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Let's talk about test... Wendy Brown

December 8, 2020
Wendy Bruin, Test Specialist.
Wendy Bruin, Test Specialist.

‍Inthis 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 Wendy Bruin, test specialist at Staedion via Squerist

"Stick to the facts and keep looking tough"

Just a heads up: Who is Wendy?

I am Wendy, living in Zaandam with my partner and I am the mother of two boys, Jesse (16) and Tibbe (13). Furthermore, I love reading and cooking.

Did you want to become a test manager in primary school?

No, I wanted to be a writer. That didn't work out, but who knows, maybe one day I'll write a book about testing, haha. I wanted to study literature, but in the end I started working quite early. While working, I moved on to the testing profession.

How did you get into the testing business?

I originally came from IBM. There, I did not work in an IT role but in an IT environment. At IBM, I ended up in a position where I was already unconsciously doing a lot of testing.

At another employer, I became a FAT tester and then a test coordinator. As a result, I started to manage other testers. This is how I came into contact with senior testers. That was the moment I thought, this is what I want! That is where my career as a test professional started.

Naturally, I came into contact with TMAP, SQL and certified agile testing. By working with developers and devops, I also got to know the technical side. That was the moment for me to start looking in other kitchens. This is how I ended up at Squerist.

What do you think are the challenges of a test specialist?

Setting up your process well makes the development process better. That is something I strongly believe in. It means working transparently with the right people in the right place. Within housing corporations, you are always dealing with multiple suppliers and test environments. The trick is to get them to talk to each other. Doing the right things with the right resources and the right people. That is a challenge.

"I work best as a cooperative foreman".

How do you deal with this in practice?

This is now the reason why I think test specialist is the right word for my job. I am in the middle of the field and so I manage people better. Directing also includes helping people in their testing work. I am testing with my team at Testersuite right now. This is something I enjoy doing. As a result, I try to get people on the right train. This is sometimes difficult but people start to understand and see the importance of testing through this. As a cooperating forewoman, I work best.

What milestones have you achieved at Staedion?

Increasing awareness of the importance of good testing. There is more emphasis on this now and it is taking shape.

We use Testersuite for that. When I started at Staedion, Testersuite was already available. Due to the simplicity of Testersuite , I quickly mastered the tool. As a result, I can now show that it is not a duplication of administration but actually supports the process. It creates transparency so that people start to see the usefulness of a test management tool.

Didn't you have training in Testersuite?

No, because Testersuite is not complex. With the documentation at Testersuite , I was able to quickly master it myself. It's user-friendly. The steps my predecessor had already done in Testersuite also helped with that.

Of course it helps if you have a testing background. Sometimes I think why does Testersuite choose a certain way of working? But on the other hand, you have to agree with each other in advance on how to register things in Testersuite . And then it becomes fun! And if something doesn't work, we do it differently. Trial and error so to speak.

What problem does Testersuite solve for you?

Being transparent. In a housing association, you have numerous suppliers, functional administrators and end users. With Testersuite you get a grip on the situation and stay transparent. For me, that's the biggest win. How many defects are there, what are the defects, are we in control, have we forgotten things, etc... Because of my experience I do have a helicopter view but for others this is also important. That's where Testersuite helps.

As-we-speak, I am working with two vendors that I have also given access to our Testersuite environment. One vendor has their own tooling so we double register there. The other vendor is fine with just using Testersuite .

We know that Testersuite has an API. For the future, we need to think about what links we will make and with what tools and vendors.

Is it necessary to always do a functional acceptance test (FAT) and a user acceptance test (GAT) yourself?

Yes, it is. A chain consists of several software suppliers. We have the overview and the supplier does not know what we need. He does not know our (critical) business processes in detail. So we always do a FAT and a GAT ourselves.

What challenges does Staedion still face in the field of testing?

Landing tests is getting better and better. The next step is automated testing. Especially on business critical processes which you want to know do not fall over. But you need to keep this small.

In addition, you are going to test around it. This is done manually. With a well-scripted regression test set, you can additionally apply exploratory tests very nicely.

We are in talks to make this happen.

How do you deal with this?

Start small. Make sure that testing is well understood by everyone. Work out small sets with a maximum of 15 scripts that cover the happy flow. Then it becomes an oil slick that spreads.

It is important that the regression test has a proper place in the development team. In this way the maintenance of the scripts is immediately included. In this way, your test set remains up-to-date.

A critical question from the Testersuite team. Where do you see opportunity for improvement?

I am pragmatic and not inclined to work everything out in steps. Actually a bit more exploratory-testing like. It would be nice if that became a bit more prominent in Testersuite. It is also because I often test by heart and do a lot of testing by experience. That also plays a role in that.

"As specialists, we must ensure that we remain T-shaped"

What does the future look like for the test manager?

Difficult question. You hardly know what technology is coming at us. As specialists, we must ensure that we remain T-shaped. You have to keep up with the developments that are coming your way. The testing profession is becoming broader. Test automation will play a more important role, but manual testing will remain.

What is your advice to other test managers?

What you see strongly is that testing is often an end station. That means you always have a certain pressure and have to keep looking tough. Stick to the facts. Stick to what you think needs to be tested to ensure quality.

I experience it that way and work according to that principle. That way you can always explain why something needs to be tested. Stick to your story and explain it without becoming that grumpy colleague. Then they start to see your strength and that makes the testing process beautiful.

Do you want to say something?


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