People in Testing Q&A with Tobias Geyer

Tobias Geyer - Adventures in QAThis time in “People in Testing” I had the chance to interview Tobias Geyer, who is a former colleague and one of my hardest proof readers of my book. Tobias has a very good testing knowledge and is this kind of guy who is catching the really nasty bugs. If you are on twitter you have to follow him @the_qa_guy.

Daniel: Tobias, what is currently your biggest challenge at work?

Tobias: My biggest challenge right now is to get a better understanding of the domain I’m working in to provide a more valuable testing to my team. The application we’re building is not that complex but it deals with the complex AUTOSAR standard. Each new version has a few features which I can test with my current knowledge and a lot of features where a detailed AUTOSAR knowledge is needed.
Luckily there are other people which support us with testing the AUTOSAR features but I’d really love to have this knowledge in the team as well.

What kind of test automation tool are you using during your workday?

Apart from the omnipresent Jenkins server I’m working with JUnit and froglogic Squish GUI Tester.

Well, I have to ask you this question. What was the best bug you have ever found? 🙂

My all time favorite is the delimiter issue in BMW navigation systems. There was a time when I was experimenting with bluetooth on my mobile phone and for fun I had set the device name to a blinking smiley: “;-)”
Before leaving on a longer trip I paired my phone with the navigation system in my wife’s car to use the “hands free call” feature. Everything worked fine until my wife wanted to change the order of paired devices so that the car prefers her phones over mine. It wasn’t possible to change the order any more and the name of my device was shown as a blank entry.
It wasn’t even possible to remove the blank entry.
All we could do was remove all entries and pair her phones again.
Obviously my wife wasn’t happy about this and I learned that BMW seems to use a semicolon-separated list with unescaped device names to manage paired bluetooth devices.

What is the biggest difference in testing desktop software to web applications?

The biggest difference is the ability to monitor how the software is used and which problems people run into.
With a good monitoring in place it’s possible to detect and even fix issues in web applications before more than a few people notice them. It’s also possible to see which parts of the application are used the most and focus on those.
The application I’m working on doesn’t “phone home” at all so we have to find issues them before delivery or wait for customers to report them. We also have to rely on feedback from customers or sales representatives to learn which features are used the most.

What was the last book you have read in the software testing world and can you recommend it?

The last book I read was the german translation of “Explore It!” by Elisabeth Hendrickson and I can fully recommend it. If you’re a beginner in the software testing world it’s a great way to learn many helpful things fast (our intern summarized it with “This book made me think like a tester”). If you’ve already got some experience the book is a good reminder and summary of all the things you know already. Having read both the german and the english version I can recommend them both.

About – Tobias Geyer

Tobias Geyer never chose testing as a career on purpose but after more than 10 years of working in this field he’s glad he joined it.
His experience ranges from waterfall environments in big enterprises to small agile teams. His love to learn and exchange knowledge made him co-found the “Software Testing User Group Hamburg” which he ran until he moved to the other end of Germany. Together with his great team he won the “NRG Global test competition” in 2014 and was a judge in the first Software Testing World Cup.
He loves to speak at conferences, blogs erratically at and tweets at He hates to write bios.