In this blog series, we speak with testing professionals from various industries. At Testersuite , we like to hear the various views on testing and what keeps a test professional busy. In this edition of Let's Talk About Test, meet Bas Geukes, Information Manager at the Groene Hart Hospital (GHZ).
"It is very important to test from your process and not from the software!"
Just a heads up: Who is Bas?
I am Bas (37) and I live in Gouda with my wife Eva, daughter Vera (7) and son Sven (4). Gouda is where I was born and raised. During my studies I lived in other cities, but eventually I returned to Gouda.
Did you want to become a test manager in primary school?
Hahaha, no definitely not. I had no idea what I wanted to be. Of course, you always get something from your parents. My father did something with ICT, for instance. He worked for a logistics company that Apple used for the European market. So we were sometimes able to take over something. So we had a Mac at home. I thought that was great. This was around 1990 when I was 6 years old.
The funny thing is that in those days some children were not allowed to play with me because we had a computer. Some parents saw that as scary machinery. And yet, in 1990, we were already quite advanced with computers.
How did you get into the testing business?
I am a project manager and information advisor at the GHZ. We are in the middle of renewing our application landscape. The EPD system has been replaced by Nexus software. This meant that a lot of testing had to be done. I indicated that I would like to set up the test process within this programme. For example, I did the PDMS Workspace project for the IC and now the Workspace OK is on the schedule.
What does that mean?
It's about making sure that the new software can be set up from within the care process. That means testing beforehand to ensure that the software is safe.
I gained some experience with testing as an ICT manager in another organisation. There I managed and replaced applications myself. Then you have to test yourself as well. But that was less professional than how we do it now at the GHZ.
At the GHZ, we have established a mature testing process and secured it with an application intended for that purpose. That is how I got into testing. I really enjoy doing this and setting up and supervising the testing of the application landscape.
Where do you stand now with the testing process?
After designing and realizing the testing process, we now have a nice foundation in Testersuite. This allows us to start testing other applications and links as well. We know how to work in and with Testersuite. This has helped keep us ahead of schedule.
Is there still much work to be done?
With our previous EPR, we had 24 different facilities. One for each specialisation. This has now all been replaced by an integrated EPD in Nexus. Our mantra in renewing the application landscape is to structure, standardise and streamline.
Testing is now down the line. We have a release coordinator who makes full use of Testersuite. She determines when testing is done. She is a functional manager herself and coordinates testing to functional management and application management. In fact, she is the test coordinator.
"The challenge is in getting it right defect."
Do you have any challenges within this path?
It is very important that you test from your process and not from the software! You have to stay close to it. The challenge lies in getting a defect right. Think of the context of where you are testing and what you are testing. You have to get that right. This helps in the feedback to the software supplier. They must be able to reproduce an error in the software based on your defect. This in turn enables them to resolve an error quickly.
We do not use testers but project group members who are not used to testing. You have to help them and make sure that they get the hang of it.
Testersuite So does it help you take your testing process to a higher maturity?
Absolutely! By using Testersuite it is traceable in which test step something goes wrong. This gives you insight and control over your testing process. Before, if I asked if they had tested it, the answer was yes. But if I then asked what exactly they had tested and how, they no longer knew. Now everything is fixed in the steps and I can monitor it. That improves the quality of the testing.
It's just really nice that the people who are in the process also test. Through our linking of Testersuite with Jira, our software vendor is also immediately aware of the reports that our testers make. This flow is great. Actually, we have automated this whole process by linking Testersuite with Jira.
What milestones have you achieved at the Groene Hart Hospital?
The consistent quality of the testing process is guaranteed because we have improved and professionalised it. Partly because of this, we were able to go live with the SPD, despite corona.
Thanks to the Jira connection, the software supplier can now efficiently pick up reports.
What I also like is that we have placed a coordinator at each test cycle who plays an editorial role in collecting and compiling defects. This makes us even more efficient in picking up defects or forwarding defects.
What test challenges still lie ahead at GHZ?
We are looking forward to the new "environments functionality" of Testersuite. This is interesting to us because we also want to test other organizational units where applications are used. This is going to be a fun challenge. With Testersuite Environments, this is going to be very interesting.
Where do you see opportunity for improvement of Testersuite?
When you capture from exploratory testing defects in Testersuite you can describe the steps you went through before you encountered the defect . I would love it if you could show these steps in more detail in the defect.
What does the future look like for the test manager?
I myself do not yet believe in test-automation. Of course, I have tried it once with a tool. The tool registered my screen and recorded the performance of the application I was working in. I do believe in it, but it doesn't go any further than that at the moment. Certainly not when you are talking about functional testing.
"Scan a carton of milk once..."
What is your advice to other test managers?
Make a good starting point document or master plan. This master plan should not be long, but it should contain the most important conditions of your testing process. Think about what you want to achieve with your test process. Short but complete.
What I also recommend is to do monkey testing in addition to structured testing. Just test blindly and see if you can break it down. Take, for example, the administration of medication. When you administer medication, you have to scan the product. Scan a carton of milk and see what happens. Or use crazy characters or illogical values in a field.
You'll be amazed at the number of bugs this can produce. Just testing your happy flow is not enough. It did us some good once.
Anything else you want to say?
As Testersuite Team, continue as enthusiastically as you have been doing for 10 years because great things will come from that!
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