As one of our favourite Agile Testers makes his way back home to Norway, Marius leaves us with some words of wisdom on his time at BookingBug.
1. What do you love about working at BookingBug?
Oh. There's so much! But I would have to highlight the people. There's such a big spread of different backgrounds within the different teams, which makes BookingBug such an interesting place to work. It's also very exciting to be working with such a talented Development and Product team. To be surrounded by them on a day to day basis has been a pure pleasure. And – there's a pool table downstairs. I was absolutely terrible when I started working here, and now I'm just bad!
2. How would you describe the culture?
Diverse, Fun, Talented and Eager!
3. Talk me through your team, who you work most closely with and who you report directly to.
So, all the Testers are embedded within the different Scrum Teams – which are divided based on the different parts of the product. My team, Tetris (yeah, all the teams are named after old school video games), are responsible for our API. Tetris consists of a Product Manager, 6 Developers (one of them being the team lead), and myself. All the Testers also work with each other on a day to day basis. We try to help one another and are all here to help ship the best possible software we can. The Test Team all report to Jack Fenton, the Test Lead, but the day to day team stuff is usually kept within the Scrum Team itself.
4. How much of an impact do you get to have on decision making within the team?
Lots. As I work so closely with the Product Manager and the Devs, I do have a lot to say during all parts of the development cycle. From scoping out the features, to planning the sprints, through to development and release. As well as having a say in decisions that impact the overall process of testing in the company.
5. What does your day-to-day role look like and what's your favourite/key part?
I usually come in quite early, have my breakfast while I have a chat with the team about life, or maybe a weird issue I found yesterday. I also check the stats from our nightly automation runs on the latest pre-release and do some investigation if there's anything out of the norm. Then the team gathers around the stand-up area for a quick recap of yesterday, and what today looks like.
Giving rapid feedback is key as an Agile Tester, so I try to go through the work that the Developers are doing or have done with throughout the entire day. It might consist of writing automated checks and acceptance tests (I strive to write the scenarios in the planning phase), creating collections in Postman, or pairing with the Developers. I also try to get at least one exploratory testing session done each day (where I also do some mind mapping).
On top of that, there are different meetings spread out during the sprint (not too many though. I have seen other colleagues calendars, and mine looks close to empty compared to theirs!); sprint elaborations, sprint retros and team retros (we have our own QA retro too, where we can praise ourselves for an hour every couple of weeks. Last week we had it in the park. It was super nice. I got a tan).
I might also have to do some regression checks or write a few new automated regression tests. Another thing that usually comes up is planning sessions. Either with the whole team or like a 1-to-1. I love those. Whiteboarding out ideas and highlight our concerns is a great way of starting any sort of work.
6. What is the ratio of manual to automation testing like?
Hard to say. Some days are almost all scripting, others are all manual. I’m going with 50/50.
7. Talk me through the technologies you use as an Agile Tester at BookingBug.
On a day to day basis, I use Cucumber and Gherkin to write down scenarios and Ruby to automate the tests. I also use Postman a lot, as I'm in the team focussing on our API. I've also helped to build our automation framework aka Steve (Steve for prez 2018) and especially focussing on our integration with TestRail, where we can pull out reports and even plan our testing activities. I'm also using Sauce Labs for cross-browser testing (both manually and for automation).
8. What are the main skills you would say you need working as an Agile Tester here?
I would put communication skills pretty high. The reason being that you need to be able to communicate with all the different parts of the team. As a Tester, you're historically (and therefore by some, automatically) seen as the bearer of bad news and in order to shift that into something positive, you have to communicate with style. I also think it's important to understand the tech lingo and being able to learn new technologies and testing techniques fast.
9. What is the career progression like for Tester within the Company?
You will have the opportunity to learn loads here, so a Tester’s career pathway would be what you make of it. Lead? Manager? Engineer? You decide!
Interested in filling Marius's role? Apply to join the team here.