TESTHEXE = TEST WITCH

Magic

Did this ever happen to you? You got all these hard working colleagues, trying to break the software, and then, test management comes in, tests for 5 minutes and finds something really bad? And then the team gives you this strange look, startled und wondering how you found it?

Knowing that this is just partly luck and partly experience, I tend to say “this is my magic finger.” And here we are: MAGIC!

According to Wikipedia we have the following three interpretations:

  • Magic (paranormal), the use of paranormal methods to manipulate natural forces
  • Magic (illusion), the art of appearing to perform supernatural feats
  • Magic in fiction, the genre of fiction that uses supernatural elements as a theme

And, as you guess, none of them apply in the above case. I still use the concept as it relates to the kind of magic, white witches are said to be capable of: watch, what is happening, combine with what you have seen before and draw your conclusions.

And this used to scare people and still does at times. No wonder why testers are asked to have very good communication skills: it is so easy to ruin a discussion, if you are the one finding all the flaws.

There are obviously some weak points in this comparison, but there is another outstanding similarity:

The Dance of the Witches

At least German witches are said to meet once a year and dance around the “Brocken” mountain. And yes, I like to meet other wise women and have fun. This is where the idea of “Testhexen” was born: at home I called my regular meetings with two other women of my profession that way, considering that together we probably have more than 50 years of test/QA experience: wise women of test.

 

And apart from that we are friends, what I like most about these meetings is the diversity: one of us follows the agile approach, two are used to thFlags in Lemkenhafene v-model. All of us have been consultants at some point in time and have seen many situations. We all have a different degree: in business mathematics, in biology, in mineralogy. We are all in different family situations and have some different hobbies. Discussing test situations (and non-work related stuff J) is pure joy!

Extending this concept, I like to “dance” with other QA people a lot: I moderate the XING Softwaretest Usergroup (StugHH) in Hamburg, and our main objective is to exchange knowledge and experience. On top I organize an internal test interest group at Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE), my employer. Since more than five years we have regular online meetings to exchange knowledge about the HPE way of doing things in and around test. Even more importantly I try to bring people together so that we all can deliver more efficiently.

Last but not least, I enjoy the “dance” with my colleagues. How do I get the team to perform a movement towards the joint objective of delivering good quality software? And as is with dancing: the observable result is nicer, when the idea is understood and if the dancers know what they are doing. So I am really into coaching and learning as well.

The Hex

No, I will not tell you my secret words of magic in this blog. I also won’t write about test specifics. But I do want to write about the joy of bringing people together, educating them and leading us a common goal: to deliver great quality software.

You still think of some red haired women with a big nose riding on a broom? Well, you can get an idea of my real professional experience via my profile in XING.

Now I am sure you want to “dance” with me! Please comment my blog entries or join me blogging about my favourite subjects. But: Don’t forget your broom!