Quality Testing

Quality is delighting customers

Interview of Joel Montvelisky - QA Manager, Product Architect & Co-Founder, PractiTest

Can you tell us a bit about yourself and what you do?
My name is Joel, I was born in Costa Rica and I now live in Israel with my wife, 2 kids and a dog. I am a Testing Professional. This means many things: sometimes I am a tester or a test manager, other times a testing instructor or consultant, and you can also see me as a regular testing blogger, testing lecturer and the Product Architect for PractiTest. The main link for all my tasks is the fact they are centered around the world of Testing (and so they have been for the past 13+ years). Tell us brief about PractiTest (Test Management Tool) and how it will be useful for a Software Test Engineer? PractiTest is already helping a large number of Testers and Organizations around the world to manage their Testing and QA Process, making the work of the tester more focused and professional, letting them concentrate on their applications and not on the managing tasks for their test documents or isolated bug tracking systems.
The Platform is designed to answer the needs of today's QA & Testing Teams; covering the end-to-end Testing Lifecycle, from Requirement's Definition, to Test Creation and Execution, Bug Tracking, and General Project Reporting; and providing the correct methodological basis for teams of all sizes and process types. The system comes with many "smart features" to make our lives (the lives of software test engineers and managers) easier and more effective. And most importantly PractiTest is affordable, so most companies can work with it based on its low monthly subscription fee.

How does your day start and how does your day end? What all do you do in a day that corresponding to testing?
I will describe one of my usual "days in the office", since they seem to be the easier to structure...
The day starts by going over my mail and checking for escaping defects coming from the field that were reported by our Services & Support Team (I usually do this before I leave home, with my first cup of coffee in front of my computer). When I get to the office and after finishing scanning my email, I make an effort to scan some of my regular web testing communities (like qualitytesting) and blogs, I do this as a way of keeping up to date with what's going on in the testing world. During the morning I will make sure to review the Testing Tasks of my team, going over their testing progress and the new important bugs requiring my personal intervention. Morning time is also when I set my periodic meetings with my team as well as the coordination meetings with other teams' managers in order to make sure our Tests are being focused and coordination with the changing needs of the our projects.
I try to schedule lunches with people in my teams and teams next to mine as a way of keeping an informal link with the people I work with. We talk about work related issues, but also about personal stuff. I believe that as a tester my obligation is with the people and try to make sure they feel comfortable talking to me.
Afternoon is the time when I talk to customers, usually about their testing process and ways of improving it. I also make a point of having a stack of Testing and QA articles that I want to review.
If I am lucky, I will do my testing tasks (the execution or writing of the tests themselves) during the afternoon.
By late afternoon or early evening I take the time to talk with the US Customers (because of the time differences).

What are the most common performance related mistakes that you have seen in the projects (java applications)?
It's been a while since I worked on a J2EE Application Server project, but in the last one the main problems were related database hangs and to the way the system handled load-balancing between different servers and clusters.
Today most of the projects I work are Ruby on Rails, and here we see mostly performance issues related to database architecture and the complexity of the applications themselves that start taking a toll on the systems once they reach a large size.

As a Test Engineer, What are the scripting languages should learn?
As a Test Engineer you don't necessarily need to dominate a scripting language. For most of my career I managed as a manual tester without going into any automation or scripting whatsoever.
Now my tasks do require scripting and I am using mostly Ruby, but this is because of the nature of my projects. I think that I could be using Perl and getting the similar results.
The important thing is to use a language supported by the testing tools today, this Ruby is a good case for Ruby, although there are some tools like QTP where you will be better if you know VB.

What is the future of software testing in correct economic crisis?
Crisis come and go, we lived through the first and second bubble bursting and they now seem like a thing of the past; the difference this time is that the crisis is global and cross-sector so more people are feeling it closer to home.
In some places testing is one of the first engineering places to be affected by downsizing, we cannot deny this fact and thus we are currently seeing a big number of testing professionals out on the street and some new engineers having trouble finding a job without experience.
To the people out in the street I can only suggest to be patient and keep looking since there are still companies hiring, it just takes more time. For those with jobs, you need to make sure you are providing value to your organization and not only running tests that don't bring any value to your management team. Think about each test you want to run before you run it, think if there are no other tests that would be more valuable to the decision making process of the organization and project.

What is Agile Testing? How it will be useful for a Software Tester?
I haven't heard about Agile Testing, although I am familiar with Testing within Agile Projects. Agile Teams require tester to break with the traditional AUT-Coverage-Based methodologies, and to become part of the team and really work based on the defined sprint stories and tasks.
This does not mean that we should not worry about regression testing, load testing or all the rest of our "standard" testing tasks; we just need to understand that our main task is to work within the development process (instead of next to it!) and provide visibility into what is happening in the project in real time.

How you find www.qualitytesting.info ? How much you will give rating from 1 to 10 (1 is least and 10 is highest)?
I like the content of the community and the quality of it's members. I also think the topics are interesting. I do think that the GUI is a bit crowded and sometimes it makes me tired to search for data in it (take this as a usability testing comment!)
Overall it would receive about ~8 rating

Which feature you like more on QT? Why?
I like the collaboration parts of it, specially the forum and blogs. It is interesting to read all the comments and opinion from such a divers number of members.

Any message to Quality Testing (QT) Members?
My message is to collaborate, but not to ask other members for answers they can get easily over the Internet. There is something about investigating and learning by yourself that helps you to develop and enrich your testing skills. Collaborating is great, laziness not!
Dear Members,

We wish him all the best in professional and personal life.

-QT Moderator


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Comment by smathew on May 3, 2013 at 5:21am

Brilliant read! Thanks for sharing your life with us!

Comment by Tea-time with Testers on July 5, 2011 at 1:31am
cool Interview. Thanks Joel and QT Team.

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