Anna Baik
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Anna Baik's Discussions

Thinking about T-shaped testers, core testing skills, and tester career ladders

Started this discussion. Last reply by Sharath Byregowda Jan 7, 2014. 9 Replies

Seems a good time to kick off a discussion on something I've been thinking on (and occasionally talking about) for some years now - tester core skills, and tester career ladders. I'm hoping to hear a…Continue

Tags: career-ladder, t-shaped-tester, tester-skills

So how do YOU think out of the box?

Started this discussion. Last reply by kinofrost May 3, 2013. 14 Replies

Prompted by this reply to Rosie's 99 things thread, which suggested:…Continue

Test challenge: Most creative ways to spend £120 on improving your testing skills/knowledge?

Started this discussion. Last reply by Andy Glover Oct 4, 2011. 4 Replies

Reading this tweet made me wonder how many different ways there are to spend £120 on improving your testing…Continue


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Latest Activity

RachelXie liked Anna Baik's profile
Aug 1, 2014
Anna Baik replied to Shyam Gorasia's discussion Software Testing Career - SQL
"Agreed with Gareth that especially at this stage, what you've suggested is a fine foundation. Whether you want or need to dig deeper later will depend on what kind of projects you're working on. If you end up working on a data warehouse…"
Apr 1, 2014
Anna Baik liked Sarah Glanville's discussion Testing Knowledge Exchange - The North
Apr 1, 2014
Anna Baik liked Sarah Glanville's discussion Testing Knowledge Exchange - The North
Apr 1, 2014
Anna Baik replied to Sarah Glanville's discussion Testing Knowledge Exchange - The North
"Wish we were closer than Bristol, this sounds like an excellent idea. Think Adam Knight did something similar, but that was individuals rather than a team - would love to hear how this…"
Apr 1, 2014
Anna Baik replied to Gareth Waterhouse's discussion Key Skills for QA Self Improvement
"One advantage of rating everyone against the same scale is that you can then combine everyone's radar chart to show where the team as a whole is missing skills. Worth considering? You may find that a score out of 10 is a bit much initially…"
Mar 29, 2014
Anna Baik replied to Gareth Waterhouse's discussion Key Skills for QA Self Improvement
"I don't think I'm that great at identifying specific skills myself. Partly because I'm working on my own (with a lot of cribbing from those who've done some work already, will try to find some links later but heading out to…"
Mar 27, 2014
Anna Baik replied to Gareth Waterhouse's discussion Key Skills for QA Self Improvement
"Glad you asked this question, because this is something I see a LOT. Lots of technical skills named, maybe some reference to performance, security, mobile, a scattering of soft skills. But nothing, nothing, nothing at all specific about testing…"
Mar 27, 2014

Anna Baik's Blog

Bold Boasts, public goals and social reality: making a goal and sticking to it

Posted on January 23, 2011 at 18:52 13 Comments

At the beginning of the year, I saw a blog post from Adam Yuret explaining how he planned to sit down and read "Agile Testing".  He's blogged before about having difficulty staying on track to finish most books, so I was interested to see how he'd planned to reach his goal - "Agile Testing" is a bit of a behemoth of a book, 500+ pages.  I…


Just in the middle of my first WNT session :)

Posted on December 15, 2010 at 20:55 2 Comments

Here's the mindmap I created during the session

Anyone going to the December SIGIST? Or the Agile Testing and BDD Exchange?

Posted on October 30, 2010 at 22:31 3 Comments

I hadn't been planning to go to December's SIGIST, but now I see there's a talk by Gojko Adzic that I've heard a lot about and would like to hear: "Winning Big with Agile Acceptance Testing ‐ Lessons Learned from 50 Successful Projects"

And I'm thinking about it.

On the other hand, the Agile Testing and BDD Exchange… Continue

Implementing a tester's playbook

Posted on June 28, 2010 at 23:14 11 Comments

Prompted by Simon Morley's blog post about showing your thinking, I thought I'd show my thinking on something one of his commenters mentioned - a testing playbook.

Let's set the scene:

I work (currently) in a scripted shop. Lots of procedural manual test scripts,… Continue

New Kid

Posted on June 27, 2010 at 1:22 3 Comments

Saw an interesting blog post from someone in a new job unsure how to react to a developer's comments. I'm curious to see how other people respond to the situation he presents. There are three comments so far, all with quite different approaches.

