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How QA Leads Can Engage Testing Teams (with Ileana Herrera from JBKnowledge)

Jonathon speaks with Ileana Herrera, an organizer for Ministry of Test in Salta. They discuss challenges and successes in team building and engagement.

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Audio Transcription:

Jonathon Wright

Hey, and welcome to TheQALead.com. Today, I’m joined by Ileana, who’s a scrum master and QA lead. She’s going to talk about her experience of helping the community, such as Ministry of Test and some of the experiences that she’s had speaking at TestBash Netherlands, but also lots of different recent events around cross-culture. So don’t miss out this episode. 

Intro

In the digital reality, evolution over revolution prevails. The QA approaches and techniques that worked yesterday will fail you tomorrow. So free your mind. The automation cyborg has been sent back in time. TED Speaker Jonathon Wright’s mission is to help you save the future from bad software. 

Jonathon Wright

So, hope,  I’m going to hand over to Ileana. Welcome to the show. 

Ileana Herrera

Yeah, sure. So, yeah, I’m based in Argentina. I think it’s not important to say I’m twenty-eight years old. But anyhow, I started testing like six years ago, and it’s always a very funny story. I used to work in retail. My mom has, had a clothing store, a chain, and so I was a bit tired of that. I didn’t really know what I wanted to do. And so I was drinking beer with a friend and we were talking about career paths. What are we going to do in the future? And she worked in the company that I currently work for and she said, So are you interested in moving to testing? What is testing? I said, I mean, that was a complete new word in my vocabulary. And she said, well, I work in this company and we play with software, I said playing, sitting on a computer? Sure, why not? And so for this company, the only thing that you must do in order to get an interview was to have a proper level of English. And I marked that checkbox and I said, OK, sure, let’s go ahead. I had that interview and they didn’t really ask for anything specific, like testing background, because first, it’s a very new career here. So not a lot of people know it. I’m still looking for testers in Salta. So that’s something that we still do. And they wanted people with energy and people with the insight, very curious. And apparently I marked all the checkboxes, even though in the interview I said they asked me, so why are you here? Oh, my friends said I’ll be playing. So sure. I’ll just come and play. Until this day, I asked the head of HR like, why did you not say anything at that point? And she said because it was a very honest answer. And yeah, now that I get to do interviews, I understand why she picked me. And so yeah, I started there. I had the best trainer ever. She’s Antonella. She’s also very engaged with the testing community. She works in Barcelona now. She moved there a couple of years ago. So the first two years were learning and but mainly regarding, you know, some testing techniques that we used in the company at that moment. And then we learn about the products. But at one point, I guess I just got tired of the same thing. I was not involved in a community. I read a blog here or a blog there, but nothing really clicked in. I wanted more. So the day that I was I decided that maybe testing was not my thing and I decided to resign. My boss called me and he said, OK, so we want you to lead a team of seven. I said, OK, sure, it sounds like a great opportunity and something different, because when it came to testing, we didn’t have a lead. So our leaders would be developers and they were great leaders, great people, but they didn’t have the line up when it comes to testing, to best practices, you know, to those interesting things that you learn as you go as you move along in your testing career. So I was a bit frustrated there because I had some ideas. I wanted to apply things that I saw in blogs. And the answer would be no, but we don’t do that here. Why don’t we do that here? It sounds amazing. A lot of people are saying that this approach is good, that they try the one that we’re trying right now and it didn’t work really well, so why not change? So I just kept it going until my boss presented that opportunity and I said yes. And it was a huge change in my career and my mindset, I guess, because you, I started to think not only of what I wanted out of testing but also how to explain it to people and how to show people that testing is an interesting career once you have the support of a person that goes with you along the way because. It’s not the same to say, hey, I want to apply this technique and people just say no instead of just going to your lead, at least in my company, there are other companies where the lead it’s a very young company and we’re learning. And right now they listen to us and everything that we say. So that’s great. But we were a lot of testers that failed probably the same way. So now we are united. 

Ileana Herrera

You know they say unit is the force. So we started doing that and practicing applying best practices and the team felt contained and comfortable. So it was really nice to see the results as well, because you can either try a lot of things, but if you don’t see results, well, something’s wrong. And the team was very pleased to have us, ahem sorry, to have us working together across different products. And it was fun. And then like a year later, I was introduced to the Minister of Testing and that again changed my mindset a little bit more. I think that all along my career, there were breaking points where I learned more stuff and I decided to take it a little further. So I started joining the club, participating in conversations there. Never on Slack. I wasn’t really familiar with the Slack concept. So just a club. And Heather, she’s the one that runs that part. She’s amazing. And every time I had a question or I wanted to bring a new post, you say yes. And a year after that, it was last year I decided to take a trip to Europe with my boyfriend just on vacation. And she said, hey, you know, your trip falls into the exact same time as TestBash, Netherlands. I said, are those things expensive? We don’t know. We live in Argentina. Our currency is very, very unstable. And she said, hey, but they have a scholarship that you can apply to. So I just sent Richard an email saying why I wanted to apply to that scholarship, what I would get out of it. And they replied with a yes, which was amazing. And my boyfriend did as well. He’s a developer in the same company. So he also applied and he’s also very engaged when it comes to quality, which is a rare thing in some developers. So I think that’s where we click. And so, yeah, we went there. I saw a bunch of people, we had the comm friends, the workshops. I had a workshop on team building activities. It was amazing. Christina Ohanian was leading that. We played with Legos, you know, agile with Legos. That was extremely amazing. I was the first time that I saw that and experience that. It was really fun. So I started taking notes and creating my, I call it and I will show you, it’s like my testing notes. It’s a book that they give you. And I started taking notes on everything that I, on every webinar that I take on testing and sometimes things related to testing, like coaching, team building. So, yeah, I think that’s when this book started and I’m about to finish it. So yeah, I came to Salta with a lot of different ideas and a fresh mind energized getting to know a lot of testers that had the same passion as me. And I was here and I saw that, you know, I had all this energy, but no one else did. I was like, OK, I need to do something with this. So there’s another tester in another division in my company. And we are like very apart because it’s different divisions. So I said maybe I should talk to this person, what he thinks. So I started talking to him about testing and he was a mine gold. 

Ileana Herrera

He’s a very bright person. He’s been in testing for, I don’t know, like twenty years, so. A lot, and he has a lot of experience, but we’ve never really talked, and at that point I didn’t know why I never reached out to him, so he was very excited to have someone else talk about testing in the same levels of fashion. And we thought, hey, why not make testing coffee here in Salta, even though it’s just the two of us, maybe a lot of people would join later. And so we just set a date and we called a couple of testers that we thought would be interested. And then we posted a flyer. And at that point we decided it would be just anything on testing, not we want to pick a subject, just go there, have some nice coffee and discuss why you like testing, I guess. And it was four people, which was great. We spent a morning talking about it. It was really fun. And then I wanted more. So I said, OK, why not reach to Ministry of Testing? They don’t have a meetup session here in Argentina. So I just sent an email. I said I want to create a community here and I think Ministry of testing was the right community to join because they are very open, engaging in and just very nice to talk to. It’s a very pleasant community to be part of. And they just said, sure, why not just go ahead. You have used this logo, use that logo. This is what we do, a great amount of support from their side. And so, yeah, I started posting things. I created an Instagram account and then I was talking in a webinar with another community from Ministry of Testing Sfax that’s run by Emna Ayadi. And we’re talking in Instagram. And I was just following her, her posts all very interesting regarding team building. And we decided to create this virtual coffee for testers. So the concept is we say, OK, in a month we’re going to have this session. So just go ahead and pick a subject. Everyone, let’s go ahead and vote. And the most voted one or two, most voted ones are the ones that we were going to talk about. So we prepared something. If it falls into our lines of expertise, if not OK, we just presented the subject and then people join and they share what they have to say about that specific subject. And we had the first one. It was really fun. And we talked about automation, when to automate, when not to automate. A lot of people were interested in that subject and also writing reports. So we just shared our experiences, writing reports and a lot of people did, too. And then when that finished, it was a huge success and people are asking for another session. And I was really excited because if you have noticed, like all along this journey that the testing is I discovered the team building is one of my passions. So right now, being a QA Lead, it’s it’s the right way to go. It’s what makes me feel, you know, whenever you go to work, I say, like, why if you’re not waking up and being excited about your job, maybe you have to rethink about it and rethink about what you’re doing, what is it that you really want to do? So that really falls into the thing that excites me. And I read about it and I try to apply new things. So yeah, then a lot of people ask for more. And then Antonella joined as well and we created the second session between the three of us. So it was really fun getting to move into the community section of testing. And you learn a lot from that and you don’t feel alone, which is a part that I love the most because you get to know other testers that feel the same way as you and you learn from them. It’s really interesting. So that’s basically a short, long introduction. 

