QA or the Highway 2015 – Speaker Series – Featuring Jess Lancaster

QA or the Highway

Our eighth featured speaker who will be at QA or the Highway is Jess Lancaster.
1. What attracted you to speaking at QA or the Highway?

I met Joseph Ours at the KWSQA conference last year and found out about QA or the Highway. After discussing with Joseph some topics I’d been thinking about presenting he gave me some feedback on them. That conversation led to a submission that was accepted!

2. What are you most looking forward to at this year’s conference?

I’m really looking forward to connecting with the speakers and attendees. Engaging with them about what’s working well and not so well in their testing is of great value to me. At every conference I attend I am always looking for something to bring back and try out on my job. QA or the Highway will be no different!

3. What piece of advice would you give conference attendees to maximize their experience at QA or the Highway?

Network! Often times the nuggets of wisdom I bring back from a conference are based on the conversations I’ve had other testers in the hallway or at lunch. I want to know how others have tackled their testing challenges and what they have learned from doing so.

4. How did you become involved in testing?

I started in software testing by transferring from a help desk position to a maintenance release tester on a government project several years ago. In testing one of my earliest maintenance releases I found a major bug in the logic of a tax program that was miscalculating by millions of dollars. After a few pats on the back for finding that bug I thought to myself, “Hey, you just might be good at this testing thing!” Fast forward 18 years… I’m still looking for a bug to rival that one.

5. What are some of your favorite tools in your “testing toolbox”?

Snagit, of course! I used Snagit for years before I came to work its maker, TechSmith. Once I got on the inside other testers I worked with opened up a whole new world of uses for it in my testing – not just screen captures, but screen recording, capture profiles, mobile device integration, and lots of sharing options!

Mind maps – I’ve been using mind maps more and more to generate test ideas and to collaborate with other testers on test design for projects.

6. What are your favorite reading references (books/blogs/etc) that have helped your testing efforts?

I really like Ministry of Testing. It has resources for a variety of testing topics and an inventory of software testing blogs they claim is the largest collection in the world.

I’m also a fan of Stickyminds. They have great articles that focus across the spectrum of software development, testing, and quality.

For books, “Lessons Learned in Software Testing” has had the most profound impact on me as a tester. It is filled with nuggets of wisdom about testing based on the authors’ experience, not just theory.

Jess will be speaking on “Show It!: Better Testing through Visual Communication.”

You can find Jess’ speaker bio, session information, or more information about QA or the Highway 2015 by going to any of the following links:

You can also find Jess online at the following locations:

Twitter:  @jessclancaster

Previous speakers featured from the QA or the Highway 2015 – Speaker Series:

Jim Holmes
Raj Subramanian
Joseph Beale
Kelli Searfos
Dmitry Sharkov
Justin Rohrman
Shaminder Rai