This time in the “People in Testing” series, I had the chance to interview Eddy Bruin, who is an agile test coach in the Netherlands. Eddy is the co-founder of BUXIT, a community which goal it is to improve products through attention for User Experience.
Daniel: What is currently your biggest challenge at work?
Eddy: I’m currently an Agile coach in a big firm. It’s all pretty new to them and most of the developers are working on the other end of the world. My biggest challenge is coaching these people with the limited facilities we have. Only talking to a phone is hardly enough to create a team spirit and to communicate effectively. The biggest test challenge in this aspect is letting the team realize there are more ways to test besides exhaustive checking while treating the application as a complete black box. Let’s say that every time we change the color of the car the testers want to test the gearbox again.
Which test automation tool do you recommend for mobile apps and why?
I think the best tool is still to come. Appium looks the most promising, but the maturity is still not on par with other automation tools. I believe that multiple tools will pass the bar in the future from a technical point of view. The most important to me is that such automation tools support an ATDD/BDD framework around it. In that way the stakeholders directly have more insight in what is actually tested. Cucumber, Fitnesse and Gauge (previously Twist) are good examples of this.
What do you think is the next big thing in the software testing world?
I see testers are on one hand more on the turf of business analysts. Understanding what business value is and what to test in a smarter way. On the technology and usability side I think there are other exciting challenges for testers. I see that more devices are interacting with each other using new types of interaction and sensors. Smart wristbands, smart watches and domotica are examples of this. I think these devices will change the way people think about their own behavior and it gives companies more insight in what people really want. I think Human Device Interaction, API’s, monitoring performance and data analyses will be the most interesting parts in testing in this area.
What is your current smartphone, tablet and why?
This won’t be a short answer. Not because I have many devices, but because of the type of smartphones and tablets I own. Chinese smartphones and tablets are a hobby of mine so if you’re not familiar with such kind of devices you might want to look them up. My current phone is an Umi Zero, a wonderful design and powerful phone, the battery is however not sufficient for my usage pattern. I also own a Xiaomi Hongmi 1. My current tablet is a Chuwi VX8, not a performance monster, but it does the job and it has a mini HDMI port. But hey I bought it for 80 euro’s and it works like a charm! Why I own these devices is sometimes also to me a mystery. I think price and uniqueness has something to do with it. Chinese devices cost almost 1/3rd of almost equally, and sometimes even more, powerful devices of more popular brands like Samsung. Plus I really like to see how the market and phone manufacturers are developing. Xiaomi for instance is the 3rd largest smartphone manufacturer in the world soon to trump Samsung from the 2nd place and the company only exists for 5 years! These kind of things intrigue me. If you want to know more about Chinese phones I recommend www.gizchina.com (they also have a .de and .it website)
Eddy, you are hosting bug hunts on conferences, what was the best bug you have ever found?
The best bug in the bug hunt you mean? Well since I’m most of the time facilitating such bug hunts and not testing myself I can’t really remember the best one we found. What always surprises me is that you find so many different kinds of bugs so quick. It showed me that having multiple competences on the team is a great assets while testing. The latest bug hunt I did was conducted on an application which was already on the market for some time. Still we found 24 bugs in 10 minutes! And yes even a crash! That is what amazes me.
Eddy Bruin has been working as a test consultant from the beginning of 2008. His passion lies in the areas of agile, testing, usability and mobile. He helps organizations in enabling feedback loops in order to deliver better products. Furthermore he is Co-founder of BUXIT – a community which goal is to improve products though attention for User Experience. Currently he is an agile test coach for a large bank in the Netherlands. Follow him on twitter: @eddybruin