Jonathon Wright

I have to say. That’s definitely the best introduction we’ve ever had on TheQALead.com. You know, your enthusiasm is intoxicating. And in the sense of you remind me of. Back in the 90s, when I was you know, I remember when they interviewed me that it was kind of the enthusiasm was the main reason that I got the job and, you know, and you’re using that. So it’s kind of it’s really refreshing to hear your journey. And I think it fits into both the quality aspect of The QA Lead as well as the leadership, which is your new role in, as a scrum master. And I must admit, I kind of followed through your experience at u trek with the pictures that you took, you know, in the lego and the agile looks like swim lanes of some description. And the church for the ninety-nine-second talk, which looks it does look absolutely amazing. And it’s yeah. I’ve just kind of taken aback by just how your journey, you know, is a journey which I think a lot of people have had to take. And, you know, finding a mentor, you know, which is kind of what you mentioned and also, you know, getting the scholarship, you know, it’s changed your career. And I think a lot of people would love to follow in those kind of footsteps. And I’m going to recommend afterwards maybe. So we’re doing a book at the moment, which is on Lean Pub. It’s a free book and it’s around the world in A/B tests and testers. 

Ileana Herrera

I’m writing an article for that.

Jonathon Wright

There you go. So I think they definitely do that. I think it’d be really good to represent Argentina and also your story as well, especially your book, which you kind of showed with the Ministry of Test and your kind of journey you’ve taken, because I think that’s a really interesting kind of challenge, which I think everybody has. And obviously, everyone’s exposure to testing is different. And, you know, coming in from a play kind of viewpoint. And it reminds me of I don’t know if you’ve seen Mystic Quest, but they have. Yeah, it’s all about a it’s an Apple TV, but it’s all about them running a software development company that makes games. And they’ve got obviously testers who play with the games. Right. But, you know, moving past, playing into this kind of, like you said, reporting this leadership aspect, this sharing, you know, good practice. And what that means and how that affects just decisions on a day to day basis is really interesting. So, you know, I’d love to kind of, you know, obviously in your new role was a kind of a scrum master. What are the new challenges that you’re finding? 

Ileana Herrera

Well, currently, I have heard of something called quarantine. So right now everyone’s working remote. And sometimes it’s a challenge, you know, to get people to turn on their cameras because the sense that you get when you’re in meetings, it’s very different. So we currently work with a team-based here in Argentina and one of our clients is in Ukraine. So the people in Ukraine, they’re just some of them were showing their cameras and some of them weren’t. So it was our new team that we all know us very well. We work in the same environment. We see each other every day. Then we move to quarantine. So it was not that bad because everyone was very comfortable showing their faces. But when it came to the other team, I had never stopped to realize that maybe, you know, not seeing the other person’s face would be a problem because I had I mean, it was only with them. And for me that was normal. I had never experienced working from home before. So we had this, you know, meetings and we had not seen his face since he joined this specific person. So he joined in November. And, you know, just a name there. I was like, OK, I’m very curious about this person. And he wouldn’t participate quite a lot during planning meetings. Every time he was asked something, he said yes, no. But, you know, he never really gave his true opinion on things because he didn’t feel comfortable. So I started reading about games for retrospectives that were virtual. So the first one that we tried was to choose one like that was the perfect game. A couple of people that were not showing their faces. Sorry to do so. Just it’s a simple game. You just see three facts about yourself. Two of them have to be true and one of them has to be a lie. And the rest have to guess which one the lie is. So it was very fun. And people were having fun and people were turning the cameras on. And I said, yes, good. I got everyone. No, I didn’t get everyone. There was this one person, that was still not showing his face, and it made me feel like I needed to keep searching. I’m very curious about searching stuff and getting to solve my problems. So when you are a scrum master, you have to be the person that makes that connection. If people are not feeling comfortable, you need to reach out to them and say, hey, what’s going on? So I reach out to him and he said everything was OK. So he just didn’t feel like showing his face. And I was like, sure, OK, we’ll respect that. But I still felt that there was something missing in grooming sessions and planning sessions. It’s not something that you see, but you feel it. So I just took the chance and I started reading again about games or maybe a different approach. And I said, OK, let’s give it a try to another simple game. And we tried something like I just gave the guys four sentences for incomplete sentences. Like if I were an ice cream flavor, I would be and everyone had to say which type there would be and why. So when he came to his turn, he turned the camera on and everyone was so happy. I mean, it was not just me that felt that it was the rest of the team as well. And everyone was celebrating. Hey, I’m so glad to see you for the first time. It’s so good. And he was smiling. He was really happy. So I think that currently that was the challenge that I was facing the most. It’s so people’s relationship and how fitting into a team and feeling, does not feeling comfortable can affect your participation when it comes to grooming sessions and planning sessions.

