Up to last year, I’d spoken at a few developer and devops conferences about how we build, test and deploy software at Netflix. In 2014 it occurred to me that a lot of this could be interesting to an audience of testers as well. Since I’ve spent quite a bit of my career in testing, it’s great to reconnect with my old comrades !
2. What are you most looking forward to at this year’s conference?
Meeting new people, sharing experiences and learning some cool new techniques. I’m always interested in the cultural and organizational issues involved in our work as well as the technical stuff, and it looks like there will be some great talks in all of those areas.
3. What piece of advice would you give conference attendees to maximize their experience at QA or the Highway?
Participate ! Don’t forget the hallway track – make time to reach out to someone who haven’t met before and share experiences. Talk to the speakers if you have follow up questions; we’re always pleased when our talks inspire conversations. And think about doing a talk yourself next time !
4. How did you become involved in testing?
I started out as a developer, but found it a bit limiting to be working as I was usually working on a small area of a big product. When I got the chance to be a test engineer, I found that I really enjoyed being able to see the big picture of the whole product and work with users, support and marketing more closely than I might have as a developer. I think this experience was a logical step on the way to my current work in build / release engineering and devops, which also involves a big picture approach and lots of interaction with other teams.
5. What are some of you favorite tools in your “testing toolbox”?
For processing test data, there’s not a lot you can’t do with good old Linux command line tools when you want to knock out a quick test script; grep and awk FTW ! For working at bigger scale, I’m really interested in the ELK (Elasticsearch / Logstash / Kibana) stack.
When I need to write a test harness, my favourite languages are Python for general work and Groovy if I need to interact with Java code. Both languages are super productive and have stacks of libraries to save you writing code, including excellent testing frameworks.
6. What are your favorite reading references (books/blogs/etc) that have helped your testing efforts?
Too many to mention; I’d just like to thank all the testers out there who make the effort to share their knowledge with us. I need to do more of that myself !
Garth is the closing keynote speaker for QA or the Highway
You can find Gareth’s 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 Gareth online at the following location:
Previous speakers featured from the QA or the Highway 2015 – Speaker Series: