It goes without saying that 2020 was a weird year for everybody. I wasn’t nearly as active on Twitter as I was last year, but thought I would try this again anyway. Just a few highlights from the testing twittersphere, based on what I thought to bookmark throughout the year.
In no particular order, first some general testing discussions:
- A comment on how waits are one of the things Selenium gets attacked for, despite patterns like
wait.until(foo)being similar to the familiar
await foo(). This struck me at a time where I was dealing with waits in Cypress (despite the slick marketing that you don’t need them).
- This idea for handling “testing debt” (one of those things that’s a new phrase to me but that seems obvious in retrospect) via Rob Meaney.
- What does “working software” even mean?
- Loved this #AutomationWeek concept for a series of automation challenges from the Ministry of Testing. I regret not putting time into one or two of these at the time, as it could have been an opportunity to speak at a TestBash event. Hopefully they’ll do it again next year!
- Again from Rob Meaney, framing testability as minimizing the likelihood of failure and operability as minimizing the impact. Related, a benefit of observability is about solving mysteries faster (another way to lessen impact).
- I’ve heard it claimed that all testing is exploratory, but Maaret Pyhäjärvi offers a counterpoint (via Anne-Marie Charrett).
- A reminder that I really need to read Katrina Clokie’s book, despite an ever-growing stack of unread non-fiction already on my desk. (Meanwhile, Alan Page reminded me that I still need to read An Elegant Puzzle, and John Cutler added The Remarkable Chief Engineer to the list).
- A good point from Merrick Christensen that “legacy” code is code that worked well enough to survive long enough to be considered legacy. A serious peeve of mine is people dumping on working code without considering it for what it is and what it achieves. Believe that people did the best they could in the context they were in at the time.
- “Jack of all trades, master of none, but oftentimes better than a master of one.“
- The idea of “product surface area” from Andrew Montalenti helped me conceptualize how my company (and its challenges) differ from others. We aren’t all comparable.
- “The art of testing is picking the most meaningful tests out of the infinitely many that you can write” from Mario Cervera.
- A great example of how solving problematic language with a linter is problematic in itself.
- This analogy from Kristin Jackvony is good to have in your back pocket the next time someone suggests counting “number of test cases”. Somewhat related is this analogy between test cases and recipes and my response to it.
- I think I agree with Elizabeth Ayer that “Sequencing” is a better term than “Prioritization”. Priority isn’t the only factor that determines when things get done.
On careers and culture:
- An initiative to get more diversity in testing.
- A fascinating insider take on Gatsby from Nat Alison. Not something I’ve used but this was worth reading for sure.
- Some advice on being an effective test automation engineer, and for managers how to not drive us away, from Angie Jones.
- Something to watch for about holistic professional profiles (though Cassidy is worth following for the lols at the very least). This post on How to Market Yourself is related.
Some practical tips and tools:
- Some apt advice on onboarding people remotely.
- A handy tool for generating CSS grid layouts, from Sarah Drasner.
- A good template from John Cutler on not just communicating values, but what those values mean in practice. I often find vague “values” serving as little more than good intentions. This may help.
- I admit I mostly bookmarked it for the name, which has since been changed, but HoppScotch (née Postwoman) might be worth looking into for API testing.
- Conventional Comments as a way to make intensions clearer in things like pull requests.
- Remember to use CSS to support motion sensitive users by disabling smooth scrolling between anchors on a page (among other things).
- Setting font-size relative to viewport in an accessible way.
- This VScode extension for helping writing more accessible code is also worth a look.
- Technical writing is a skill; this course from Google may help.
- This is a great thread with tips on giving presentations at conferences. The one that I bookmarked references a tool on how to cheat at live demos that I still want to try. This set of prompt questions for writing proposals is also interesting.
- I bookmarked some security advice on using
target="_blank"from Bolaji Ayodeji, via Angie Jones, but unfortunately the link has since died. Nonetheless, something to research.
And finally, for a bit of fun: