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I've been testing for a number of months during development of two products. However, my organization does not have well-established testing process. We are given templates, TT tool, and told to write tests and execute them. I feel rather that in some areas I am paving the way. For instance, as far as I know, I am the first here who started to automate parts of the tests in the company.

However, I do not know whether I am doing the things right. I'm reading testing books. They are perfect to get the knowledge but not skills. I miss feedback to know where to improve.

I receive feedback only occasionally and from limited number of sources:

  • From other developers with whom I shared my testing framework and test suites. They are critics of my work as I am of theirs.
  • From my own judgement. I know, for instance, I've made group of automated tests too complex to understand what they test. Next time, I'm making them smaller, simpler, classified better.
  • From more experienced developers who mentor our team from time to time, when management decides that project goes too slowly.

Where to get feedback on my testing skills?


Sample of issues I would like to have feedback on in my work:

  • Did I automated tests for complex data-driven scenarios correctly? Where I did mistakes?
  • In this particular case have I done well grouping tests by common DB setup?
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@dziecious, these are great questions to ask, but by combining so many of them into one post, you make it difficult for anyone to answer. The SQA forum works better when each question covers a single topic. Please break this down into multiple posts, one per topic. –  user246 Feb 5 '12 at 19:20
    
@user246, thanks for your feedback. I had got a flood of questions when writing :-). I've moved part of the question about tester/checker dilemma to another thread. Let me know if I still combine too much issues. –  dzieciou Feb 5 '12 at 19:51
    
I think my questions is related to similar one. Instead, of having my skills at work, I could get it in a different place. –  dzieciou Feb 5 '12 at 20:32
    
There's no single answer here. Can I select multiple answers? –  dzieciou Feb 9 '12 at 13:34
    
No, but you can select one and upvote any others that you like. –  user246 Feb 9 '12 at 14:42

5 Answers 5

up vote 3 down vote accepted

Post some feature description and a set of test cases you wrote for it, and ask for review.
Do the same with your automation test cases code at http://codereview.stackexchange.com.

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+1 for suggestion on codereview of automated test scripts. –  dzieciou Feb 8 '12 at 8:00

It is difficult to get direct feedback on testing skills, especially with regards to test techniques. I do have a couple of suggestions though:

  1. Find a testing mentor. This can be someone who has the same amount of experience you do but maybe in a different area or someone with vastly more experience. It doesn't really matter as long as you can learn from them.
  2. Find a small community or group of testers that challenge you and whom you can challenge a bit. That way you can do some small competitions between one another, focusing on different skills. Conferences and Meetups are good places to do this. If you know of any testing dojo's - join them.
  3. Join your local chapter of Weekend Testing.
  4. Participate in a testing competition like the Software Testing World Cup or any others that come up.

You can also take a few classes and get feedback. James Bach's Rapid Testing Intensive Online has students test a particular product and then James provides feedback (usually on everyone who submits work).

When you take BBST: Test Design and especially with BBST: Domain Testing you'll get really good feedback on your domain test technique skills.

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Looks like you are already emerging as a test leader there by your initiatives and encouragement of critical feedback.

I would suggest you get feedback from other stakeholders ( apart from developers) , explore feedback from people on the business side of things and from project management

Because as a unit providing test service , we are ultimately serving the business.

Note - you would have to tailor the questions in non tech lingo so that they understand and are encouraged to respond. Also usually some of the day to day test practices are hidden or only partially visible to project management or business management , hence this would take just more than sending them an email asking for feedback.

good luck

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In our organization, at least officially, visibility and access to people from other departments is kind of a "privilege". Visibility is given to PM to avoid information mess (PM knows how this feature should work), but I agree that this way it is harder for testers to advacate their bug reports. Of course, this is expected behavior. In practice, there are coffee meetings, lunches, etc., so I know a bit what's going on. –  dzieciou Feb 8 '12 at 7:58
    
get hold of them in the corridors , informal chat are some the best source of feedback since they tend to be informal and relaxed resulting in honest information –  the_reluctant_tester Feb 8 '12 at 19:09

Yes, it can be hard to get useful feedback when you are paving the way. A testing job is also a behind-the-scenes job. If you do a good job, everything just works and no one knows (or cares) what you did or how you did it.

It may take time for anyone to care enough about your automation to offer useful feedback. You may need to decide for yourself how you measure your progess. If you cannot get useful feedback on your tactics (e.g. whether your tests are coded in the best way), you may want to measure something more tangible. This may impact what you work on. For example, instead of writing automated tests, you may want to look for ways to automate the setup of manual tests. Manual testing may require populating databases in a certain way or configuring software in a cerain way. If you can automate that process, you can measure your success in terms of time savings.

If you have specific questions about how to write automated tests, this forum is a good place to ask.

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+1 for automatic setup for manual tests as a measure of benefits. In fact, I found the data created for automated tests useful also for manual tests. I will come back here with some specific questions soon. –  dzieciou Feb 8 '12 at 7:55

Do self review often on the below areas:

  1. How much time you are spending before and after automation? Ideally automation should reduce your work.
  2. Are you spending more time on fixing the automation for minor requirement change or for new requirement? If yes then you have to improve the automation design.
  3. Are you having Root cause analysis meeting with QA and DEV team once in a month? Often good action items for issues will come up here.
  4. Include DEV in the test code and plan review.
  5. Are you confident to rely on the automation for all P1 test cases? If you have covered the important checks, then it's good.
  6. Always find areas to improve the automation. Like to automate the BVT after the continuous deployment, better reporting, nightly regression, dynamic test data.
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What are P1 test cases? What is BVT? Boundary Value Testing? –  dzieciou Oct 30 at 11:53
1  
P1 are high priority test cases. BVT is the Build Verification Test. –  user2680325 Oct 30 at 15:40

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