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Tatiana Shabskaya QA Engineer 21.11.2014

First QA Fest in Ukraine: So, how was it?

Dear friends, two weeks ago we had a great opportunity to visit  the first Ukrainian QA festival in Kiev. As you may know before the trip in Binary Studio blog we described our expectations about  this event, so now we surely can say that the festival has met all of them.

QA-fest binary-studio QA .jpg

The first thing which surprised us was the number of participants.We were over 500 and all tickets had been booked long time before the event.

Today, after  QA Fest, we can easily characterize Ukrainian QA community as an active, progressive, fast-growing and constantly developing one, both within the companies and in the whole country.We assume that due to such events our QA community keeps evolving.

Ok. Lets start from the beginning) The long awaited conference met us with welcoming organizers who helped us check in and gave delicious QA-cupcakes. He had enough time for making new acquaintances, have a cup of coffee and get to know the format of QA fest.

Then the time for reports finally came. All of them seemed to be so interesting, that every hour we had to make a tough decision: which of three reports running simultaneously would be the most useful for our work.

And now for everyone who is interested in testing we will briefly describe what we've learnt, and hope that it will motivate you to learn and use new technologies and approaches for testing your projects.

Vyacheslav Pankratov, the most exciting speaker, opened the festival. He reminded us, that the development process is tightly connected to communication, and it's very important to find the proper approach to everyone in your  team. He told us about two personality typologies, they are:DISC typing system and personality types by Adizes. He recommended to define a personality type of each teammate and use personal approach to achieve your own goals quickly and without conflicts. Vyacheslav’s report was a great start of festival, and all participants were divided into three groups according  3 existed sections: Classic zone, Tech zone and Stand-up zone.

QA fest Binary Studio report.jpg

Classic zone:

Sergiy Tsymbal's Defect prevention gathered lots of participants. As the title implies, he reviewed the techniques of defect prevention. He noted, that it's important to start looking for defects first of all at the requirements stage and then in code, involving senior engineers in QA activities. He recommended the following methods for the cause analysis: risk management, root cause analysis, 5 whys, fishbone diagram, defect taxonomies, retrospectives. Obviously, after the cause identification the counter-measures must be taken. He suggested to change the test approach, to add new test cases, to change the process and also perform configuration management audit.

QA coach Alexei Lupan recommended to write test cases only if it's impossible to describe the bug reproduction case using one sentence without the possibility of misinterpretation. In his report he considered grouping prioritized test ideas into checklists as more effective approach. Also, Alexei emphasized the difference between function testing and functionality testing and recommended to devote more time to the last one.

Speaker Igor Bondarenko shared his experience of large-scale project testing, which has been developed for over 7 years. Paradigmatic Agile approach appeared to be inefficient within the context, therefore it was decided to implement some changes into process, which, to Igor’s opinion, brought the project to a new level. First of all, 2-week sprint included tasks for 9 workdays, leaving the last day for estimation errors, urgent tasks outside of the sprint scope and internal backlog tasks. Also, poker planning was replaced by time estimations. Moreover, estimation by each team member was adjusted by a certain ratio, according to a person's experience in related tasks. The team also abandoned the daily scrum, and it had beneficial effect on the project development. All project details were tracked in Jira task comments.

Yuriy Suvorov told us how to use Pivot tables in conjunction with TFS to simplify metric gathering in integrated projects. He organized a small workshop on TFS/XLS connection establishment and showed us how to create pivot tables and report charts based on the received data. They looked cute)

In the review lecture «Web-magic of QA processes», Anton Kapitanenko shared his experience of building a QA process from pre-production to support phase in a project with a large number of users. During a short report he managed to cover all aspects of the QA process: pre-production activities, QA in a development phase, types of non-functional testing, Dev / Test environments, test artifacts, product release and post-release activities.

Tech zone:

Alexandra Volkova told us about the main advantages of system integration using Enterprise Service Bus (ESB). And why ESB testing must be started from designing mocks. Also, she listed basic test scenarios of synchronous and asynchronous ESB testing. She suggested SoapUI as a tool for interaction with the Web services and mock development.

Alexey Zvolinskiy spoke about Responsive Design QA automation. He represented Galen Framework as a tool to solve the problem of automated testing of such applications. This tool was developed by Ukrainian programmer Ivan Shubin from Odessa and it's very popular in Web application UI testing area.

"Do not reinvent the wheel", warned us Mikalai Alimenkou. He encouraged us to use existing solutions for testing automation and introduced Thucydides framework as a bright representative of one of them. Also, he reminded us about the importance of choosing the appropriate automation approach, test structure and test reports. Thucydides is a great solution for creating acceptance tests using Selenium WebDriver + Java and supports advanced integration with JIRA.

Anna Gavriluk in her "Cool as Сucumber" shared practical tips of using BDD and Gherkin for creating tests in Cucumber. She also told us about some pitfalls that we encounter in BDD implementation, and about importance of using natural English while writing Specifications by Example in Gherkin.

Stand-up zone:

Akim Boyko gave us an introductory lecture about Model thinking. He explained, how the usage of models makes easier to solve the tasks of exploration and expected result definition, and how important it is to choose the correct model. His report reminded us of using models as test oracles by Cem Kaner and inspired us to research model based testing materials.

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Viktor Gozhij shared his experience of performing usability testing in his report Practice of usability testing from A to Z. He stated, that there's no need to follow the written laws of usability testing strictly, and told us how he managed to minimize the costs of this kind of testing in his project. The report didn't go without a makeshift workshop.

Kateryna Ovechenko's report "Sessions safety in Web applications: practical usage" was a big surprise, which closed the conference. She presented a structured types of session vulnerabilities in Web applications and showed us some examples of these exploits. Also, she spoke about the preventive measures against such attacks.

Finally, after numerous requests, we will tell you about "Testers classification fron the programmer’s point of view" by Mikalai Alimenkou. He introduced 13 negative types of testers. The report made each member of the audience see themselves as others see them  and work on their weaknesses.

To cut a long story short, what new, from what we've learned, can we use in our everyday work? Of course it is all of the methods, that Sergiy Tsymbal mentioned in his Defect prevention report, which could be applicable to any project by all of the team members including QA. Represented Thucydides, Allure, Cucumber and Galen technologies are implementable in Web application testing. Also, we should run scenarios, described in Alexandra Volkova's report, in projects with complex architecture, which includes Web services.

To sum up, we can say, that this long-awaited event met our expectations. Some of the topics forced up to take another look at the current solutions problem and apply new approaches, that were mentioned above, on practice.

Look forward to the next article in QA Fest rubric in a year!

PS:  We cannot help mentioning a cool festival afterparty)

From Binary Studio QA,

with love