TestBash Manchester happened on 27th September 2018 with Test.bash(); happening the following day. I was a volunteer at both of these days and can honestly say it was so amazing to be apart of something like this and the atmosphere and buzz around the place made me realize how inclusive the testing community really is. As part of the initiatives in work I look after automation and with no prior coding knowledge this was a huge learning curve for me. However with the support of the people around me I feel like I’ve come on leaps and bounds since starting, with this in mind I was definitely interested in the Friday of the conference.
Our job as volunteering consisted of setting up swag tables for attendees and welcoming them as they entered for a day of learning, after this we set up shop and then helped people looking slightly confused of where to go for lunch, get their way around smoothly and with a friendly face. The two talks I managed to get to on the Thursday were ‘The tester’s 3 Cs: Criticism, Communication and Confidence’ and ‘Recruiting for Potential’.
‘The tester’s 3 Cs: Criticism, Communication and Confidence’
This talk was by Dorothy Graham and she spoke about how how testers are just criticizing someone else’s work which obviously can have a negative effect. She taught us how to find bugs but then communicate them in a way to work with the developer rather than against them and portray this with confidence so they could be fixed, ensuring the best product comes out of your team. The way Dorothy gave this talk was really inspiring and engaging. Key takeaways from it being:
- A tester criticizers but be mindful of the feeling it can have and how to do this in a way to get a positive output.
- Communication is crucial and the way we we do it even more.
- You need to be confident to be a tester.
Recruiting for Potential
This talk was one I was surprised about. When looking at the line up I thought ‘I wonder what I can learn from recruitment in testing?’ Lena Wiberg spoke about how the standard recruitment process can become biased and you end up with the same output each time. She spoke about different recruitment techniques she used to hire the best tester and FYI being quizzed one on one in an interview is sometimes not the best way. Testers are creative and problem solvers, this can not brought across at all in a interview full of questions, the best way is by doing. I really enjoyed this talk and an take lots away from it for the future, Key takeaways being:
- Don’t let history fool you.
- Don”t set a ‘one type fits all’ when using a recruitment process.
- Design something small with a big enough challenge.
Thursday ended with a TestBash social where everyone from the conference joined forces and went for a drink, networked and made new friends.
The first ever automation TestBash, how exciting! Angie Jones who I look up to a lot for inspiration and testing tips was talking so this is definitely something not to be missed. I swapped volunteering roles with the lovely Robyn (who is running her shop in the picture above) who I work with at ao.com so I could attend this talk. The talks I attended on Friday were ‘What’s that Smell? Tidying Up Our Test Code’ and ‘The Use and Abuse of Selenium’.
What’s that Smell? Tidying Up Our Test Code
Angie is a advocate in the testing community, I really enjoyed the style of the talk and the content too, Live coding was definitively a way to engage the audience and show people real life solutions to problems we have all faced as automation testers. The key takeaways were:
- Identifying issues within your code.
- Understand why they are issues.
- Clean up your code when the flaws have been identified.
The Use and Abuse of Selenium
Simon Stewarts talk really was amazing. He spoke in a way where every single one of the audience was engaged for the whole of his talk with a lot of laughs throughout too. He spoke about creating webdrivers and things users should do but don’t do. I don’t use Selenium for my automation so I was playing a mental comparison game during this talk and relating anything from Selenium to Cypress (the automation framework I use). My question after this talk was ‘How can one man know so much?’ The key takeaways from this talk were:
- Better understanding of selenium.
- How to use things properly in selenium such as waits.
To round up my very first TestBash experience it really was amazing, the ministry of test team who put them on are on a different level. I was over the moonand extremely thankful for the team to let me be part of it all and hopefully it is one of many test bashes I will be lucky enough to attend. By the end of the 2 days I had very sore feet, I was very tired along with my brain which was just about still working, but I would do it all again tomorrow.
If you’ve made it this far, round of applause for you 👏