Wednesday, July 28, 2021

QA Open Season w/ panel people (@Xpanxion #QASummit 2021) : Live Blog

All right, here comes the last formal activity of the day. We are all gathered for a Q&A shootout with a panel of six participants:

  • Rachel Kibler
  • Carlos Kidman
  • Greg Paskal
  • Jason Bryant
  • Marcus Merrell
  • Matthew Heusser
The questions for this session have been generated via and we've covered a number of questions, such as:

"What is the path for software testers going forward if you may not specifically be aiming towards being a technical tester?"

The general consensus is that there are so many possible avenues to explore and get involved in that worrying if you are not suited for automation, you need not worry that your career is over or that you will be replaced. If you apply your brain effectively in an organization and bring value with your efforts, you will run circles around any computer and script. Maybe not fast circles, but circles nonetheless. 

What is the difference between the hype and reality behind AI and ML?

In general, the hype around replacing the human with a computer seems to inspire investors much more than it inspires organizations. AI and ML should be focusing on the data science so that we can actually learn from the data we already have accumulated. Now that could be valuable (and I very much agree :) ).

How does your organization demonstrate the ROI on the testing investment?

The consensus is that if you lead with risk, the odds are that the C suite will start paying attention. Many ideas may take precedence at random times but talking about the actual risks, lead with risk and the C Level folks will year you. 

What are some ways to get testers to think more about quality?

Rachel voiced that she has a quality coach on every team but not necessarily a tester on every team. IOW, the role of testing may or may not be as critical as the role of quality but the role of quality itself certainly is.

A question that I will in no way be able to repeat because it was too verbose...?

Learn to ask better questions and learn when to avoid useless/needless buzzwords.

We interrupt this program to have a company jingle breakdown (you had to be there ;) ).

Can Unit Testing Be used as Integration Testing?

Seems the consensus is they are two different things. It's what you do with them that matters. Add two and two in your head. That's a Unit Test. Check the time... let me grab my watch... that's an integration test. Works for me :).

What is the #1 issue facing the QA world currently? What is the hottest trend?

The biggest issue is not testing the right thing. This extends to testing on devices people actually use (including mobile devices and Internet of Things devices). The biggest trend is ignoring failures and moving on as though there are not issues, and that is problematic, to say the least. Observability is a hot property and we are just at the beginning of what might be possible. 

How do we get our management teams to focus on iOS testing (or mobile testing)?

It seems that iOS in several organizations is not being actively tested or distantly compared to other infrastructures. the answers tend to range around risk and the fact that things break. Quantify how bad things could be if iOS interactions would be compromised or made unusable. My guess is a lot of users would be locked out and would effectively stop a revenue stream and that should light a fire under some people.

And that's a wrap.... oh, and Marvel (LOL!)

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