TestBash Finally Makes it to New Zealand!

By Teresa Weatherall

TestBash finally made it to New Zealand! Yay! It was held in Wellington on 29th October 2019 and I was lucky enough to win one of the generous TestBash ticket and accommodation sponsorship packages from Flux Federation, one of the event sponsors. This made attending from Auckland that bit more doable. Thanks Flux Federation, you rock!

The morning of TestBash dawned sunny and warm, a good omen in a town where the wind can literally sweep you off your feet on a bad day, but is a little slice of heaven on a sunny one. The conference was held in one of the conference rooms at Te Papa, on the waterfront with gorgeous views. The main room was the perfect size for the 250 or so attendees, with a large breakout area for eating and mingling. The quick run I took around harbourfront before breakfast was great because it stopped me feeling guilty partaking in all the wonderful food on offer during the day (kudos to whoever arranged the catering). It was wonderful to see so many testers from around the country - Auckland was well represented, of course, but I also sat next to someone from Dunedin and met someone from Tauranga.

The Main Talk Highlights

One of the highlights of the day for me was the “Test Automation Gap of Mystery” by Trish Khoo, clarifying what an Integration Test really is (pretty much anything that isn’t a unit test it turns out) and how to approach the design of integration tests in a way that gets to the heart of what really matters.

"Only use the scope you need”

is a catchphrase that has stayed with me. Mark Winteringham’s presentation later on, “The Automation Break Up: Saying Goodbye to Full Stack Tests with Task Analysis”, was a great complement to Trish’s presentation, giving some awesome concrete examples of how to use task analysis combined with interaction layers to produce a reliable, maintainable, informative test suite.

Kim Nepata’s demystification of blockchain combined with an invitation to explore further was great. It’s becoming such a ubiquitous technology it seems like something every tester should at least grasp the basics of.

The presentations from Mike Clarke around how to approach learning new things; Francis Ho on how to be a leader; Aaron Hodder’s warning of the dangers of assuming everyone is like us when designing and testing software systems; and Samantha Laing and Karen Greaves’ presentation on “The Mindful and Deliberate Tester” were all inspiring. They were great reminders that every software problem is, at its heart, a people problem. Connecting with users, upskilling ourselves, taking ownership of test design decisions and constantly seeking to improve our own communication and communication in our teams, makes us better testers - we have the power to make the world a better place. 

Key Takeaway

My takeaway from the day is probably summed up best in the word’s of Flux Federation

"Think beyond. Be bold. Give a shit."

It was all really inspirational and the Meetup at Assurity’s offices afterwards was a great chance to debrief with other attendees and reflect with them on some of the issues raised (thanks Assurity). Looking forward to TestBash again next year already.

Author Bio

I am part of the small-but-awesome team that maintains and develops the Givealittle crowdfunding website. I love working on a small team where I get to test all aspects of the system, from design to implementation, with a bit of automation and Agile Scrum-Mastering thrown in. I’m also a co-organiser of Ministry of Testing - Auckland, which I love because I get to meet lots of interesting people who like to geek-out on testing as much as I do. Outside of work my family keep me busy - I have 4 kids aged from 10 to 16 who are growing up way too fast.