QA Fest 2018: Review of the Main QA Conference of Ukraine

    On September 21-22, about a thousand testers gathered in Kiev, and those who are basically interested in Quality Assurance. This year, the QA Fest was held for the fifth time, for the third time DataArt acted as its partner. Elina Azadova - Senior QA in DataArt Kherson told about the most interesting reports and the organization of the event.

    The speakers performed on three stages, and the reports were combined into several areas: functional and non-functional testing, management, automation, etc.

    Michael Bolton. Regression Obsession. The organizers knew with what and with whom to interest for sure - the first speaker was the author of Rapid Software Testing Methodology, a person very well known in QA circles. An unusually charismatic and interesting speaker during the report read rap and made a provocative statement: “Testing cannot be automated”. He could convincingly justify this statement by saying that testing included not only the execution (running) of tests, but also the drawing up of a strategy, risk analysis, etc. It seemed to me that the report was not so much about regression testing, but about the test processes themselves general

    Ellina with Michael Bolton.

    The next most memorable performance, I think, not only for me, was the report “Cookbook for test data” by Aleksey Buhl. The name seemed somewhat strange to me, but it was a real performance that no one expected. There was more useful information in it for automatists, but, in my opinion, manual workers also came for a reason. The speaker put on an apron and a chef's cap, then went to the table and began ... to prepare a salad. Really: cut cucumbers and tomatoes, season, salt and mix. At the same time, he talked about the features of preparing data for testing, in particular, how to randomize the data so that it would be useful. For example, the data for the user name.

    Some moments seemed obvious, but sometimes it is useful to remind you that you need to remove unnecessary data after yourself. In the process, Alexei made an analogy between data preparation and cooking, which turned out to be quite a lot. He presented the presentation on the QR code, so that it can be viewed:

    By the way, the speaker presented the prepared salad to one of the participants who actively asked questions.

    Johan Jonasson. The secret to successful testing. The title of the report interested immediately. I was probably expecting something more revolutionary, but more mundane advice was very helpful.

    The principles of good testing something reminded the main ideas of Agile:

    • An inquisitive mindset over a confirmatory one;
    • Adaptable planning over riding plans;
    • Deliberate testing over directed testing;
    • Attention to opportunity cost over testing everything exhaustively.

    After that, the speaker announced what, from his point of view, it was not even a secret, but the secrets of successful testing:

    • It supports a strategy that supports suspicions;
    • Surround yourself with a strategy.

    Artem Bykovets. “Agile approaches outside IT companies. Transformation and Experimental Stories. Charismatic Artem this time decided to speak without a presentation, but the report did not become boring from this. The speaker shared the results of his Agile-methodologies trainings in non-IT companies. Initially, all clients were very wary of the idea, argued that they had already established all the processes, but those who decided to try did not regret it. As a result of the introduction of new practices, internal interaction has improved, people have learned how to present their work and finally figured out what other departments of the company are doing (what accounting department prepares for reports and who needs them).

    At the DataArt stand, everyone who passed the first level of the test on the Skillotron platform was handed a sticker.

    Many companies initially understood that it was impossible to stand still. For example, the director of Intertop himself voiced thoughts about the need to move with the times and was ready to introduce new practices into the company's work.

    Andrei Myasnikov, “This has never happened before, and here it’s again: building a testing department. Devices and materials. The speaker told how personally he was assigned the task of expanding and heading the testing department, where he had previously worked alone. Andrei shared interesting examples, short stories and tips for QA leads that he learned from this experience. He recalled that it is necessary to be able to say "no", because the more the lead is distracted and tested, the less time it will be able to devote to strategic planning.

    I remember one very important piece of advice: to put the problems that the lead cannot solve at his level to a higher level. And if necessary, and not on one. We often forget about such an opportunity, and the lead faces many different difficulties, not all of which can be overcome on our own.

    Andrey drew an analogy between the work of a lead and the descent of a stone from a mountain. We can kick a stone, but at the same time it can get stuck, fly not to where we wanted, or change the trajectory, even if it was originally correct. How to solve this problem? Yes, very simple! Every time a stone deviates, you need to kick it in the right direction. And so on until he is at the foot. It is labor-intensive, but will provide the desired result. It is the same with the wards, but the kick here does not need to be understood literally - feedback is in its place.

    At the DataArt stand, he played out two Xiaomi suitcases with a fingerprint lock.

    The organizers thought over everything in detail: lunch in two shifts, moreover, at any time you could drink tea or coffee with cookies. By tradition, QA Fest is not just a two-day conference, but a real festival: a big party ends the first day. She turned out to be incendiary, the magician and singer Ksenia Lazareva performed, there were competitions for participants and a disco. And it turned out really fun, to resist in place did not work.

    A nice bonus is the QA Fest Awards, where the best speakers were noted, thanked those who help in organizing the conference, and everyone who has visited it for five years in a row. I was just among the three regular visitors and received a gift from the organizers - virtual reality glasses. At the very beginning, my bag with materials additionally included a bag, a badge and a water bottle with a cute QA-monster.

    I want to add that the organizers have already launched a whole series of FEST conferences on various technologies, a list of which can be found here .

    Winners DataArt with prizes.

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