And I think that’s wonderful. And I give you a great, great example. One of my good friends, a lady called Judy Gardner, used to always say the quote, You know, if you’re not having fun, there’s something wrong. Right? And I remember picking up I was in Vegas at the time, picking up a session, What she wasn’t able to make on emotional intelligence. Now, I must admit, that’s never been my kind of my real kind of ability is the kind of the softer skill side of things. And, you know, from a growth perspective, it’s really important. And I actually, you know, part of the gamification guild, which I kind of joined, similar to what you were saying with the MoT. And part of that, what I did was we started introducing games. So there’s lots of things like Kahoot and other asynchronous kind of games where you play offline to kind of get people more involved with the team. And I think part of it is, you know, when you look at what was the way that we interacted with each other before in the past, using things like Myers Briggs, you know, and then identifying how they would their communication methods would be is very different to kind of what we’re experiencing now. And I had Damian on the show. And he also attended a testing roundtable of about a few weeks ago with Michael Bolton and James Park. And we were talking about the secret life of testers in this kind of all these activities that we have behind the scenes, which I know you’ve seen, that you get kind of involved with that program at the moment. And Damian, I’ll make sure his podcast is linked in to here. So Damian run is running a virtual clinic on communication. And, you know, he spent his life kind of looking at how to improve and all these other types of ways of getting people to participate better and also to be clearer around what they’re articulating. And, you know, definitely check out the podcast. And also a guy called Simon Prior, who also is part of the Ministry of Test and runs a whole stack of meetings. And he’s also just launched his own podcast called The Testing Peers, which is four or five of the close friends who all the way through their journey in testing, they’ve supported each other and they’re now telling that story back, which is really interesting. And also he talks the MoT events around neurodiversity. So he put a blog on The QA Lead. And we also both posted around neurodiversity, because I think one of the other challenges which a lot of people have now is they’re suffering with, you know, like you said, there is this kind of anxiety of going on camera or some kind of confidence kind of level, which is quite hard. And what you find, which obviously is not a blanket rule here, but, you know, typically people in our industry are somewhere on the spectrum. So part of dealing with them can be really complex. And I remember back when I had a team of R&D guys in Oxford and they’re all Oxbridge University students, so they all apply, you know, applied math, applied physics, incredibly smart people, but, you know, their communication skills and where they were on the spectrum was, you know, incredible. You know, they you’d find them singing steps, songs halfway through the day. They’d have that dirty laundry on the floor in the office. And you were kind of they were like children. And we actually called it the pit, which was just the smell what you had from kind of teenage boys in a room do it cutting code. But actually we call them product innovation team. But really, it was it was don’t show the customer these kind of people, because under the hood, you know, they are incredibly bright, but they’re not very good at articulating themselves. And I think what you’ve brought up here and you know what you’re at, you’re experiencing now from a scrum master is actually there is maybe a new type of I don’t know if it’s emotional intelligence or some other type of framework where, you know, under these circumstances and under remote working is how do you encourage that collaboration? And also, like you said, the importance of just eye contact, being able to see each other, be able to talk to each other, to get a feeling of how they are, you know, how happy they are. You know, if they’re on board with the kind of the commitment to the things that you’re trying to commit to. And I’ve actually just been I’ve just spent the last week looking at the ISO, reviewing the ISO standard for agile in software testing. And, you know, it is really interesting because I kind of passed it over to a guy called Giles Lindsay, who was doing a spoke at an event that I ran last week. And he passed and I passed it on to my friend Ray Arell, who’s run the Agile Alliance podcast, which is over and is based in Portland. And I remember being in Portland with Ray about six or seven years ago. And he was responsible for rolling out agile across Intel. 

