TestWarez 2017 part 2

Entry 17

After the event-packed day one that went from 4 am to 1 am next day I needed to sleep longer so I missed the first track and when I went down for breakfast I have met some friends from NVM so I missed the second track to do some catching up – no regrets here! Socializing and “networking” are important on events like TestWarez.

Although I must admit, I do not like “networking” word too much, it sounds too artificial to me, like I am only doing this so I can later put some new faces on the wall and link them with red string or something 😉

I also managed to get pic with Mr. App 😉

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Mr.App

Anyways, I  spent some time talking to people and got caught in the discussions so much that when I finally made it to presentation room it was 11:35. Just in time to hear “How to escape traps of testing and development in multiple streams of work” by Bruno Mańczak.

Bruno talked about 9 traps (areas of problems) he encountered in some of his projects and how the team got out of them. While the solutions might have been more project specific, the traps are quite common:

  1. Framework/process –  Use existing ones  (which one) or create a new one?
  2. Tools – what to choose to make the best match?
  3. Conflicts (code merge) – problems with dependencies.
  4. Automation – what to automate and how to maintain the test archive?
  5. Documentation – how to document only what is needed in a way everyone will understand?
  6. Release – how not to hang yourself at the end of a pipeline?
  7. Communication – how to make it efficient, clean and satisfying?
  8. Standards vs. creativity – how to be open to creative ideas while not creating separate rules for every team in the long run?
  9. Personal conflicts – how to prevent them and solve them when they happen anyway?

Worth noting down and looking at next time something is not working as smooth as it should. The most important thought from this, that I wrote down for myself, was:

Don’t be afraid of challenges and problems.
You can sit down and talk it out and solve it.

20171117_131816.jpgLater, as planned, I attended “Test Case vs. Customer Use Case” by Piotr Wójtowicz. For me, it was the most confusing presentation I attended during this conference.

Why? Well, on one hand, it was interesting to compare the “old-school” standard Test Case understood as a defined single-decision partially white-box based situation with Customer Use Case. CUC is a very interesting approach itself, especially when it comes to really complicated systems that require an in-depth business knowledge.20171117_132231.jpg

On the other hand, Piotr concentrated a lot of his (and ours) attention on things that were a bit too business-specific and made the comparison between TC and CUC very brief and superficial. Maybe just 45 minutes were simply not enough time for this thought-provoking topic.  I’d sure love to talk more about this – maybe on a discussion group on some other meeting or conference.

What can we talk about after lunch? “Power of optimism and agile personal development“. It was a really fun and inspiring presentation. Although it seems that we all know it on some level, it was good to be reminded how good it is for us, when we feel positive and optimistic. And, it is also good for our employers –  when we feel better, we work better.

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Jędrzej also talked about planning your life like it was an Agile project. May seem weird, but it works! I planned my wedding using agile tools last year and I can say with certainty that it was effective (and my friend who also got married around the same time says it seemed easier in my case). The best things about doing it was using the experience about Agile that I already had – keeping things simple, categorized and prioritized. Using backlog and sprints to manage tasks and time proved to be easier than my usual planning with just calendar and lots of post-its scattered around the house…

I am not one of those people who overly believe that only you limit yourself and “if you can visualize something you will surely get it”, but I do believe that reminding yourself of the positive sides of the situations and trying to look for the silver lining can help.

Last but not least, there was “Blind leading the blind – Who are you? – Self-discovery tools for a successful career increased productivity and happiness” with Mateusz Holewski, whom I have met before as one of the TestFest organizers. 18

Mateusz talked about how he once had so much work that he started to do some random personality test, like “Which Disney princess are You?”. We’ve all been there, don’t deny it… This lead him to investigate further into personality tests and theories of personality types.

First one he talked about was classic Jung’s theory that personality can be described as a point in the continuum in the four pairs of oppositions: Extraversion vs. Introversion, Sensing vs. Intuition, Thinking vs. Feeling, and Judging vs. Perceiving. You can take a test constructed to discover which of the sixteen possible personality types. When you know which type you are you can read more about that type, its’ strengths and weaknesses. If this is interesting to you take a moment to read about Myers-Briggs Type Indicator. MBTI foundation offers the whole programme where you learn how to live better and be a better version of yourself based on personality type.

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If sixteen personalities seem as not enough, there is also a spectral model of Big Five (sometimes also called OCEAN). In this model there are five factors taken into account:big-five-personality-model

  • Openness to experience
  • Conscientiousness
  • Extraversion
  • Agreeableness
  • Neuroticism

Five factors are equally placed in a circle, where  Personality is the “place” where vectors settled between “accurate” on the circle and “inaccurate” towards the circle middle. Again, you take a test and when you know where you are in the model, you can use it to learn about yourself and how you can do somethings better using your personality traits.

If you’d rather take a serious big test connected with a lot of info and documentation you get afterwards, you might be into StrengthsFinder from Gallup.

Are you a learner, an achiever or an includer? If you’ve seen those terms before, you’re probably one of the nine million people who has taken Gallup Inc.’s StrengthsFinder test. The workplace diagnostic quiz is a favorite at companies ranging from Facebook to Harley-Davidson.

Test is bought together with the book that helps you work further with your results – how to maximize your strenghts and forget about your flaws. This is the approach that states you should only focus on learning how to make the most of things/ aspects you are 56454already good with and as for the weaknesses… just let them be. To take the test you have to buy a book and one book equals one test code or you can buy the test and additional action plan on the Gallup center page.

Some people say that it is a really good tool to better understand yourself and thus improve your life, some say that working just on your best sides may result in forgetting that you have weaknesses and it is important to work on those too… And some people say it is a bit of a scam to get you to take a test and get a plan to improve your life for 89,99 USD 😉

I never gave personality tests much thought but I read a bit about them after this presentation and I must admit I was surprised how well INFJ type from MBTI is really.. well, me. It is really great that there was place on TestWarez for Mateusz to speak about this!

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That’s it, the 2017 TestWarez. Was it good? It was awesome.
Was it worth being exhausted? 150%
Do I want to go again? Hell yes 🙂

Were You there? What are Your memories and thoughts? Share it in the comments section!

Next time:  Why I love (mostly) going to meetups and why I (sometimes) hate it…

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