve: How TestBash Is Making Me a Better Tester
By Antonella Scaravilli
My Tester Origin Story
Sometimes people ask me how long I’ve been a tester for, or assume that I’ve been testing for a long time because I’m almost 32. The truth is, I think I’m one of those cases out there of “I used to test at work but I didn’t really know I was testing”. I guess my testing experience can’t be calculated based on my age.
Last year, I started my first testing job in Barcelona (my second ever testing job), and I was lucky that life made a very special techy, yogi type of Yoda and I cross paths. On my job interview, he started raving about how amazing the Ministry of Testing was, about this great series of conferences they organize and how awesome it would be if we started planning attending TestBash Manchester 2017 together if I joined the company. TestBash Manchester took place and I was there to witness it. If only I had known TestBashes were so addictive!
My TestBash Dreams
Around the end of 2017, I started thinking (and daydreaming) about my next TestBash. Brighton was the place, I was sure. But I was also sure that one day and a half (Open Space FTW!) wasn’t enough. I had just started a new job at that kind of company in which you hear “we want to automate everything” quite frequently. Except that I was hired to do Exploratory Testing… so I thought I had to blow their mind with some solid skills and there were two workshops at TestBash Brighton that tackled that area precisely.
I guess you’ll read or hear me say I’m a lucky person often - and I am - since the company I work for allocated some money for me to invest in learning. I could afford the ticket to the conference day and the Open Space, but I wasn’t able to afford the workshops. Sometimes life puts some reading material (you know, the one you really need to read for cosmic reasons) right in front of you. It was this article written by Robyn that inspired me to apply for a MoT scholarship and explain why I wanted it. Guess what? I got it! The MoT sponsored me on the workshops day and, to my surprise, not only did they ask me to choose one workshop, I even got to attend two! I was so happy I told my mom, my grandparents and probably my whole hometown knows it by now.
TestBash Workshop Takeaways
The first workshop I attended was Exploratory Testing 101 (instructed by the Software Testing Clinic). I was pleased to find out that I seem to have learnt a few things during the past year, so a lot of the concepts presented weren't completely new to me. However, I must admit that the best takeaway of this workshop (and always a valuable reminder) is to always have a testing mission in mind when exploring and that "Exploratory testing is by no means unstructured testing". I'm definitely more focused on my testing mission now when I explore, and I'm sure my team appreciates it!
In the afternoon, I attended Communication and Reporting 101 (also instructed by the Software Testing Clinic). Dan and Mark are a dynamic duo and they certainly make it fun to learn. Who would have thought that there were so many ways of communicating and reporting stuff? I've definitely come back to work knowing that I need to use different communication techniques depending on my audience. Bonus: during this workshop, I discovered a passion for sketchnoting!
Make Your TestBash Dreams a Reality
So if you’re new to testing, if you’re an experienced tester, if you’re a secret agent who does some testing, if you simply want to learn but money is a problem, don’t let it be one. Please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org before you decide you can’t go to a TestBash. Truth is, as soon as you leave a TestBash, it’s quite likely you’ll start thinking about the next one.
Thank you MoT for making me such a happy tester!
PS: TestBash Germany here I come!
I’m a Legal Translator who discovered a passion for software testing around 2013. My journey through testing isn’t a long one yet, but I’m trying to make sure I enjoy every step of the way! Twitter @AntzScaravilli