Software teams, agile teams, in particular, are well aware of the need for their developers, testers, product owners, and other team members to collaborate. The usual selection of agile ceremonies creates space for people sharing the planning of the work: planning meetings, product backlog refinement meetings, three amigos sessions for coming up with acceptance examples, and daily meetings just to mention a few. For much of the rest of the time, people are hunched over their own keyboards and screens, working on their own tasks – more so in the time of forced remote work. Even if developers work with each other doing pair programming, testers often work on their own.
The BBST Foundations course is a very challenging course, on many levels. For me, it was a full 4 weeks of learning how to learn, how to organize better and how to stay on top of things. This course offers you many learning opportunities and a lot of useful information. In order to benefit from this as much as you can, you’ll need to put effort not only into going through the materials and assignments but also into paying attention to some of the aspects I’m going to describe below.
A lot of projects and companies nowadays no longer have dedicated testers. That doesn’t mean they no longer do testing; they simply share the responsibility of testing inside a development team. Testing becomes an activity that everyone in the team does, but there’s also a strong focus on automation and trying to create large regression suites that cover as much as possible from the overall functionality of the application.
I’ve also seen automated scripts created in several contexts where the people creating them were focused on solving the programming challenges, but they seemed to overlook one key element: how to make their tests powerful. There were lots of hours involved, lots of tools and frameworks, lots of lines of code, but there was little understanding of the application and superficial interest in what the tests will find and cover. So the teams put a lot of effort in creating extensive automated test suites but the question that remained was “Do they bring enough value?”
Watch the recording of this webinar from March 7, 2018 to learn about Ru’s story of the worst bug she ever found and the lessons learned from this experience. Based on this example she explains the RIMGEN framework, signal detection theory and other bug investigation concepts taught in the BBST Bug Advocacy course. If you’re thinking about taking Bug Advocacy, you will get a good preview of the course contents from this webinar.
Ru Cindrea is a senior test consultant and managing partner at Altom. With more than ten years of experience in software testing, she is particularly interested in mobile testing and test automation with a special interest in mobile games. Ru is an instructor in the Black Box Software Testing series offered by Altom in collaboration with Kaner, Fiedler & Associates.
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If you do testing, and recognize how cognitively rich the activities involved in testing are, you probably also recognize the importance of testing skills.
On all the projects I’ve contributed to, good testing, deep testing, involved skills. Asking a random person from the street to test on the project would probably not have led to spectacular results (unless, of course, they happen to be an exquisite tester with awesome testing skills!). Developing those skills requires a lot of work.
Student work in each of the BBST courses will be evaluated by other students and by the instructor(s).
Each course will include several assessments, such as exams, quizzes, and assignments. Each assessment has its own primary objective. Here are common examples of what we might be trying to achieve with a specific assignment:
make a pass/fail decision about student performance that will be published in some way
help the student identify strengths and gaps in knowledge and skill
give the student practice working through a certain type of problem or task
help the instructor understand where the course is failing to motivate the students or to help them learn
motivate the students to spend a little more time, effort or attention on favored tasks
Compared to Foundations, this module is much more focused on practical exercises. You get to work on live bug reports of open-source applications. You can actually contribute to the documentation of these bugs.
The most appreciated feature of the course is the interactive grading session. In contrast to Foundations, this session happens halfway through the course: you get feedback for an assignment, instead of the final exam. This way, your instructors will provide feedback that you can apply immediately on a subsequent assignment.
This is a course that pushes you to explore the world outside the boundaries of the course. You test a real-world application and participate in the development team (writing and evaluating bugs, perhaps contributing to the test plan or other troubleshooting). This gives you an opportunity to build a reputation with people who might help your career later, in many other ways.
There are several discussion groups on the web for software testers. Many beginners enjoy QA Forums. LogiGear posts a page with handy articles and links. Software Quality Engineering hosts the stickyminds discussion and article archives. Participating in online discussions is a good way to get noticed–and if your participation is constructive and useful, it is a good way to build a path to your next job.