Ask the Tester – August 2013 – Taking Questions NOW through 9/13/2013

Thanks to everyone that submitted questions for our article last month.  The interview with Jari Laakso from YOPESO was just published – you can see the updates at the following link: Ask The Tester July 2013

However, it’s time for our next article… and I need your help.  If you’re a test practitioner, leader, or simply have testing related questions for my August 2013 candidate, please submit a comment to this blog.  If selected, your question will be published in our next Ask The Tester column.  I will be taking questions here through Friday, September 13th.

Submit your comment / question as soon as possible and increase your chances of being part of our article!!  So let me tell you a little about Melissa Tondi……

  • Melissa has been in the Software Test/QA/Quality Engineering field for more than 15 years.
  • She has focused on organizing Software Testing teams around three major tenets: efficiency, innovation, and culture.
  • In her current role, she is the Vice President of Mobile practice for ProtoTest
  • She is the founder of Denver Mobile and Automation Quality Engineering (DMAQ) community.
  • Her previous roles have been as:
    • Director of Software Quality Engineering for a 150+ person org for the world’s largest education company
    • QA Consultant for healthcare, finance, and software-as-a-service (SAAS) industries
    • President of Colorado’s Software Quality Association of Denver (SQuAD).
  • In her role with ProtoTest, she is building a Testing practice in the innovative world of Mobile where the concentration is on Functional, Performance, Security and User Experience and the innovative testing techniques that are rising in the Mobile Testing arena.

Follow Melissa on Twitter @melissatondi

Please submit your questions below as comments to this blog.  Please add the following so that we can include in the article:

  • Your Name
  • Title
  • Company / group
  • Geographical location

Melissa will now take your questions!

Author: Mike Lyles

I am an International Speaker, writer, author, blogger, and Director of QA & Project Management with over 25 years of experience. I have always had an intense passion to mentor, coach, and guide others to grow professionally. It is fulfilling to witness the look on people’s faces when you are able to share with them something that is enlightening. I want to be remembered for the way I made others feel when they were around me! I can be followed at the following additional social networks – Please feel free to add me! Connections are our best way to help others! Twitter: @mikelyles ……. follow me and I’ll follow you! Facebook: ……. send a friend request! LinkedIn: ……. send a connection request! Learn more about me at:

15 thoughts on “Ask the Tester – August 2013 – Taking Questions NOW through 9/13/2013”

  1. Your bio says you organise Testing teams around 3 tenets of ” efficiency, innovation, and culture” – can you expand more on this? Do you measure the testers on these? If so, how – if not, how do you measure your testers?

    Surveys go around with stats such as 85% of apps are never tested – what have your experiences been? Given that a lot of apps are free or 99c how do you convince these people to spend money on testing?

    Phil Kirkham
    Atomic Object
    Grand Rapids, MI, USA

  2. I’m curious about the strategy protoTest uses for it’s mobile testing – How do you manage the combinatorial explosion of devices that can be supported? Do you crowdsource, use tools (if so which ones) — do you have some preferred strategies?


    Matthew Heusser
    Managing Consultant
    Excelon Development
    West Michigan, USA

  3. What differencies and similarities do you see between your current and past roles? For example, what similar and different challenges you face?

    Jari Laakso
    Head of QA
    Cluj-Napoca, Romania

  4. (How) do you approach for example security and user experience differently between mobile device manufacturers?

    Jari Laakso
    Head of QA
    Cluj-Napoca, Romania

  5. What kind of rules of thumb do you have for testability in mobile applications? What are the most common things you have seen to affect on mobile testability?

    Jari Laakso
    Head of QA
    Cluj-Napoca, Romania

  6. How do your testers affect on the way how the products are programmed? Do they for example advocate for responsive design when they see it useful? Which project meetings they participate? Are they active talkers in all project meetings they participate?

    Jari Laakso
    Head of QA
    Cluj-Napoca, Romania

  7. I got interested in ProtoTest and the way how you perform testing; especially because you mention context-driven on your pages about Staffing Services. Could you explain how you do context-driven testing and what it means for you?

    Jari Laakso
    Head of QA
    Cluj-Napoca, Romania

  8. While a tester’s critical thinking skill is important to designing effective tests, it is not clear to me on how to improve that skill. What resources or advice do you have to help improve this skill in a test team?

    Vic Bartash
    Software Systems Test Manager
    Somerset New Jersey, USA

  9. In your testing team, what is the ratio of Business testers Vs non-business testers? When there is new member in your team with no prior business knowledge, what type of testing would you let them to do to achieve your testing objectives?

    Madhavi V
    Chicago, IL

  10. You have been a QA consultant in SAAS industry. Per my understanding, TaaS model has its own challenges in effectively estimating for a specific testing service and delivering outcome as predicted. This hence needs to be monitored and controlled through an outcome based test metrics model. Moreover, its implementation requires a very high level of test process, tools and people maturity. Can you please share your perspective on it? How have you effectively achieved this in your organization?

    Akash Srivastava
    Director (Heads Solutions and Testing COE),
    Impulsar InfoTech Pvt. Ltd.
    Noida, India

  11. Dear Melissa,

    reading your bio, you have been organizing software testing teams around three tenets efficiency, innovation, and culture.
    Teamworking is common in organizations and agile teams are self-organized teams with the aim to achieve continuous improvements at the work place which goes beyond daily activities. How do you see the relation of person taking over leadership in an agile team to facilitate a climate for change?
    Is there a relation between the leadership style and the leader team-member and the ability to change so that a climate for innovation will happen. What are the pre-requisite so that a climate for innovation in a self-organized agile team will be possible?

    Mark Menzel
    Managing Consultant
    imbus AG Germany
    follow me on twitter

  12. What differentiates a strong test lead from a QA Manager? What are the key characteristics of a good QA Manager?

    – Anna Slaughter, QA Manager, Lowe’s Companies, Mooresville, NC

  13. Should the QA department assist with Component Integration Testing (CIT)? Should the QA department force the developers to document their test cases and log their defects in Quality Center?

    – Anna Slaughter, QA Manager, Lowe’s Companies, Mooresville, NC

  14. Testing brings up both serious and insignificant issues. How do you deal with filtering those for the best efficiency: at test plan, cultural (tester’s self-censorship), SQA management or Development/Project management level?

    Olivier Houdas
    SQA Manager
    Paris area, France

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