interview

Testing Community Big Believer – Rosie Sherry Interview

Rosie Sherry is the founder of the Software Testing Club.  Active software testing community manager through her company – Schux.

Marcin Zręda: What is your history of involvement in quality assurance? Did you chose it because you had such a plan, or may it simply came out?

Rosie Sherry: I once worked for a bank.  Started there when I was 19.  After a year I was going mental.  I hated it.  When I was there I got involved in some UAT (User Acceptance Testing) testing and also helped make system recommendations because there were problems (ie. bugs).
Soon after I got my first proper job as a tester for a local web company.  I didn’t really know what I wanted to do.  Was keen to work with technology and felt like testing was a good starting point for me (because I didn’t have a clue!)

MZ: In my opinion, women are predisposed to be better testers, especially when it comes to usability, are inquisitive and patient. What is your opinion?

RS: I don’t like to make generic gender observations.  We are all individuals.  There are great women and male testers in our industry.

MZ: Many people have just such an answer for this question, but it is not sexist at all, comes from my observations. In my opinion, women are more patient doing in example: test scenarios. Of course, men are needed in other areas 🙂

RS: It’s still a generic question that is hard to define.  In the UK for example, there are more women teachers.  A mix of culture and history. However in other European countries teachers are dominated by men. I just don’t think it is right to separate things according to gender. A lot has to do with the mindsets of people and their country.

MZ: What do you think that the crisis should accelerate the production of software at the expense of quality, or increase quality at the expense of new products ? What are your observations on this subject?

RS: It depends 🙂  Launching something too late can make a business fail. As can launching something too early. Launching something buggy can make it fail too.  Launching something over perfected can cause failure.
I think testers often incorrectly assume they have a right to decide when a product should launch.  A product is a business – leave the big decisions to those that are hired to do it.

MZ: What can you recommend for new candidates of software testing on what they believe, what they should know the direction in which to grow?

RS: I’m a big believer in community and being social.  The best thing a new tester can do is to get social on the web or at events.  They don’t have to be testing related events of websites.  By getting out there and understanding their industry people can gain a much better understanding of what opportunities are out there.

MZ: What was the history of the idea creating a community portal for testers?

RS: I wanted somewhere to meet other likeminded people, at the time I couldn’t find anywhere to do this.  I started it as an experiment and it’s just never stopped growing.

MZ: Nowadays we have a lot of social online places, a lot of redundant content, multiple sources of that content etc. In my opinion only sites with great, structured content will survive when current social and community balloon bangs.

RS: Content is crucial for success.  As is the social interaction. There’s a fine balance between these two in all successful social networks.

MZ: How would you rate the development of communities involved in quality assurance?

RS: There has been progress, but still feel there is a lot to do. The testing community still feels very much separated from the rest of software process.  I’d like to see more overlap in the technology industry as a whole. Get designers, developers (etc) signing up to our testing communities.  And get testers signing up to other non testing communities. We can all learn from each other.

MZ: Can you describe main softwaretestingclub.com features ? What are the advantages of using the site?

RS: STC is a social network. It has all the profiles, forums, blogs and groups like many niche social networks.  We have started adding other stuff like The Exchange (http://exchange.softwaretesitngclub.com), resources, Tester Feeds (http://feeds.softwaretestingclub.com).  The aim is to always be helpful, useful and professional.

MZ: How about future plans for portal ? Can we expect something new ?

RS: There are future plans. One is the Magazine (http://magazine.softwaretestingclub.com).  There are others, but I generally don’t talk about them until they are ready to launch.  It’s not about being secretive, it’s more about expectations.  If I say something is coming then people start asking about it.  Quite often it takes longer than expected to reach a goal.  Especially when my life consists of lots of juggling.

MZ: Thank you very Rossy, it was nice to mention these few thoughts. Good luck.

RS: Thank you.

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