QA or the Highway 2016 – Speaker Series – Joseph Beale

Our ninth featured speaker who will be at QA or the Highway is Joseph Beale.

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

I have a great time doing these talks.  This is my third one and they flow in a somewhat logical order.  As soon as I finished last year I was already starting to think about what I might want to share this year.  I enjoy sharing what I’ve learned each year and I’ve gotten a lot of great feedback from people and that fuels me to try to do more.

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

The sessions are great but I spent most of last year’s conference just catching up with friends that I hadn’t seen in a while and forging new relationships.  The day goes by very quickly but it is very fulfilling and so I’m really looking forward to seeing all of those old friends again.

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?

Since I am now almost exclusively working with test automation I spend a lot of time searching for code examples on sites like API Dock and Stack Overflow.  CheezyWorld has been very helpful to me in the past and I have gotten a lot of good tips from Joe Colantonio’s blog.  As for books, I find that I am still continuously challenged by the vision laid out in “Continuous Delivery” by Jez Humble and David Farley.

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

The field is constantly changing in terms of the technologies used and if you are a systems tester you don’t usually get stuck with any particular technology or language, something that can be a risk for developers.  Testing is very bottom-line focused and that suits my personality.  Also, testing is a field where there always seem to be new opportunities.

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

I look for individuals who have an eye for detail above everything else.  A good tester is typically the kind of person who looks at a big paragraph of text and sees the typos before anyone else does.  A willingness to experiment is important, as well as the ability to communicate with people from both the business and development sides of the house.  Development experience is not essential but I think it’s helpful in this regard.

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

I think it’s important for a tester to feel a bit of pain if a defect is present.  He/she should take it personally.  This will drive the tester toward maximum effort to analyze the problem and be able to explain it to people without casting stones or pointing fingers.  Today there is more emphasis than ever on the idea of collaboration, the notion that the whole software delivery effort is about the team and not about the “star developer”.  A healthy amount of respect for your colleagues combined with a passion to deliver a quality product will continuously renew your testing energies.

If you are not excited to get up and go to work every day (Ok, I’ll settle for “most days”) then you are probably in the wrong position.  Take results personally and think about the steps necessary to improve the situation if it is not to your liking.  There is no substitute for passion.

Joseph will be speaking on a session entitled “Feeding Your Automated Tests: A Practical Demo”.

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

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

Matt Heusser
Bhupesh Dahal
Erik Davis 
Karen Johnson
Pradeepa Narayanaswamy
Stan Jónsson
Matthew Eakin
Kelsey Shannahan