Jonathon Wright

And I remember, you know, asking him this question about, well, what type of skills are you looking for? For kind of how, you know, you’re agile teams, you know, scrum masters, what are what’s emerging through it? And he said artists. And so I was like, OK, that’s strange. And artistically, it seems like a strange answer. And it was interesting because Hillsboro, which is where the Intel site it’s got 20000 people who work for Intel in that one town. So everybody who works in the town works for Intel, even the people who work part-time work and the bars. So you go into a bar and you kind of say, oh, yeah, I’ve just had a really long day. Oh, they say, oh, how was Intel and what department do you work in? And they would be in HR or they’d be in accounting or something. And it was just one big community. Right, including all the shops and everything else. And it was really interesting because literally, the corridors were as long, you know, there was one and a half kilometers because it was a square it was one and a half kilometers long. So you couldn’t actually see the bottom of corridors. But this huge campus. Right. And I said to myself, what do you mean by artists? And he said, well, come and have a look. And he said, we’ve scrapped all the old pigpen kind of situations, which is, you know, OK, fine. And they’d gone into this kind of rooms where they had sofas and, you know, the collaboration space. But what was really interesting was the pictures on the wall and what they done as part of their original kind of kick-off. 

Jonathon Wright

They talked about the vision and the mission and statement and what that meant to them. And they had these artists who would draw these fantastic images of kind of the goal of, you know, whether it be happy customers or, you know, a new product or a new vision. And they would express it. And as the story untold every spring planning or every PI planning session they had, the images would start emerging of the eve of this beautiful artwork on the wall. And they were committed to that vision in a way that, you know, connected them all through art. And I thought it was absolutely fascinating at the time. And I kind of thought, you know, how does this change really fought for people? And like your friend, you mentioned, you know, silly things like, I know a long time ago we used to do avatars for, you know, sticking it on the board. But, you know, representing yourself, you know, as an avatar at least gives some character to what you’re feeling. And I think, you know, that’s a really important bit is identifying, you know, giving somebody an identity. 

Jonathon Wright

And I find it fascinating that you’re kind of this is the big challenge now in this new the new norm is, is how do you deal with those kind of things? 

Ileana Herrera

Exactly. And there’s a lot of people that, you know. Talk about that, so Geeta Gupta is one of them, she gave a webinar on psychological safety. So it’s also, you know, having the energy to participate and look for new ideas, but also to understand that working from home right now is not just working from home. This new normality that we talk about is way different. So if you are in a situation where people want to apply working from home as it generally works, it possibly you will encounter problems such as people not wanting to show their cameras and you have to be open to understanding why that might happen. So when I reach out to this person and I ask, how are you feeling? OK. Yes. So he said yes. And it was just me giving it a shot to maybe he wants to show us his face or not, because there are a lot of things that go on the background like, I don’t know, maybe people just are very intimidated about, you know, they don’t want to share their space. It’s their private space and or I don’t know, maybe they just feel sad. Quarantine just hit us very hard. And some of us are with our families, but some people are alone in their apartment. So it’s a very stressful and new situation for all of us. So, you know, just getting to understand and maybe think why the other person might not want to share that with you. It’s also very important. So mixing it up with games for me it worked. So I’m happy with that. But, you know, it goes hand in hand. 

Jonathon Wright

Yeah, definitely. There’s a great podcast I did for Vivit Talks with a fellow board member called Bob Crews. And so he’s been pretty much the entire lockdown trying to boost morale within the organization. So they you know, they do things like Fridays. They will all act as characters, whether it’s a pirate or whatever the theme is. You know, they’ll do lunches where, you know, he gets vouchers with, you know, something like delivery or to deliver food so they could all sit down and eat a meal together and, you know, putting the fun back into to kind of this collaboration, I think it’s really important. And as you said, you know, past the people wrangling side of things is actually the emotional side of things and how we interact with each other as human beings. And those boundaries and everything else, I think, you know, is extremely challenging. And I’m quite excited about maybe some of the things which are going to come out of the back of how we can improve this kind of working. 

