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People in Testing Interview with Dan Billing

People in Testing Interview with Dan BillingThis time in the “People in Testing” series, I had the chance to interview Dan Billing also known as “TheTestDoctor” on twitter. Dan ​has been a tester for 15 years, working within a diverse range of development organisations, mostly in the south west of England. He currently works as a test engineer at New Voice Media, where most of his time is spent working on the security testing needs of the business. This includes mentoring, supporting and training members of the team to use these skills also.

Daniel: What is currently your biggest challenge at work?

Dan Billing: Learning and developing skills and strategies in application security are my main challenges in testing. Without talking about technical or business specifics, the issues include ensuring that test design, strategies and processes are created that are appropriate to the organisation and our compliance obligations.
Part of my role is also to enable members of the team to do security testing. I will consult with the other feature teams. I’ll enable mentoring and learning where needed. I often set up internal workshops, one to one sessions, test collaboration, documentation and blog posts on security testing matters. It helps develop skills around the team, so that one person isn’t a blocker to getting things done, and can get started in their personal learning.
Skills development is a huge problem for organisations that are trying to build up their test strategies to include security, usually where it wasn’t considered in the past. Quite often security testing is considered an afterthought in development organisations, or it is outsourced to specialist third party consultancies.
Penetration testing and security experts are generally extremely expensive to recruit into teams, either because of rates of pay, or because the people you want to hire just aren’t easy to find and recurity.
Also recently we have seen a number of high profile hacks that have brought the most basic security vulnerabilities into sharp focus. Both the Talk Talk and the VTech hacks were done using SQL Injection, which is common, easy to identify and exploit. If it is easy for the hackers to find these vulnerabilities, why not testers too?

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People in Testing with Viktor Johansson

Viktor Johansson - Adventures in QAThis time in the “People in Testing” series, I had the chance to interview Viktor Johansson. Viktor is currently working in New York City for a tech startup called Axial. Viktor is very passionate about mobile testing and likes to build devices labs with lego. If you have any kind of question to Viktor, you can contact via twitter.

Daniel: What is currently your biggest challenge at work?

Viktor: To keep up with our several, weekly releases. As an embedded tester in an agile team, there is a lot to test. New features are constantly being built. I need, together with the team, prioritize my testing and try to identify risk areas quickly. I am a strong believer in dogfooding. Everybody in an organization can test and bring value to a product. I have received good support from different stakeholders across the organization. Building those relationships, bridging channels of communication has been invaluable. It has not only helped increase the quality of our product, but has also given me a greater understanding of the business in order to be a better tester. Communication with the end users has also been essential. Read more

People in Testing with Katrina Clokie

Adventures in QA - Katrina ClokieThis time in the “People in Testing” series, I had the chance to interview Katrina Clokie. Katrina is a very passionate software testing expert in various testing fields. She is an active contributor to the software testing community and the editor of the Testing Trapeze magazine. If you have any kind of question to Katrina, you can contact her on twitter.

 

Daniel: What is currently your biggest challenge at work?
Katrina: Since April I’ve been working in a test coaching role. My biggest challenge has been establishing good individual relationships with all the testers I work with. I spend a lot of time thinking about the number of interactions we have and what they are, as I know their primary responsibility is to their delivery teams and in some ways my work is a distraction from that. I am aiming to be approachable and helpful, without being overbearing and annoying. I hope I’m finding the right balance. Read more

People in Testing with Richard Bradshaw

Adventures in QA - Richard BradshawThis time in the “People in Testing” series, I had the chance to interview Richard Bradshaw aka the FriendlyTester.

Daniel: What is currently your biggest challenge at work?

Richard: Time! I am currently the sole tester on a project. Responsible for the testing of the apps, which include iOS, Android the a responsive website. Also until recently, this also included a windows phone app. It’s a lot to manage. So it becomes a real balancing act as to where I spend my time. Fortunately the team is aware of this and we stagger the releases. We tend to have iOS ready at least a week before Android. Then the web is more sporadic, mainly because we are able to release that instantly, so the risk is lower, due to the fact we can instantly rollback or push a fix if something was to go wrong, this isn’t as easy with the apps, especially iOS, due to the submission times. Another advantage of the way we work is that the platforms are aligned, meaning that we tend to be delivering the same functionality to all at the same time. This is advantageous to me as I can test across platforms at the same time, but also as with most projects, there is a lot of tacit knowledge, so testing all three while it’s still there helps. Read more

People in Testing Interview with José Díaz

People in Testing Interview with José Díaz - Adventures in QAThis time in the “People in Testing” series, I had the chance to interview José Díaz the creator of the famous software testing conference in Europe, the Agile Testing Days.

Daniel: What is currently your biggest challenge at work?

José: Due to the great job of my colleagues during the last years we are growing extremely fast. The challenge is to find the right people that fit into the company’s culture and are able to work in the innovative projects of our clients.

What do you think is the most important skill software testers should have?

I don’t think that there is only one. It is a combination of a few. In my eyes, you do not need to be the best tester ever to help your team.  I think that respect for the work of the people involved in the project and also the ability to be a team member and contributing your individual strengths are very important. The skills should match with the project and the team and therefore may change from project to project. Read more