NOV. 8 – 13, 2020


Lord of the Sprints: Fellowship of the Test

How to get your team into quality collaboratively

This talk is about my journey as a tester coming from a developer background. When I was a developer, even though I wrote unit and integration tests, I despised testers. This is because I used to get a lot of bug reports from them when I used to work at NEC in the Philippines. Back then, I used to work a lot of overtime. Like 16-20 hours a day, almost 7 days a week. So you would imagine, how easily bugs could pile up. It also didn’t help that our project deadlines were too short. A 2 year project would be done in 1 year, for example. So after 2 years of incessant over time I quit the job and went to teaching.

So the greatest irony of it all was when I came to the Netherlands and after my year as an au pair, I got to work for a consultancy company who assigned me to work as a tester for NEC Philips as my first job. Then I worked in internal projects within my consultancy company for a while before I moved on to work for XS4ALL, where I am now. In my entire career, I’ve seen not only developers but also architects and project managers think of testers negatively. That they cause project delays/bottlenecks. I’ve been even called Darth Tester once.

Anyway, I worked with a lot of waterfall projects in XS4ALL in my first 4-5 years there. And what made it also quite challenging was that I contracted Carpal Tunnel Syndrome on both my hands. In those first 4-5 years, I noticed that despite being a tester, I had some kind of “street cred” coming from a developer background. But it didn’t mean that I had it easy. I had to use my developer background to help me develop my testing skills. Knowing that my Carpal Tunnel wasn’t going to get any better because of my job, I decided to look into test automation tools to see if I could automate most if not all of the regression test sets that I had. Many times, I heard the word “No” coming from a developer or two or a fellow tester.

It wasn’t until the company transitioned to Agile Scrum 5 years ago and I was transferred to Team Online to be their dedicated tester that I was able to start working on test automation, collaborating with the developers into making “testable” software and help shift the mindset from “quality is the tester’s job” to “software quality is a team effort”.

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