Perhaps because I've recently accepted a new job offer myself, I found myself focusing on the "new job" aspect of his post, more than… Continue

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At 8:39 on October 2, 2009, Andy Smith said…
Hi Anna. Yep, agreed.

You are absolutely right that one can get invoved in the early stages, and indeed should be involved as early as possible. I look forward with delight to the day when non-testers instinctively think so too! :-)

All the best...
At 9:44 on September 23, 2009, Andy Smith said…
Hi Anna

Re the entrepreneur mindset/testers take out the garbage/figgy pudding thread:

Firstly, forums always frustrate me because its difficult to articulate an argument sometimes when you have limited wordspace. Sorry to confuse you, I guess it's the nature of medium!? :-)

As suggested, let's come away from that thread because the points we stumble on are not relevant to how to "influence entrepreneurs", which was its supposed purpose.
(However, I must say that I was quite surprised at how little response there was about that very question, because without entrepreneurs none of us would ever have been in a job...let alone a testing one!)

To address the confusion I caused, all I am asserting is that testers should not go into any start-up/embryonic organisation believing that they have a natural right to equal billing with the inventors of that company's products.
Yes I'm a tester, I'm a passionate tester, and I've often had to further the cause of testing in previously-sceptical organisations. I, like you, don't believe testers should be naturally put-upon nor expected to do menial tasks to justify their pay.

But the reality is that one of the reasons why testers often arrive later to the team than others is simply the obvious evolution of any project.
Either an inventor has a brainwave or a business-type-person identifies a commercial requirement for something. That something is then designed in their head, scribbled on paper, hmm-and-ahhed over as a business possibility, roughly costed-out...and the need for quality assurance and testing is still far away.
At some point a plan appears and an expected result can be defined. From here on in the tester can really take a major role, scoping requirements etc and doing their stuff.
In a mature corporation, one can sometimes afford to bring testers in at day-one and give them some authority to set ground rules. In a start-up especially, they will be expected to justify their value much more and that, commercially-speaking, is not a bad thing.

Are you with me so far...?

So, in summary, all I was trying to say previously was that testers need to be very very aware of the business realities when working in start-up situations. It may be unpalatable to have to muck in but, as you say, so long as everyone else does then that's probably OK.
Yet the likelihood is that the other guys in the team will be busy on their respective proper-job stuff sooner than the tester is, simply by the natural way of things. If the tester can accept that fact and pick-up possibly a disproportionate amount of the non-proper-job stuff for that crucial early phase, then soon enough their testing will begin to fill their day and their "influence" will be felt across the team.

I hope that makes some sense. If not, well let's park this for now because I suspect repeating myself over again is not going to make it any clearer! :-)

At 0:08 on January 14, 2009, Jun Bueno said…
Hi Anna,

I'm new to Selenium and was a Ruby/Watir tester in the past. I recently installed Selenium RC and has recorded a simple html script using IDE. I wanted better control in the html code but I don't know how. For example, I wanted to enter a "rand()*100" number in a certain field. Do you know how to do that in HTML?

I tried generating a ruby counterpart of the html and tweaked it but I can't seem to make a ruby code run in RC (TestSuite.html). Do you know how I can call a ruby code from the TestSuite.html?
At 8:30 on December 10, 2008, phil kirkham said…
Great idea to start the test book reviews group. I'll be reviewing books anyway as part of a work task so no real problem for me to add a review onto here as well
Now which one to start with....
At 22:59 on November 14, 2008, Rosie Sherry said…
Thanks for the blog posts on Eurostar. It's really nice to have quick updates and opinions of what goes on there.

Thumbs up from Rosie :)
At 11:26 on September 8, 2008, sreelaxmi said…
Hi Anna,

I am very much inteersetd in using Selenium for testing my Web application. But i have some doubts on Selenium Core and RC..?
Could u plz help me in clarifying the same...
At 18:55 on January 17, 2008, Pradeep L said…
Hi Anna,
I am test analyst by profession from India and currently located in London...
Just out of curiosity wanted know what kind of testing activities u guys perform in ur project....


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