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QA's Notes: My Toolset, Testing Myths, and First Clojure Project

QA's Notes: My Toolset, Testing Myths, and First Clojure Project

September 23, 2022
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7 min read

Hi, I'm Vitaliy! And this is the story of my testing journey and my first experience with Clojure + some tips for beginners.

About me

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<medium>First do it, then do it right, then do it better.<medium> This quote by Addy Osmani could be a good motto for the testers division.

Anyway, that's how I see my mission as a QA engineer.

Full of <medium>challenges and aha moments<medium>, the tester's career is the path worth stepping on. Here, I want to share my thoughts on how to do it with joy, what tools to use, and more.

Three common myths about QA testers

Let's start with three popular myths and misconceptions about software testing and try to break them.

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If you 1. are passionate about exploring software development and diving into processes 2. want to improve your critical thinking skills — software testing is exactly what you need. Take your time, stay enthusiastic, and let's start the journey!

How to become a QA tester or leave this idea forever

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The time will come when you ask yourself, <medium>which side of the QA force to choose<medium>? The light one — to think holistically about architecture and entities, harnessing peace and calm? Or stay on the dark side, breaking things and delving to tricky issues missed by developers?

The truth is that <medium>even with all the skills and a holistic mindset, you still have to be a rebel<medium> to not lose sight of risks and bugs.

Here is the moment of glory: missed by devs, a corner case is caught by you. A critical error is detected. You prevent a headache. The apocalypse is canceled. Are you ready to become a superhero? 😎

<medium>In the world of QA engineering, you will be both creator and destroyer<medium>. And all for a good cause: to create a superb product and shape the best possible user experience.

Important point: don't start chaotic learning of anything and everything. Set a goal.

For example, you want to be good at API testing.

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P. S.: Here are three books I'd recommend for both beginners and experienced specialists to look at QA testing from a new angle and discover interesting facts you might not have known.

books for QA testers what to read

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QA toolkit: my top tools for testing and beyond

QA toolkit

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Testing Clojure product: challenges and solutions

I'll say right away that my first experience with Clojure was not very smooth.

<medium>Unusual syntax, macros, and rollbacks<medium> seemed too complicated at first glance.

Since it was my first Clojure project, my initial steps involved:

1. learning documentation

2. analyzing requirements

3. writing user stories

Our QA team faced a task: together with the developers, we had to choose the testing strategy that could <medium>reduce the regression test suite<medium> (by covering all critical functionality with autotests).

By the way, here's a little bit about the project.

It's a biomedical data science platform (NDA) that provides software for pharmaceutical companies and laboratories analyzing biomarkers needed for <medium>synthesizing and disease research.<medium>

I worked on test parameterization and improving the reusability of test scripts, enabling developers to quickly check test results and collaborate more closely.

In fact, there isn't much difference between the QA testing methods used for Clojure products and software written in other programming languages.

Unit tests, integration tests, e2e tests — everything is at your disposal. You can test with or without mocks or stubs. There are specific code coverage tools, linters, and other lovely things from the gentleman's QA bag.

Some interesting points I've mentioned:

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It was one of the projects where we succeeded in implementing the testing pyramid concept promoted by Mike Cohn.

testing pyramid Mike Cohn

This pyramid includes the following stages: <medium>Unit Tests, Service Tests, and User Interface Tests<medium> at the top. It visualizes the principle of categorizing software tests into buckets of different granularity. More high-level = fewer tests.

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Little backstage story

My typical workday is pretty simple. It starts with fresh lemon-mint water and an outdoor workout (jogging or jumping rope) in the early morning.

Then, after checking work email, Jira, Confluence, and work chats, the story begins. Jira tasks, Trello tickets, tests, bugs, video meetings, and evening reports — you won't get bored 😉

And, finally, a walk along the evening park or brightly illuminated central streets to gather thoughts and find inspiration for the next workday.

Besides professional self-development, I have three dreams:

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I enjoy learning new technologies and sharing this knowledge with the team. Hopefully, I'll have more time for this. I am always open to a discussion or answering your questions. Contact me on Linkedin or welcome to my Instagram page to find new posts about testing and share content you like.

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