Even though Augusto and I never met in person, I have known him for several years through his contributions to a Software Testing LinkedIn group. With his expertise in software testing he has helped the group of professional testers with great answers and also by questioning the questions. I’ve learned many new things from Augusto.
I contacted Augusto and asked for a short interview about software testing to share with the AskTester community. Fortunately, Augusto accepted the invitation and here is the interview!
1. Hi Augusto, can you please share a little bit about yourself, your professional experience and expertise?
Hi Thanh, first of all let me tell you that I am honored to have been chosen by a smart person like you for an interview, and I am delighted to be able to give a little help to the AskTester community.
Back to the question now 🙂
As a kid, I loved catching lizards and frogs and playing sports, I didn’t really like going to school. As you can imagine my parents were ecstatic…
I reluctantly balanced my real interests with some study and managed to complete my education getting a degree in Mathematics at the University of Bologna.
After college and a short stint in the army, I was very lucky to work for one of the very first Internet Service Providers in Italy, where I lived the early days of the Internet revolution and learned a lot about software and people.
Since then I have worked in many other companies as a developer, tester, analyst, manager, and anything else that was needed in the specific context.
2. Any pictures?
I like this one that was taken last year at Agile2014 in Orlando, Florida. As you can see I upgraded lizards and frogs to snakes and alligators.
3. With years of experience in software testing in various roles, how have you seen testing change from traditional to Agile testing?
Agile software development is transforming the software industry; the way we do testing in agile teams is very different from the way we did it before. In particular the role of the tester has changed massively and a lot of traditional testers are struggling to make the transition.
If there is one thing that I would recommend to a tester transitioning to agile is to unlearn as quickly as possible the “quality police” aspects of traditional testing and start focusing on collaborating with developers and business stakeholders.
4. Together with Agile testing, automation test has become more and more popular. Is this a good sign for the end of life of manual testing?
I think that manual and automated testing is a false dichotomy. They are two completely different solutions that resolve two completely different problems; the only link between them is in the name.
Our industry, in particular some tools vendors, have made a mess by conflating the two concepts. This has confused testers and also encouraged companies to use the wrong tools for the job.
I believe that we need both, test automation and exploratory/manual testing, as I said before, they resolve different problems.
5. What are critical traits you think a tester must have regardless of the shop he/she is in?
In order to enjoy testing, and become good at it, you’ve got to be a curious person. If you are not the kind of person that asks “why?” and “what if?” then maybe testing is not for you.
You also need to have high levels of empathy to be able to work effectively in a team.
6. For those who are new in software testing, what are your three advices to them so that they can get along well in their testing career?
a. Ask yourself “am I enjoying this?” If the answer is yes, then go ahead and stick with it, if the answer is no, then look inside yourself and find something you enjoy doing. It’s a shame being stuck in a job we don’t like, we live only once and we need to enjoy our job.
b. Be always mindful of the people you work with. Making your colleagues life better should be part of everyone’s job description.
c. Never stop learning.
7. What are your favorite books, not just about software testing? I’m pretty sure you have a lot of favorite books. Naming three of them is just fine.
That’s a difficult question, there are so many to choose from! Let’s try:
If you are an agile tester or you want to become one, then you definitely want to read the latest book from Lisa Crispin and Janet Gregory, two great women that were fundamental in shaping the role of the agile tester. The title is “More Agile Testing: Learning Journeys for the Whole Team” and it is a great read for anybody working in an agile team, regardless of specific role.
If you want to expand your knowledge beyond testing I would recommend ” Lean Software Development: An Agile Toolkit for Software Development Managers” from Mary and Tom Poppendieck, the pioneers of Lean Software Development, I learned so much from this pearl of a book!
But life is not only software development and testing, I am going to add to this list also a classic novel about friendship. I read it about ten years ago and touched me deeply, “The Kite Runner” from Khaled Hosseini.
8. Any blog you are following?
Too many to list, but I would definitely recommend these:
9. Last question, how many testers does it take to change a light bulb?
Nice one Thanh! Let me think…
I would say many. One will want to read the light bulb specification manual, one will want to check the temperature of the bulb before touching it, one will want to test the integration with the socket, one will want to execute the end to end testing from switch to bulb and one will want to automate the process for the next time the bulb breaks 🙂
Thanks Augusto for your great answers. I believe what you’re sharing today is helping and motivating our software tester community a lot. For those who like what Augusto is sharing, you can contact him at:
Augusto also blogs his ideas at http://mysoftwarequality.wordpress.com.
Thanks again and see you around Augusto!
Want to be the next interview guest? Drop me an email at: thanh[at]asktester.com