Jonathon Wright

And I kind of mentioned Ray and Intel, but I remember and I’ll share the link at about five years ago, Ray used to have a robot Ray, which was himself, which was an iPad stuck on top of a just a robot, which would go and navigate through the holes in Intel to go to meetings. So whether he was in Mexico for the morning meeting or wherever he would, his robot would, you know, undock from the power, go to the meeting room. And, you know, we’ve got to interact one on one with people, but also be able to talk to the whole team. Now, it was really interesting because he said to me back then, actually, the most interesting conversations that he got were in the hallway where literally as his robot was just wandering around trying to find which room to go into, people would stop him and go, Hey, Ray, can I ask you something while you’re you know, you go into this meeting or wherever. So he was fascinated about how that interaction, I suppose what we’re missing now, which is, you know, you go and grab some watercooler or something and you start having that kind of conversation and, you know, it may be splinter off some innovation or it might some splinter, some kind of conversations, which you would not normally have done is maybe something that’s missing. And so, you know, this concept, I guess with things like Salesforce and chatter, you know, this whole organizational-wide conversation is not just limited to, like you mentioned, Slack and maybe just channel based with the teams, you know, the other people in the organization, the business, you know, the people that you don’t see on a day to day basis. But you actually still want to reach out to and get a feeling for, you know, their enthusiasm and what they’re what’s important to them. And maybe this pyramid of needs is getting reassessed by what we need to look at now and how that needs to be redefined. So I think the story which you’re telling is that redefinition of, you know, interaction with people under these new hard circumstances, but also the learning experiences that you’re taking with that. So it’d be really fascinating to definitely the 80 days around the testing world but, but also what you’ve learned from the scrum master. A side of things as well in the leadership side of things and how important it is and things like neurodiversity around, you know, mental health and all the challenges of just being up to check in with people, making sure they’re OK, you know, just morale and also rewarding them as well, whether that’s just through games, through breaks, through anything just to kind of give back. I think that’s a fascinating story. So so where’s Next on the journey? What have you got? Have you got any more talks? MoT Lean Coffees. What’s the next big thing for you?

Ileana Herrera

Right now? 

Ileana Herrera

I’m focusing on my writing, so I guess that’s something that I wanted to do and and people have started challenging me a bit. So whenever there was a writing blogs challenge, I would get tagged there. But I’ve always felt like a person that feels more comfortable talking. So I decided that writing was one of the things that I wanted to try out just to see if I was good at. And it’s extremely hard. So I’ve been taking some webinars also on writing. I share my sketch notes in Twitter and I wrote a piece of my story for one of Emna’s new project, Twenty One Century Skills for Testers. She’s doing that with Art Kramer. So they’re collecting a lot of stories. And then I’m still writing the one on A/B tests testers around the world. And I’ve also reached out to Jasper. He’s writing about testers across the world working from home. So that’s really interesting because you get to see not just testers around the world and the perspective towards testing, but, you know, working in this new normality. So, yeah, I’m giving it a shot. So and as for the meetups, I’m preparing a webinar related to how to show value, how to show your value as a tester if you don’t have, you know, the technical side of things, because I haven’t studied to be a tester at university, so I don’t know how to develop things. I’m not really good with code, but there are a lot of things that as a tester you can learn if you don’t like that very technical part and still work through your career. And that’s something that I’ve done and my team does. So apparently it’s something that a lot of people suffer as well, because I hate this answer. When you’re explaining something, they say no, but that’s code. You don’t need to understand that. Oh, no, it’s just a dev’s tag and you are curious about it. So you need to get some tools and to prepare yourself to dedicate some time to learning to get that energy and that just energy to go ahead and say, hey, I know this, let’s talk about it. So growing up, that confidence of it, which is the case in this office, because as I mentioned, it’s a very small town here. And so most of the technology part of things is rather in Buenos Aires or Cordoba, so Salta it’s it has a lot of potential, but without with testing itself, it’s like we’re just looking for people. And if you search testers, you will not find a lot. So what we do is we prepare them. And that’s what I want to write about as well, how to be a tester without the testing career at university, which a lot of people have. And that’s great. But for the ones that don’t have that, we still have a career in testing and the opportunities that arise are just gigantic. I mean, I started as a tester and then I was moved to QA Lead and now scrum master. And there are things that you discover and all of them are related. So that’s basically like my goal in my career to help people understand that there is more to you know, just testing a lot of techniques around it. And if you find your passion in testing even better, because you’ll be doing something that you like and you love and that you’ll be able to do for the rest of your life. So it’s a journey that doesn’t stop now. 

