Engaging with your Internal Testing Community

Many organisations are moving towards an Agile approach to the work environment; instead of having teams consisting purely of testers, the teams are now set up consisting of multiple functions. An example of an agile team is one which could consist of Developers, a Business Analyst, Product Owner and a Tester. While there are many benefits to this approach, such as the ability to work with all roles when thinking, designing and creating features or products, a challenge has been ensuring the internal testing community is still able to engage with each other regularly.

Ensuring testers communicate and meet with each other regularly, regardless of whether they are in another team, or not, is important. It’s essential that you are able to talk with other testers to discuss test techniques, share approaches you have taken, or to discuss potential issues that you need to troubleshoot.

In this blog post, I’m going to cover why it is important to have an internal testing community, i’ll outline some methods to keep the internal testing community alive, as well as some tools that I find helpful in my workplace.

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The Importance of Acceptance Criteria

Build the product right while building the right product

Acceptance criteria are an important part to the iterative planning process when working under an agile methodology.  Having clearly defined acceptance criteria, that are written in line with your user stories, is an essential way to ensure you and your team know when the story has been completed.

Acceptance criteria helps to remove the confusion and uncertainty in the team and it is important to have the right people in the room when creating these. Each role has it’s place in the agile team, each with a set of skills that add to the quality of the acceptance criteria.

We can avoid nasty surprises at the end of the sprint, by ensuring we have clearly defined acceptance criteria before any code has been written.

We can ensure that we are building the product right, by constantly reviewing and checking off the acceptance criteria, we can ensure we are building the right product by having the discussions with the people that matter before any code has been written.

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Getting Started with UI Test Automation


If you want to get started in Test Automation, then I find jumping straight into it is the fastest way to learn. Some might suggest you need a certain level of coding knowledge before designing a well constructed automation pack, while I agree that a level of coding knowledge is going to allow you to build a robust framework that is easy to maintain, jumping right into writing automation will quickly give you a foundation which you can build upon.

When you are passionate about something, you learn a lot faster by doing.

Below is a small list of resources I have found useful when I started learning about test automation,  I’ve tried to keep the list of resources to a reasonable size, as if you are provided with an endless number of resources then it makes it harder to work out what resources you should use.

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Test Automation Helpful Tips


Test Automation is a controversial topic with many differing thoughts, ideas and opinions. Does automation speed up the development process? Should developers create the automation in all testing levels? Should QA’s upskill and write UI level automation?

Automation, like most things in testing, is context dependent. While one organisation is able to utilise automation to ship software rapidly with a level of confidence, other organisations struggle to get the benefit for the amount of effort and resources that are put in.

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Exploratory Testing

What is Exploratory Testing?

Exploratory software testing is an approach that can help uncover bugs quickly. It is described as simultaneously learning, test design, analysing and executing tests.

Cem Kaner, who coined the term in 1993, now defines exploratory testing as “a style of software testing that emphasizes the personal freedom and responsibility of the individual tester to continually optimize the quality of his/her work by treating test-related learning, test design, test execution, and test result interpretation as mutually supportive activities that run in parallel throughout the project.“ Exploratory testing can be seen as a structured approach that promotes lean documentation.

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Mind Maps

Using Mind Maps in Software Testing

There are many ways to create a successful mind map for testing an application, feature or product. In this blog post, we will look through a couple of ways to help document, execute, report and collaborate my testing efforts.

I have found mind maps allow me to move really fast to get a collection of ideas. I am then able to use these to easily share between team members to collect the information I need from them, and to ensure everyone is collaborating on what is being tested. It also allows me to have quick simple test design, and test report, so when asked by a product owner, I can sit down and go through what was tested and why.

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