When Ministry of Testing announced a competition to win tickets to London Tester Gathering Workshops, I submitted my entry and didn’t think I’d actually win it. However, social media is the thing nowadays and I must say enormous thanks to 10 testers who entered competition via my lucky URL and made the chances of me winning higher! I cannot express enough on how grateful I am for getting this ticket – workshops for me are the most valuable method of learning. LTGW2017 was a blast!
London Tester Gathering Workshops lasted two days and each of the days had half-day workshop sessions which were fueled with interactive participation. Also, there were 2 workshops happening at once so you always could find a good alternative. Variety of topics didn’t make the choice easy, though! I wish I could have attended them all!
First day of conference (June 29th) I kicked off my day going to Security in the Cloud workshop facilitated by Abby Bangser & James Green. Nowadays a lot of companies are moving their infrastructure to the cloud (my company is not an exception) Amazon Web Services (AWS) are bigger than ever and security is one of the key elements that need to be taken care of.
Abby and James gave a great introduction to Amazon AWS and even helped us to understand Software/Platform/Infrastructure concepts better. Here is one of my favorite slides:
After a small theory part, we actually did hands-on exercises trying to utilize Amazon AWS website, finding security issues in the cloud and discussed on how to avoid these.
3 key take-aways I got from Security in the Cloud:
- Cloud services are flexible and make you feel that a lot of infrastructure related tasks are not your problem anymore, but come with some risks and this means that for testers AWS can be just another domain for testing
- Make sure that only the wanted files are available to the public (or certain group of people) and nothing else (for example, the whole bucket may be available)
- Even logging of processes can unravel restricted information to someone who doesn’t have authorization and they could misuse their rights
Second part of the day I spent in the workshop An Introduction to Complexity and Cynefin for Software Testers with Martin Hynie & Ben Kelly.
I have heard about Cynefin (/ˈkʌnᵻvɪn/ kun-EV-in) before just as a buzzword. I did not know what it exactly is and how it is used, so I decided to finally learn by attending this workshop. And, well… I ended up taking more pages of notes for this workshop than any other.
With a few group exercises Martin and Ben were challenging our known decision & sense making patterns and made us realize that we naturally lean towards putting everything in boxes, but it is more important to get more information, stay open and actually reconsider categorizations we made. A lot of information that we got can be used not only in our careers, but even in personal life. Cynefin is not really a decision-making framework, but sense making.
3 key take-aways from An Introduction to Complexity and Cynefin for Software Testers:
- We tend to make premature decisions based on our known approaches and Cynefin could help to make us think about the actual problems, ask questions and challenge our believes by rethinking, breaking issues into parts rather than categorizing
- The better you become at something – the more you tend to think that it is obvious. This has no second guessing and may lead to disaster
- Questions are indicators: there may be a need to expand discussions. Concerns are very important
Another LTGW day had 2 more workshops and I started my day with Telling the Testing Story – Storytelling for Testers facilitated by Huib Schoots.
In this workshop, we learned way more about storytelling and its importance in every single area of life. Storytelling is rather a tribal thing and we tend to lean towards the people who tell good stories.
Also, we got some hands-on practise in presenting our group flipchart creations and I really felt like the team I was in was sort of a dream team – we didn’t know each other at all before the event and at Huib’s workshop we were made to collaborate, it worked out so well and we loved working with each other. Greetings to the wonderful Malonie, Galina & Andrew! And here is one of our group work creations:
3 key take-aways from Telling the Testing Story – Storytelling for Testers:
- Storytelling is a very useful skill to have especially as a tester: it is important to communicate well and manage to convince people
- Even your job interviews can go way smoother if you prepare stories on what the company wants and how you have done that
- Culture at companies is a collections of stories told
For the grand finale workshop, I went to Traffic, Verbs, Testing, and T-Shirts with Sharath Byregowda & Tony Bruce.
We learned more about REST APIs and how to test them. The very fun part was actually playing a game with t-shirts and forming 3 groups (clients, verbs and servers) in order to understand how the requests work on HTTP: clients would provide stickies with URL to the verbs who then ran to the servers to get the response.
I got to be a POST request and carried back all kinds of API codes returned in various situations.
Later on we got to play around with a certain website and use curl to do some API testing.
3 key take-aways from Traffic, Verbs, Testing, and T-Shirts:
- Sometimes even if the returned code is 200, but body still may be wrong
- http://www.any-api.com has many API documentations
- Curl can be used for API checks and it is actually very interesting to play around with it in order to test REST APIs!
In conclusion, each workshop was full of content worth sharing and was very useful. I heard a lot of interesting information that I can apply at my work, met amazing fellow testers and gained so much of motivation to read about many concepts I haven’t thought of before.