The Value of Automation
Feb 17, 2020
I’ve been asked many times to discuss test automation and its value to my team.
I’ve promoted a team’s efforts to plug the gaps in UI tests of critical paths, or defended a woeful lack of effort on mobile apps, or pushed back against UI tests to extend the middle slice of our pyramid. With a CTO this is often a conversation about how we focus or improve or prioritise existing tester efforts and what our test recruitment priorities should be.
Three Things I Learned This Week - 15th Feb 2020
Feb 15, 2020
Back when I was a swaggery manager sort, I used to screen candidates with a phone call first. One of my prime criteria was for continuous learners - I wanted people who were learning, and aware that they were responsible for driving that learning. I used to screen that mindset with a horrible on-the-spot question: “Name three things you’ve learned in the last week”.
Given that I challenged other people with this question, it seemed only fair that I be able to answer it myself, and I do.
Remote Working, Surevine and My Family
Jan 9, 2020
Remote working means something different for everyone who’s done it. For me, there are some very clear reasons as to why remote and flexible working are a must-have.
In 2014, I worked for a mobile app development house in a nearby city. Buses to and from. I left the house before my eldest got out of bed, and got home after he was in bed. I was weekend dad, and that wasn’t working for me.
What is Android’s Project Mainline, and what will it do for business?
Sep 6, 2019
Here we are in early September, and Android 10 has just been released. It’s got lots of new features that might excite average users:
Dark Mode Theming Gesture navigation Inbuilt screen recording WiFi Easy Connect It also contains features for the more technical and security-conscious users
Support for 5G networks Peer-to-peer WiFi connections TLS 1.3 Granting location permissions to apps only whilst in the foreground MAC address randomisation There’s plenty more out there, and plenty of news outlets are publishing big lists you can find if you want to know more.
Between 11 and 15 Steps to a Hugo Site, hosted for free
Jun 16, 2019
I’ve just rebuilt my blog using Hugo, and wanted to share my steps. This isn’t really my work - I was given all of this knowledge gratis from Pete, who definitely knows - he’s got his own site.
Step 1: Lay the groundwork Install hugo using brew or one of the other methods. Create a new folder and make it an empty git repo.
brew install hugo cd ~/projects mkdir website cd website git init Step 2: Pick a theme and add it to your folder Go to the Hugo Themes page.
NottsTest Lightning Talks - November 6th
Nov 12, 2018
I’m one of the organisers for NottsTest, and certainly one of the biggest challenges isn’t venue or beer or pizza. It’s content. You’re asking people to give up their time to prep, rehearse, travel and deliver content for free to (mostly) strangers.
November was easy though. We’d agreed in August that our hosts were providing a talk in November - a retro on implementing Modern Testing as practice across all of Engineering.
30 Days of Automation in Testing - Days 1 to 4
Jul 11, 2018
I’ve been meaning to complete one of the Ministry of Testing’s 30 Days of Testing challenges for a while. I got about two thirds of the way through the first one as a team exercise, then everyone “got busy with other things”, and it died a horrible death, with the checklist languishing on the wall for a couple of months as a reminder of how we’d failed.
When the latest one, 30 Days of Automation in Testing, was announced I tweeted this:
Hacking the rules (in a safe space)
May 29, 2018
Have you ever played a game of Shared Assumptions? You might’ve. I made the name up.
It’s a game I’ve both seen as part of training courses on specification ambiguity and something I would swear I invented when drunk once.
Do you remember Guess Who?
It’s a game where players take turns asking yes/no questions about the appearance of the character on their opponent’s card, aiming to be first to identify the character their opponent holds.
Choosing an API tool
May 2, 2018
A story about selecting tools from my previous job.
In the dark days, we explored as a user would, and when things changed, we explored again.
Later, it got lighter, and we used tools like Fiddler to help us explore. We saw more, and we used our tools to explore deeper than we could before.
Before too long, we started automating.
One time, we encountered a problem where we needed to know if a piece of common markup (in this case, a support popup) displayed correctly in all of our sites, in all of the browsers and in all of the languages.
The nonsense of gender-influences on testers
Oct 13, 2017
Have you been watching Duck Quacks Don’t Echo? Lee Mack has guests on and they talk and test lesser-known facts. For instance, did you know that:
People with blue eyes have a higher tolerance for alcohol than brown-eyed people The chlorine in swimming pools smells because the pool is dirty I’ll be honest, the gags are naff, and not all facts are interesting facts, but I approve of their testing of things, and every once in a while, there’s a fact that tickles my professional interest.