Jonathon Wright

Yeah, I completely agree. And. It’s interesting, I know you’ve seen about books during lockdown, I’m on my fourth book, which I’ve done, and the first two were easy enough, one with Eran and people like Jason from Test AI and talking about kind of where the future is. And then I did a book on with Citrix around delivery of pipelines about how you deliver better quality products. And I’m just finishing one off with for Rex Black and Angie Jones. And again, another big book that’s coming out. And it’s really interesting because, you know, everyone always says this. You’ve got one good book on you. And I did a book many years ago on On Automation cookbook, which was kind of patterns of automation. And now I’m kind of changing my viewpoint in the sense of actually, you know, they don’t tell anybody today. I actually decided to use a ghostwriter because part of it is, you know, not everyone’s skill is language. 

Jonathon Wright

It’s a beautiful piece of poetry and writing. But you know that you know that journalism and understanding what the gems are and what needs to be emphasized is something that maybe I can’t do by default. 

Jonathon Wright

So, you know, part of that journey was, OK, how do I actually change? Maybe because I’m also dyslexic, you know, avoid potentially going down that route and really focusing on on on spending too much time in one aspect, which it may be or maybe relevant, maybe not relevant. So, you know, I’d recommend checking that out, go into five or something and just have a look at some want to help you with that. Or, you know, you can, you know, carry on and wrestle with it. But it is you know, it’s such a hard thing language. And, you know, it’s one of the main reasons why testing exists is, you know, it’s great for poetry and I’ve got catching up with Huw Price, who talks, you know, he says, you know, language is great for poetry, but for requirements and software development because of the ambiguity of the language itself and the multiple meanings. So, you know, part of what you were saying with the discussion around code is and this was something that literally the last two days on LinkedIn, it just exploded where people are saying I’m a manual tester. For some unknown reason, the manual tester doesn’t want to become an automated tester. I would strongly agree that. Don’t you know, you don’t need to be a technical coder. You actually just need to better understand it and maybe understand models or understand visually what the challenge is. I don’t think the ability to read code is an absolute requirement. I think it’s actually those communication skills that you mentioned before. It’s that ability to understand the impact of that and but not maybe not just learning to code. And I think this is one of the things we’ve got to kind of change is that test is in the purest form, are awesome. And, you know, you don’t need to change. And of course, if you want to do automation, great. If you want to do security grade, if you want to do performance, great. Whatever your passion is, follow it. But, you know, it’s not a you must learn to code and you must, you know, do these five things. I think, you know, you take your own journey in the direction you want to go. And, you know, I agree with what James and Michael are saying at the moment is actually that value conversation you’re having in the Next the MoT meetup is, you know, well, actually, my value is more than just, you know, me as a test. You know, I’m doing all of these are the things I’m doing, you know, I’m doing Dataprep. I’m doing, you know, I’m understanding bug resolutions and dealing with different people from the business to understand what that should look like. 

Jonathon Wright

It’s all of those skills that you’ve got which aren’t visible. And that’s the secret life of testers. It’s the stuff which you don’t see. And then maybe what people do see, which is, well, you raising bugs or you’re executing tasks, you know, I don’t think that’s important anymore. I think actually values much more than that. So, you know, I think lots of exciting stuff to talk about. And we’ll have to get you back on on the show once your journey continues. And so so what’s the best way for for for listeners to kind of get in touch with you or reach out to you? 

Ileana Herrera

Well, Twitter, I’m very active on Twitter and also Instagram, I know a lot of people don’t use it, but it’s great to share videos and short stories. So in Instagram, you can find me as Ministry of Testing Salta and in Twitter, Ileana Herrera, and LinkedIn as well. Very active there because a lot of people share a lot of stuff there and webinars and notes and articles. So a lot of information. Also a very good resource to you know, some learning material. Amazing.

Jonathon Wright

Perfect. 

Jonathon Wright

Well, it’s been an absolute pleasure having you on the show today. And we’ll keep in touch. And I’m really excited about your chapter for the 80 testers around the world. 

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