The force was indeed with me – fighting against the odds and making most of it

This is my the last write up on the second week of my experience with Test Leadership Congress 2020. If you missed the previous articles then I recommend you to please read those herehere and here.

Thursday, July 30th

Today we had a repeat-delivery of two sessions .“Too Fast Too Furious: A story of being first QA manager” by Priyanka Halder and “Workshop: The Personality Puzzle: Building a Solid Team” by Brittany Sherell.  Feel free to read more about my experience with these sessions in my report from yesterday here.

This day was a bit challenging for me because some of the topics were pretty new to me considering my non-technical background. Nevertheless, I enjoyed what I could gather out of it and certain topics have raised my curiosity around this dynamic world of software testing. 

The session  “Measuring Release Quality and Delivering Release Value” led by Marina Bechaalani was interesting. However, as a non-technical person, I had to be on my toes and put a lot of energy to follow and understand everything at the same time. Sometimes it becomes challenging to understand things if you are not familiar with the profession. But I was determined and decided not to give up. So there was I, listening, learning and using all my passion in understanding things.

I learned an impressive definition of quality from this talk.

“Quality is value to some person, at some time, who matters”.

(Oh, by the way, I discussed this topic with some cool people and learned more about this definition of quality. It was originally given by the great Jerry Weinberg and James Bach apparently extended it to the “who matters” part. Isn’t it cool?)

Marina said that if we do not concretize and align upfront on the “values to persons who matter today”, we will miss the important aspects of quality that matter and it will result in a lot of rework. I agree 🙂 

Key learnings:

  1. Quality of a product does not have a meaning without knowing the concerned persons who matter today and understanding very well what they value in the product.
  2. A measure and corresponding visualization can be applied in a tester’s workplace to drive the construction of a release based on the targeted values.
  3. A measure and corresponding visualization can be applied in a tester’s workplace to drive the feedback loop on a release based on the targeted values.

“How will I measure release quality?” was the biggest question Martina faced when she was a release lead. 

And her approach has been – 

Step 1: Defining the values

Step 2: Defining the KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) assessing the status of values

Step 3: Gathering feedback from releases used by clients

Step 4: Using the metrics

Right after this interesting session, I attended the “Fictional Test Data” by Joshua Russell. For everyone who could not make it, you can see Joshua again on Friday morning. In this session, I got a lot of knowledge about the thoughts a tester has to have in mind while figuring out what will be useful and what not. 

My session notes as follow –

What is the test data?

  • Master data
  • Transactional data
  • Analytic data

Create the test data that tells a clear story, with believable details, and is carefully curated, including using Personas.

And then you can design software for specific users, not some generalized user.

And use personas to represent specific users throughout development.

Here two different examples: 

Well, this makes me super happy actually. I am now convinced that the user-persona that I represent in my personal life, is surely part of someone’s test-data and making sure to consider my needs as a user. So to me, you testers surely are superheroes. Shout out to all of you.

Key highlights from Joshua’s talk:

  • Test data should be recognizable and memorable
  • Test data should be realistic and relatable
  • Test data should be curated and readily available

I am always amazed at how time flies even in a subject that is not really related to me or my work. There was so much knowledge in each and every session but not enough time to digest it all, the next session was already lined up. And so we moved on to “Cypress, TestCafe, Puppeteer & Playwright!!! Which one to use? Confused? Let’s talk and Clear the Air” by Sunny Sachdeva

Sunny’s topic was mainly about Javascript and automation in testing.

Here are some things to remember from Sunny’s session:

  • Options are open now for Selenium alternatives
  • The strategy should be based on PPP&I
  • Don’t be a victim to Affirmation bias.
  • Understand your product requirement
  • Get insights from your product analytics and check how your customers are using the product
  • Have a POC and define entry and exit criteria
  • Have weightage to each parameter in POC

And with this topic, the day concluded. With my head full of new information that I could use for my learning, I was glad I made it till the end of the day. 

Oh and one more thing. Most likely I won’t make it to the conference tomorrow and therefore you might miss my reporting for the day. 

After that last session for the week, the celebration awaits you with fantastic “Fireside Chats and Happy Hour”. I hope you would have a drink and toast virtually from your homes to this great week we had together. 

Cheers and happy weekend. 

Stay safe. 


Astrid WinklerAstrid Winkler is a budding freelance journalist and content writer from beautiful Switzerland.  Creativity is her passion and writing is her lost-and-found love which she is willing to develop with more care. 

Connect with Astrid on Linkedin or follow her on twitter @AstridWinkler4