240: How to Listen to Your Tests with Alex Schladebeck

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Alex Schladebeck Test Talks Feature

Today we’ll be test talking with Alex Schladebeck about her views on Software Testing. Discover what linguistics has to do with testing, how to stop hating your UI tests and much more. If you're interested in software testing, you don’t want to miss this episode.

About Alex Schladebeck

Alex Schladebeck Headshot

Alex Schladebeck is Agile tester. Consultant. International keynote speaker. Linguist, musician, extrovert. Communicator. Sport & adrenaline junkie. Works at BREDEX GmbH.

Quotes & Insights from this Test Talk with Alex Schladebeck

  • One of the things that we learn in linguistics is looking at detail and then abstracting some models and getting back from models to look into detail. And the other thing that we have when you look at historical linguistics and sound shifts which is I did less of that but you're aware of them is that sometimes things stay quite the same for a long time with minimal changes here and there and then and then there is a shift then and you look back at those two versions and you go wow they don't sound like each other at all or it's hard to see where one came from the other.
  • I am fond of saying that like test data management is the new Continuous Integration. When I start to doubt Continuous Integration was painful. Nobody wanted to do it. Developers were often like if the testers really want it done they're going to have to do it themselves. And testers were often saying well we kind of need your support and used to do this as well. Now Continuous Integration is something that most people are like yeah we should totally be doing this-this is everyone's responsibility and I look at the next thing where I see test is going please will you help us to do this it's relevant for everyone and that one of those things is test data management doing that sensibly.
  • The first step is just even being aware that test data management is a thing that you're going to have to deal with especially when you're talking about automation.  So the first step is just being aware that that's the thing and knowing that that's actually going to cost you effort and cost you money and it will mean that people are going to have to do some work and do some upfront work. Currently, that's one of the I guess one of the biggest hurdles just getting people to be aware that this is something that they need to be looking at.
  • As a general rule I I definitely dis-prefer using the test to build up the test data and I know that you know if you're using UI or anything the robot doesn't care how much it does but it makes your test harder to write, harder to maintain it means that they don't just have one purpose. It means if you need to analyze something it takes a lot longer to analyze it because you first have to figure out OK did my test question actually fail or did I fail because of data set up or something. Anything that we can reduce from that is is definitely a bonus.
  • My violin teacher always told me to do more practice. And she was right if I practice I do get better. And it's the same with testing and we have to keep practicing.
  • So to improve that testing efforts. I think for me asking questions has always been the way forward. I love learning. I always have to and I was that kid at school but far from where they're asking questions and then trying to share my knowledge. So not being afraid to not know something, finding out about it, joining in the next conversation realizing OK I don't know this bit and then asking again and I think I do like the people who say that QA means question asker. And I think that is the one of the biggest skills that we have. Tools change, processes change, projects change, people change, so we have to be able to adapt to lots of new situations and asking questions is one of the best ways to do that.

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