Rosie needs your help

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I am a tester. I test software for a living, but I inevitably can’t help but test just about everything that comes my way. I wonder how things work – or, more likely, wonder why something was made that way. I internally correct other people’s grammar (even though mine isn’t exactly perfect) and get quite grumpy when ‘Enterprise’ software works like a dog.

I love testing and being a tester. I tried my hand at software development, and while I can write code I know where my strengths lie. I like testing so much that I regularly attend testing events in Nottingham, constantly read testing-related blogs and articles and try my best to help along other testers. I’ve still got a lot to learn about my trade, but the testing community is particularly good at helping each other, with a number of excellent resource sites and one particularly good tester community site, The Software Testing Club.

Rosie Sherry runs this site, along with a sister site that is aimed at tester training. There is all sorts of good stuff on there – it’s called The Ministry of Testing – and it’s worth the money to go ‘Pro’ and do some learning’ a-plenty.

However, Rosie is getting rather snowed under with stuff and needs the testing community’s help to grow this network. Have a read of her article ‘I Need Your Help‘ and see if you can do something.

Every time I try to decide how to best to grow this thing then I can’t help, but go back to how I need to work with the community.  However, now I need to do it in a more intense and focused way.

So, I’m on the hunt for Creators.  If you have projects, ideas, articles, meetups, events, videos or any other stuff that you would like to see happen then I WOULD LOVE TO HEAR FROM YOU.  Also, we have lots of things that we’d like to see happen so we’ll constantly be pitching ideas and opportunities.

Want to help? Give her a shout!


We have Jira. Now what?

We have Jira at work, and HP ALM. I quite like the former while utterly detesting the latter. We have quite a few, varied projects and our developers prefer Jira for their task management & defect needs, but Jira lacks a feature for the creation of test cases & tracking of related metrics. 

I am aware of various plugins for Jira that might fill that hole. I might write some posts on my investigations into these applications, or perhaps link to some other pertinent articles. 

This is just a short post for now. I’d like to blog more about testing and this is a reasonable topic to start. 

Comfortably Numb

I don’t have much, if anything, useful to say about the death of David Bowie. I don’t own any of his music. Not sure why; I guess I was just into other bands and artists when I was growing up and I missed his most prolific and successful period, but it is impossible to ignore his influence on many of the bands that I love (just about all the prog rock bands) and on the music industry in general. He was one of the most important figures of recent decades and a positive influence on anyone wanting to be a little bit different.

He wrote some incredible songs, and I’m feeling motivated to get hold of some of his earlier works. ‘Low’ is certainly on the list, but I shall see what I can find.

I had no idea this existed until today, but here is David Bowie singing with one of my all-time musical heroes Dave Gilmour:

There were not many like David Bowie. His was a unique voice, a chance-taker who succeeded while experimenting the crap out of his craft. His songs were very much part of rich vein of music on the radio when I was growing up. He’ll be greatly missed.


Anyone that knows me understands my view of beer; life is too short to be drinking shitty, tasteless toss. I much prefer to spend a little bit more money on the good stuff.

I don’t mind the style, country of origin or its ABV – if it’s good, I’ll drink it.

So, I was chuffed to bits to receive a rather magnificent box of real ales for Christmas. My Mum (with help from my lovely sis) chose this fantastic selection of British real ales for my Chrimble gift. There’s not a bad choice amongst them. Everything in there has been utterly delicious. One early favourite was this Camden Pale Ale.

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Other favourite along the way were the always delicious Oakham Citra (a personal fave) and Jaipur (one of the loveliest beers on the market). Tonight’s beer has been a lovely St Austell Proper Job, which is probably the tastiest Cornish Ale I’ve had.

If anyone was wondering what to get me as a gift at any point, then good beer is always a great option. Thanks Mum!

#NottsTest – January 2016

I have been going to the monthly #NottsTest meetups for a number of years, and they are always informative. We meet on the first Wednesday of each month – usually at the amazing Capital One software studio – where we have a couple of speakers, free beer and pizza, and a nice chat with fellow testers.

There were about 20 folks there last night to see Dan Caseley and Vernon Richards showcase their impressive tester chops to an enthralled audience. First up was Dan, who showed us some Lego-themed slides that explained how his first seven months at Unidays has gone.

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He was the first ever ‘proper’ tester to be employed at Unidays, and his talk showed how sometimes even the best laid plans need changing when the reality of software development team becomes apparent. Unidays is an impressive outfit and Dan has had to adjust his approach to testing as he’s gone along. It sounded like a fun experience.

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Dan did a great job of inserting some relevant quotes into his slides. Always include quotes from thought leaders.

Once Dan had eventually stopped talking (boy, he is an enthusiastic speaker) we had the pizza and beer – lovingly sponsored by Unidays.

The next speaker was Vern – the ‘Tester from Leicester’ – a man who allegedly likes tutus. He took us through his ‘Myths and Legends’ talk (famous from his Test Bash talk). Here are a few pictures:

Myths & Legends
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Testing is amazing
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Just click a few buttons
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I’d not heard Vern do a talk before, and I really enjoyed his humorous approach. The evening was a great, and I think everyone learned something useful (if only a slightly disturbing mental image involving Vern in a tutu).

Our next meetup is scheduled for the 3rd February. We’ve yet to find a speaker, so if you’re interesting give me a shout and I’ll pass on your details. There’s no fee, just free pizza and beer.