In this blog series we talk to test professionals from a wide range of industries. At Testersuite we like to hear the various views on testing and what keeps a test professional busy.
Meet in this edition of Let's Talk About Test with Maarten BeksTest Architect at Enexis (Via Haystaq).
"Something may be functionally well tested but the business doesn't benefit from it at all."
That is me. Married to Ingrid and we have 2 children: Teun (14) and Saartje van (12). I am 48 years old and live in beautiful Helmond. Furthermore, we have two dogs. These are Bobby and Sjors, Parson Russel Terriers. They are less fierce than a Jack Russel.
My hobbies are good food and wine. As a true wine lover, I have taken numerous wine courses. There is only one exam left before I am admitted to the wine academy. There you can take a one-year course to become a vinologist. That is a wish for the future.
As a true bon vivant, weight is a challenge. To keep it up, I am a fanatical cyclist. Both on the road bike and on the mountain bike. This has to keep each other in balance. This is how I yo-yo through life.
In primary school, I wanted to be a fireman, an ice-cream man or a pilot. None of these three succeeded. Although I could learn well, I was lazy. After secondary school, I did two years of pre-university education because I didn't know what I wanted to do.
On the advice of my school, I did not take the VWO exam. However, I did like maths and chemistry. The dean advised me to do chemical technology or mathematics. That's how I ended up taking the maths teacher training. Actually, I didn't really want to become a teacher, but I did enjoy being in the classroom.
At that time, people were looking for many people for IT. With my background in mathematics, this appealed to me and so I became a software developer in Progress. This still seems to exist. In those days, you made something and tested it yourself and then went on to develop it again. After one and a half years, I had enough of the long travelling time and switched to another organisation.
That was at the Eindhovens Dagblad. As a functional manager there, I really came into contact with testing via change and release management. I was sent on a training course at Logic. There, they had developed the Test Frame methodology for testing. This enabled us to set up our own test process. I really liked this.
Eventually, I switched to Logica to become a test engineer. With my background there, I picked up test automation and performance testing. Later I started working for Salves where I was involved in test automation. I tried to get out of technology by taking on the role of test manager for a client. Eventually I did go back into technology. I think the role of test manager is somewhat overrated. In this period I did study the improvement and optimisation of tests.
"I was one of the first people in the world to get the ISTQB expert certificate.
Yes, I was one of the first in the world to get the ISTQB expert certificate(ed: International Software Testing Qualifications Board). We are the first class that has passed worldwide. This is mainly about how do you improve testing processes and put testing on the map. You have to keep developing yourself (I have done a lot of training) and not always stay stuck in the same thing.
After having worked at Salves for 8.5 years, I became involved in founding Haystaq. A company specialised in test automation. Haystaq aims to help organisations become better at testing and test automation. You also have to know about testing. Otherwise it will not work.
Initially I went from Haystaq to Enexis for a 40-hour assignment. That was about the automated testing of applications created with Mendix. More assignments followed.
The immediate cause was the request from a programme for a tool for test management purposes. Jira was being used, but there was no real test management tool with which we could move into the future. We then started a tender procedure, which was won by Testersuite .
Within the framework of the tender, we asked all stakeholders what a test management tool should meet. The answer was Testersuite . We introduced this and by continuously guiding and massaging it, we see that it is growing. We now see that it has been a very good step and that the goal of improving the test process has been achieved. I like that. We are also trying to phase out and standardise more and more tools.
"By working in a uniform way, you get clean reporting. That's where Testersuite helped us..."
For Enexis, the use of Testersuite means that we can record testing in a uniform way. Some people did this in Excel and others with a Word template, Notepad or even by heart.
You want to be able to take a snapshot of the quality status of a project at any time. This is only possible if you do it centrally and in a uniform way. It's about making a quality assessment of the implementation of requirements. I think that is the most important thing. By working in a uniform way, you get a clean report. Testersuite helped us with this and the process is still ongoing.
Acceptance testing is now running well. We want more areas to work this way. The new environment functionality in Testersuite is very nice. We have been a pilot customer for this and have also been able to exert some influence on how it should look.
Because of our way of working, I am less able to work with the scenario functionality and the structure of the master list. This is also related to how we approach agile working. However, I can imagine that many organisations think differently.
It is not. As I mentioned earlier, I think the role of test manager is somewhat overrated. Based on the premise that scrum teams are (or should be) self-managing, I have little reason (I sit in agile teams a lot) to assume that this function will remain long. What is the value of a test manager in agile teams?
I think you need a test architect much more. He ensures that testing takes place according to the right strategy. An architect sets the strategy and the scrum teams have to pick it up and implement it. A test manager is then a complete waste. Of course, I realise that many companies are still based on Waterfall, so I understand the need for a test manager.
The appointment of a test manager has been the test community's cry to put testing on the map. But a lot of people disagree. You don't need a development manager either, do you? There are not many really mature agile organisations. I see a big difference between saying you are and actually acting agile.
"Something can be functionally well tested but the business doesn't benefit from it at all. That's hard to understand sometimes."
Go back to the heart of the matter. Follow the right strategy. Verification and validation are different things. Verification is: 'are you building the product right'. Validation is: 'are you building the right product'.
Something can be functionally well tested but the business doesn't benefit from it at all. That is sometimes difficult to understand.
I hope you will continue to develop Testersuite. I like the low threshold and the ease of use of Testersuite . Please keep it up.
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