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Tech Talks With Mike Harris: Exploring The Various Aspects Of Software Testing

01-Dec-2021

Tech Talks With Mike Harris: Exploring The Various Aspects Of Software Testing

For the past few years, the software testing industry has experienced some serious boon. And it is quite natural to happen since the entire business world is quickly leaning on the digital transformation initiatives.  

The need to sustain the digital environment in the highly competitive world has even made way for changing trends in the testing industry. Beginning from the change of methodologies like Waterfall to Agile, the present-day IT organizations are looking forward to more advanced capabilities like shift left approach, automation, etc.  

Since BugRaptors always aim to leverage QA solutions to a level above, we frequently connect with testing professionals from different parts of the world to share a whole new approach to the entire testing community.  

This time, our inhouse expert and QA Project Manager, Rajeev Verma, had a conversation with Mike Harris who is working as a Tester at Geckoboard and is also serving the position of Programme Secretary at BCS SIGiST.  

With a massive industry experience of more than 23 years, Mike Harris is a seasoned test analyst who has led testing, managed testers and set up Communities of Practice. As long as it is concerned with Mike’s key skills, Mike is a true maestro of testing. Since he is an experienced test lead, he holds a great grip on test analysis and planning with a solid knowledge of lean and agile practices.  

Without taking much of your time, let us quickly jump on learning what Mike has to share in context to software testing, agile environment, along with his experiences from the testing career. 

  • Who influenced you to get into the software testing field? 

Mike: The Test Manager on the first project I worked on after university was Geoff Olding. He showed me how to test and supported me starting my career as a tester. He was a really good manager. 

  • What is the most important lesson you’ve learned over your career? 

Mike: Believe in yourself. 

  • One motivation that keeps you going. 

Mike: I want to make things better. 

  • What kind of challenges have you encountered while performing testing in an agile environment? 

Mike: Agile and quality could be better understood and this is why I have started to speak about the work of W. Edwards Deming at testing conferences. His work underpins lean, agile and our understanding of quality. This is a link to one of my talks on Deming: https://skillsmatter.com/skillscasts/14109-what-did-deming-s-work-on-quality-do-for-us 

  • How much testing is required to test any app? 

Mike: This depends on the context. If you are working on safety critical software such as an air traffic control system you need to test extensively, but if you are working on a mvp for a start-up less testing is required. 

  • What is one piece of advice you’d give to someone starting out in your career? 

Mike: Keep learning. To be a good tester you need to keep learning new things, whether they are testing techniques, soft skills, or programming skills. 

  • What are the best upcoming conferences testers should attend or can participate? 

Mike: I am a member of the British Computer Society and am Programme Secretary of its Specialist Interest Group in Software Testing (SIGiST). We have a great programme for 2022 that already includes a discussion on quality with Mary and Tom Poppendieck and a webinar on “How Diversity and Inclusion Can Improve Testing”. Please either join the British Computer Society or follow us on twitter @SIGiST to get details of our events. 

  • What would be the best ways to stay connected with you?  

Mike: Please follow:  

Summing it up, I would like to say that "no man is an island". I am one of the testing professionals who contributed to the eBook Testing Stories. All proceeds from the book go to the mental health charity Open Sourcing Mental Illness. It would be great if we sold more copies of the book and raised more money for the charity.

The book can be purchased from lean publishing: https://leanpub.com/testing_stories/ 

Thank you! 

Wondering how to pair your software testing initiatives with agile testing practices? Our experts at BugRaptors could share all the necessary help. For more information, reach us through info@bugraptors.com  

Stay connected for more such updates! 

author

Rajeev Verma

Rajeev works as Project Manager at BugRaptors. He is working on several Web Application , Network Vulnerability assessments, Mobile Application , Secure Network Architecture reviews. He has knowledge in various automated and manual security testing methodologies. He has also frequently coordinated with stakeholders as an on-site resource to assist them in discovering security loopholes and fixing the identified issues.

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