Exploratory Testing of …: Myself

Some of you had that before: bam, accident, life gets disrupted. Then you start to recover but life is different. You start finding out what you can do and what not yet…. You do not know the way forward; you just have to start and see what happens, what new options are open. You go one step further and check again. Isn’t that what we call exploratory testing?

Maybe upfront: I do not want to over emphasize what happened to me. In a very stupid situation, I fell, distorted a knee and broke three ribs. With some patience, this will completely heal, and, I feel much better already. I know it could have been much worse. And I only mention it as because of that interruption, I had the opportunity to do all of the below in a rather compressed manner. So never give up, there is always something good!

Using one Finger on the Tablet

The first week I could just think (not very clearly though because of 13 pain killers a day, including opiates), talk, and use my tablet with the left hand only… So, apart from visits by some real nice friends I spent a lot of time exploring, which apps can make my life more pleasant. So here is the list:

Communication apps

  • Twitter: Asking my twitter community what I could do, I got: read books (with specific recommendations), watch technical great videos on You Tube, visit test automation university… at that time my brain was not spot on for technical stuff…
  • Telegram, WhatsApp, Slack for nice words, interesting links and just procrastinating…
  • Skype was not a good idea, as I was not able to talk for long – being short breathed
  • YouTube as such also was not only good. I really felt depressed when I glitched into the cat movies mode. Only way out: get stuck on TedX videos!

Health related apps:

Some of my health apps
  • MyTherapy: an app where you can enter the medication plans and any other plans that you have to follow (like in my case breathing exercises). Very helpful in the beginning, but later I found out that there could be better functionality for medication reductions efforts
  • I tried several breathing exercise apps, they ranged from stupid “inhale – exhale” commands to sophisticated exercises trying to calm you down. But I did not find anything that would suit my needs with specific rhythms and instructions to direct my breath where it should go.
  • Meditation apps like Headspace: these helped me to start learning meditation, which I never managed to before. Being urged to do nothing, I at least learned the basics now. This did help me to better cope with pain and thus reduce the first pills after some time. After about 10 days these apps really pushed for buying the abo. Also Headspace has some problems with the screensaver of my tablet…

Language Learning Apps

Started learning some Danish (close to impossible without some guide by a Danish person) using the apps “Mondly Danish” and “Danish Fun Easy Learn”. The first one only had very few free lessons, but I liked it’s mix of listening and vocabulary. “Danish Fun Easy Learn” only concentrated on learning by heart, no explanations whatever. Both use some language recognition service so that I can talk to the tablet and it tried to identify what I said. I tell you, that is teaching you to try to pronounce correctly…

Analogue Distraction

Finally, I had some time to read books. I started with

  • Different travel stories
    by people who on a daily basis pushed their comfort zone. Well, mine was already going to the bathroom…. so, I could relate very well. Next I had the book on
  • “Non-violent Communication”
    by Marshall Rosenberg. My daughter is taking a class on that topic at university. I find it very difficult to consider the four components “observation, feelings, needs and request” while communicating. But I think it would be a good idea to try to reflect on what the other side needs and feels, and that after observing the facts. I guess this could be helpful in retrospectives!
  • Other…
    love stories or biographies. I can recommend the new biography of Alexander von Humboldt, by Andrea Wulf.  Von Humboldt was a very dedicated person, trying to find out how things are related. He was exploring the world, taking measures and notes and learning all the time. Impressive and crazy. (Just the book is so heavy that I cannot read it lying on the sofa…, I am not done yet as I have to squeeze it in my sparse sitting hours.)

I must admit, I did not get to read too many books. With the reduction of pain killers, I could think more clearly and my fitness improved, so I started looking back into test and work related stuff. Finished my presentation for the Imbus QS Day in October, supported my poor colleagues a bit, took classes at online universities. So there are many more books to go!

Online Learning

You all probably know the impressive test automation university  (TAU) by Applitools. There are very many classes out there for many needs. The last two I took:

  • TAU: Exploring Service APIs through Test Automation by Amber Race The class made me feel confident that even I would be able to use postman to test rest APIs. What I found difficult to understand that there was only exploring of the interface, but there was nothing like requirements to test against. Is that normal when testing APIs?
  • TAU: Automated Visual Testing: A Fast Path To Test Automation Success by Angie Jones. Definitely interesting to see how the Applitool Eyes tool can be used to easily spot differences that a human eye would see right away – but that would be nasty to code as functional test. This – combined with some remaining functional tests – could really be saving a lot of effort for regression testing. Maybe even in the new SAP Fiori world? I’ll check with my colleagues on that.

But I also enjoined some oldie but goldie: OPEN SAP courses. Here I learned more about AI using SAP Leonardo and extended my knowledge on trustworthy and ethical AI. I hope more people would take that class, it was rather impressive.

And Now?

I am still exploring. All the above distractions are good. But they still leave me without my beloved playing the cello, dancing and sailing. What are my options? I only have three more weeks to reduce also the last pills and to recover enough to go back to work, so I guess I will be exploring further techniques to relax and focus on my strength. I was exploring a completely different planet and need to come back. Now. Slowly. With the help of my family and friends. The most important exploration result was to learn to really appreciate help and support. Thank you so much!

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