Reading List for January 2018 - Week 3

This week we have some good picks from the news and from the industry at large. I've also added a few CFPs in the list to highlight that it's go time for those of us that want to submit conference papers for various conferences. I'm partial to TestBash'es, but mention KCDC since it's my home town as well.

An FYI - The cinnamon roll story could be triggering for some. There are not a lot of graphic details about certain things, but the very creative way she describes how she makes and eats the cinnamon rolls could give those of us that have strange relationships with food a bit of a pause.

The shutdown happened. We are all waiting for the collective of the White House and Congress to pull their heads out of their butts and figure it out. NASA and a number of science initiatives are affected, along with millions of kids and DREAMers. It's disgusting how being decent humans somehow doesn't figure into the picture for anyone in D.C. - that's a blanket stat…

Reading List for January 2018 - Week 2

While I was looking for a better application to sync all my bookmarks up, I discovered Notion and I've been playing around with it ever since. I've also moved most of my bookmarks to this app and created some new things, like a weekly reading list.

I read a lot. I like keeping track of what I've been reading so maybe at some point, I can go back and reference something if I need to. I was tweeting my readings each Sunday, but that seemed like a lot of spam as it was around 10 or so separate tweets.

This tool allows me to aggregate my readings and even comment on them inline. Additionally, if anyone has comments on the readings, they can comment on each link individually. I'm not sure if you can do that without a Notion account, but we'll see soon enough.

What My Dogs Taught Me About The Tech Industry

"Stop a minute, right where you are. Relax your shoulders, shake your head and spine like a dog shaking off cold water. Tell that imperious voice in your head to be still." - Barbara Kingsolver
A list of things I've learned from my dogs and from working in the tech industry.
Sensitive creatures are sensitive. Dogs are extremely sensitive to their environment, so are teams and companies, whether they admit to it or not. If they've been abused, they become wary of someone trying to help them. You HAVE to earn their trust, even for things that seem pretty easy and have very little risk.

The counter to that is understanding when you might not be the best option for the dog, or the client. Some groups are never going to be comfortable with some consultant types, very much like some dogs who pick the people they think they can associate with the best. Don't try to force a client, or group, to like you. Show you can be trusted first, but don't be surprised if you …

Postman In The Pipeline: Newman Delivers

It's not me, it's the songs. 
I'm just the postman, 
I deliver the songs....
 - Bob Dylan

Recently, I've had the chance to work on a project with some other awesome folks which has involved creating a BFF - A back end for front end service. This allows the app to access several API and aggregate calls into something the app can use, or lets the app send information to the BFF for several APIs to receive.

Part of the code coverage for the BFF was creating some simple tests with Postman around the business logic and interactions.

Learning About Postman I did lots of reading. Lots of reading how others has done things (Danny Danton - big props for being a super help!). Eventually, I came down to a small set of tests which could give us some accuracy about our BFF pipeline and the APIs we were accessing with it.

Postman has a couple of options for this, global variables, environmental variables, and plain variables. One of the first problems I came across was gathering a vari…

Testing @ ThoughtWorks: A TestBash Experience

I have been attending TestBash prior to signing onto ThoughtWorks. This year I enlisted the help of a fellow tester, Abby Bangser, and we recruited a couple of other TW'ers to spend their conference dollars going to TestBash USA in Philadelphia.

From Left to Right: Abby Bangser, Hiyasmin Dimaranan,  David Corrales, Melissa Eaden, Darrel Grainger
For those of you that don't read my blog regularly, TestBash USA is a pretty awesome event, along with all it's co-events that happen throughout the year which focuses on community and testing.

It's different from other Testing Conferences because it does exactly what it's mission is: Help testers, Aid the community at-large, and help people network within the context of testing and software development.

TestBash USA was 2 days long and offered a single track each day. The first day even had a new event called The Testing Circus.

The Testing Circus is a carousel style learning event where you can move from station to station …

Why Testing Is Like Writing: It Takes Years Of Practice

“Being a writer is a very peculiar sort of job: It’s always you versus a blank sheet of paper (or a blank screen) and quite often the blank piece of paper wins.” —Neil Gaiman

I had a recent thought that writing is very much like testing. You have to learn it much like you learn most languages, developing a vocabulary, working on the pronunciations, and then figuring how to make a proper sentence.

That's all a lot harder than most people realize. We grow up in systems of learning that expose us to writing and language every day. We are inundated by the daily routine of learning language from the moment we learn how to speak.

Most testers I've known didn't start with Exploratory Testing. They started with test cases, probably dealing with regression, writing out hundreds of them, running through an application which they previously had no prior knowledge.

The description above includes myself. I didn't start off doing ad hoc anything. People wanted me to prove that w…

Dear Tester: Github Is Your Friend

"It's never too late - in fiction or in life - to revise" - Nancy Thayer
Personal confession time. I have no idea why it's taken me so long to realize that I too could be a regular github user. For years, I've used it on projects, learned the basic commands for the command line so I could switch repos quickly, whether it was for automation projects or software development, I used github with little thought about how I could use it myself.

Somehow, one comment from one of the developers I'm currently working with, on a project I've been pairing regularly with developers, my mental context about github shifted. He asked about my github and if I had anything there. I responded, no, I used it for practice. I didn't really keep anything there.

I realized, much to my utter horror, that I could have been keeping all of my little coding projects and all of my code notes in one spot. Things that I've come up with and used for automation, small scripts I&#…