QA or the Highway 2016 – Speaker Series – Featuring Erik Davis

Our third featured speaker who will be at QA or the Highway is Erik Davis.


1. What attracted you to speaking again at QA or the Highway?

To be honest, I was wracking my brain for a topic for this year, and ended up proposing a session I’m co-presenting with Rob Bowyer that we came up with for another conference later this year. Submitting it to QAOTH forces us to get working on it sooner, and makes it more real.

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

Presenting with Rob, meeting new people, and finding new things to try out at work.

3. Since last year, what has been some of your favorite reading references (books/blogs/etc) that have helped your grow as a testing professional?

Much of my professional reading in the past year has been on Twitter (if that counts). I was tasked with spinning up an automation team at work, and I dug around on Twitter for for comments/blog posts/etc from people like Richard Robinson and Jim Holmes to get some ideas on where to start.

4. What do you enjoy about the testing “field”/what keeps you in testing?

It’s such a vast, and relatively young, profession that you don’t have to do the same thing for long if you don’t want to.

5. What do you think is the most important skill(s) software testers should have?

Today, I say tenacity – Testers need to be able to go after things, bugs, knowledge, the unknown. They need to know when not to take no (or ‘works on my machine’) for an answer, and when it’s time they might need to. They need to attack, but not blindly.

6. What advice would you give to new testers or to those looking to find their “testing spark” for reigniting their passion for testing?

Find what excites you and do it. That sounds stupid simple, I know, but it works. For example, if you enjoy understanding how people interact with and use a product, research UX and how it applies to testing. Do you like ferreting out difficult to reproduce issues, or finding ways to speed up brainless, boring tasks? Look in to automation. If your company doesn’t have a team that does the thing you like, start one. I work at a company with ~2000 employees and we continue to have new initiatives pop up and take hold because 1 person was passionate enough to start it.

Erik will be co-presenting with Rob Bowyer speaking on the topic of “How Do I Reach the Congregation When I’m Preaching to the Choir”.

You can find Erik’s session information or more information about QA or the Highway 2016 by going to the following links:

Twitter: @erikld
Blog: Sowing Deeds

Previous speakers featured from the QA or the Highway 2016 – Speaker Series:

Matt Heusser
Bhupesh Dahal

QA or the Highway