Saturday, December 31, 2011

Reflecting on 2011

While shopping at Costco for our New Year celebration yesterday I could not help overhearing people talking about their new year resolutions. How they will stop doing this or start doing that to make things better in the new year. I don't really think resolutions themselves work as you have to better yourself all throughout the year, not just once. At least people are trying. Hearing these people did cause me to reflect on 2011 and further back.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

An Explorer Inspired by a Buccaneer - AST Newsletter

The Association of Software Testing has kindly published an article of mine in their latest newsletter today. The link is here. The article is about my journey for professional self-discovery and how I moved into freelance testing. I hope you like it.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

New Skill Learned at CAST 2011 - SBTM

One of the new practical skills I picked up at CAST 2011 was Session-Based Test Management (SBTM). During the testing competition the Miagi-Do team applied this practice to manage time due to the short time-constraints of the competition. We decided on 20-minute test sessions and after each one, Markus Gärtner, our ‘test master’, would hold a 5-minute debrief. It was tough to tune into the discussions at times but I thought it was a brilliant technique that really helped us to achieve our testing mission.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Had a Blast at CAST 2011

CAST 2011 is over. I am still digesting the impressions and events of the last 3 days. I feel both intoxicated from all the information and energy I consumed as well as inspired and giddy. This was my first CAST. As a n00b I had the advantage of experiencing and feeling things more acutely than someone who has already attended a similar event or two like this before.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Guest Post at uTest: Early Impressions of a Mobile App Tester

Exciting news! I was featured as a guest blogger at uTest (

When I was growing up in Siberia I dreamed of becoming either a ballerina or a painter. I have always loved ballet and dancing and I also enjoyed painting Siberian landscapes in watercolors. For the longest time I thought that I was more of an artistic or right-brain type person. I am still not sure how I ended up working in the Information Technology field.  At some point, I found that I loved breaking websites (aka testing) and haven’t stopped since.  I catch myself testing my son’s electronic toys, neighbor’s coffee machine as well as countless smartphones…which brings me to my latest passion: mobile app testing. In fact, I’m writing this post on a break from a very intense work week, during which I tackled 7 uTest projects – with 5 of them being mobile projects!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Questing in Boston

I received a 'QUEST 2011: Thank You Letter' from QAI Global Institute yesterday that was emailed to the participants list. I meant to post a blog about the conference when I came back on April 8 but got carried away with my busy work routine and getting ready for a release. This email brought back good memories and I thought I would share a few sentiments here.

This was my first testing conference and I did not know what to expect. Granted I have been to quite a few international conferences when I worked as an interpreter but those were on oil and gas, US-Russia business relations, auto shows and international law. My responsibility was to help people communicate, negotiate, resolve conflicts and build relationships. 

Monday, March 28, 2011

Certification, Smertification...Look What I Got

It's been a few weeks since I completed the Black Box Software Testing Foundations course and submitted my final exam... I finally feel that I caught my breath after such an intense learning experience. I have never read, reviewed, deciphered through and written so much information in 4-week time period in my life! The course material is amazing with lots of useful information and exercises included.

I worked very hard during the course, probably harder than a native English-speaking student. There were days when I felt drained, brain-dead and frustrated. I contemplated quitting a couple of times as I was fatigued. I was learning so much, however, which kept me motivated.

I think this course is a must for any testing professional who feels passionate about our craft. It does help to have some experience under your belt. Otherwise it could be hard to comprehend and hard for a student to relate to real life situations based on the reading material and lectures. My major obstacle was understanding Code Coverage, what it measures or highlights, and associated risks and benefits of using Code Coverage. I had heard the term used before and knew that programmers at work employed it to measure the amount of code that some test has executed. But that was about the extent of my knowledge.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

A Birthday and a Gift

My son's birthday is in a few weeks and I have been thinking about a gift for him. I have also been reminiscing about our journey together.

It's been seven years since he came to live with us. Back then my mother was in charge of a baby home, an orphanage for babies and toddlers, in my hometown in Siberia. She and I usually catch up over a weekend and back then she would update me on what's going on with the babies, who started talking and walking and who found new families and share the stories of the newcomers. Some of those stories were heartbreaking. One of them was the story of my son.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

How I Got into Mobile Testing and My Adventure with Buying a Droid Incredible on eBay

I got into mobile testing by chance during the uTest 4th Quarter bug battle. Granted I have owned a few Nokia phones that I inadvertently tested for durability...I left one on the car roof and drove away, drowned another one in the river while fishing, dropped a 3rd one from a deck onto a concrete floor in a backyard. I was very nervous when I got my first smart phone, a Palm Pre. I liked it because it was small (I was hoping I would not drop it as much), had a sliding keyboard, a multi-tasking feature where you can have a bunch of apps open at one time and just push them out of the way like cards and then bring them back up via the touch screen gestures. Figuring it out was intuitive but there are not many fun apps for it. OK there is Angry Birds, Evernote, and a few others..but nothing like what my husband's Droid Incredible (DINC) phone had at the time. He would tell me of another new app every week.

Then came the uTest Bug Battle when I had to beg my husband to let me use his phone since neither eBay nor Overstock had an app for the Pre. As we both used eBay and Overstock apps he kept complaining about things not being user-friendly or a resource hog. I was ecstatic however as I was able to log these bugs. By the end of the Bug Battle I knew I had to get my own Droid phone.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Geekette's Shopping List

Christmas and New Year Holidays are over. I celebrate both holidays but don't like shopping for gifts. In the last two years I have done most of my shopping online. Not only is it convenient, easy and fun but it also presents an opportunity for me to learn about new web and mobile apps and features.

I like shopping on the most. It seems that each time I visit the site there is something new to play with - a new button, search options, promotions and specials. I love the 'Add to Wish List' button feature that can be used with any browser and allows to add items from any website to Amazon Wish List. Most of my US relatives and friends have wish lists so all I had to do was to check what's already been purchased --another great feature under 'Wish list' =>Show:Purchased--and add items to cart.