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Better Estimation and Planning

When will it be done?

From the dawn of time, we're asking: How long will the project take, and when can we see something working. Especially in our Agile era when the market, technology and skills shift so quickly, we need to communicate estimates clearly and plan effectively, in a sea of uncertainty.

Over time, we've collected a few methods of estimation. We're going to discuss and experiment with them in this workshop, and taste what works and what doesn't. In addition, we're going to see what metrics we need to collect as we go, and how to interpret them to meaningful projection. Finally, we'll see if (and when) the NoEstimates method may be the right answer.

Topics covered in the workshop:

  • Why planning and estimation is important (and to whom)
  • Dealing with the uncertain and the unknown
  • Reducing risks in planning and reporting
  • Estimation methods (relative, story points, cumulative flow)
  • Pros and cons of the different methods
  • Estimating the unknown
  • Projection methods and meaning (Monte-Carlo simulations)
  • Getting real with NoEstimates


Key takeaways:

  • Why estimates suck
  • The priniciples behind using techniques like story points, velocity, flow, and principels planning poker that makes them effective (and what breaks them)
  • How to collect the right data to get better projection for the future
  • How to communicate effects effectively

Testing with Jest

Our front end is written in JavaScript & React, which is a JavaScript library for building user interfaces. Using Jest was an obvious testing choice for us, as Jest is an open source library used for testing JavaScript code & React applications. It requires zero configuration which meant testing sooner & delivering faster. Ideal for our microservices architecture. Jest is composed of many other packages like jest-snapshot, jest-validate etc, which makes Jest more than just a test runner with a built in assertion library. We used Jest Snapshot to test our UI components which works by taking a screenshot & compares it to a stored, reference image. The test fails if the two images do not match. We later realised that Jest Snapshot can be used for most JavaScript types including API responses, arrays, objects strings etc & not only UI components. If you are interested in learning more about Jest & Snapshot testing come join us.

Key takeaways:

  • Jest Snapshot testing
  • Component testing

How Video Games Can Inspire Creative Testing

In my 10+ years in QA, I have built my career on unconventional testing. But that all started with a love for video games and idenitfying bugs in software before I knew what a bug report was. Video games can play a crucial part in becoming a more creative tester, regardless of what industry you are in.  In this presentation, I hope to showcase how video games can create a new way of thinking when looking at everyday apps.  Gaming and testing are both passions of mine and I am exicted to showcase how these can be used hand in hand. 

  • Why would video games be applicable to what I do?
    • ​Video games require a heavy amount of critical thinking and exploration.  Games like Assasins Creed and Breath of the Wild encourage users to think for themselves and find their own path.  This, in turn, induces immense creativity in finding new ways to explore.  For me, this helped me find bugs I never would have thought to look for.  My time in Assasains Creed 3 sailing around the vast ocean in a ship helped me find one of my first "out of the box" bugs at Disney where I sailed on a boat and found a hole in the map after 2.5 hours of sailing. 
    • Addtionally, some video games, such as Dark Souls and Bloodborne are linear but have an elevated difficulty.  Users have to learn constantly as they are defeated by the same enemies, causing them to rethink their strategy and get creative. 
  • Speak more to my experience of this, including examples of what I have been able to find using my gaming experience.  (Will flesh this out heavily for presentation submission)
  • Hands on practical learning via examples provided 
    • Activity 1: I will have game capture footage of an open world game (Breath of the Wild) and one linear game (Bloodborne) to show.  This will showcase points from the above regarding the need to explore or learn from mistakes.  I will prompt the audience to identify ways these scenarios that can help them build what they are currently doing in their day to day testing. 
    • Activity 2: QA a mobile app - Using the knowledge from Activity 1, I will display a mobile app (Super Mario Run) and prompt the audience to give ideas on how to find more creative ways to find a bug in the app. 
  • Both activities above will require audience pariticipation. I will bring an Apple TV for airplay purposes. 
  • Questions
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