Tester Meetup reaches Lahore
To gather a crowd of over 100 testers representing 30+ companies on a Saturday early morning in a city where dining out late is not just a habit but a ritual was the first sign of success. Then crisp presentations and well engaged discussions during the 3 hour long session made everyone believe that we’ve got it right. And when the event was over, it was not actually over as lots of chats were flowing to discuss many ideas like doing training, workshops, more meetups. The testing community is definitely on a mission in Pakistan.
(more photos of the event are on facebook)
The meetup which was a co-production of Pakistan Software Testing Board , Kualitatem and Information Technology University was held at the beautiful Arfa Software Technology Park . The session kickstarted with Dr. Zohaib Iqbal, President of PSTB, to introduce the current state of testing community in Pakistan and the value that such meetups can add. He recapped the journey so far and the plans ahead and asked for as many as volunteers as possible. His theme of “collaborate to achieve greatness” was well liked by the audience.
The first technical talk was by Rizwan Jaffri who is an experienced tester and has been actively attempting to engage the local community. Rizwan’s main point was that testing processes can co-exist in a SCRUM (or other Agile) setups and he spoke of his own experience how Test case Reviews and Test Practice reviews help improve the test planning and execution in current and future sprints. He was generous enough to share some templates that he has found useful and offered to contact him if you wish to use them.
Then Humaira Anwar took the stage who was one of the driving forces to bring the meetup to Lahore after she attended the Islamabad’s January edition. Humaira talked about the basic Security testing that a functional tester can do apart from the usual responsibilities. She shared the OWASP set of vulnerabilities and some common ways to take care of those issues. She also made a point by saying that organizations can’t afford dedicated Security Testers, so each tester should do minimal testing to make sure that the solutions their company is offering are secure.
The third talk was included in the event on popular demand. It was a replica of Dr. Uzair Khan’s talk at the Islamabad event where he explained how he and his team has adapted Model Based Testing to automate Game testing. The fun part was when he demo’ed an open source version of Mario and ran it in a simulated way to find bugs. Audience asked some intriguing questions which the humble Dr. gave quite satisfactory answers.
Before the tea break, the partners of the event shared their vision. Khurram Mir who is co-founder of Kualitatem, the biggest IT company in Pakistan to focus on Testing services, shared the story of success and how competing in the modern world requires raising personal standards of professionalism and self-learning. Dr. Adnan Noor Mian who is HoD of CS department at ITU did a quick tour of ITU offerings and extended his offer to do any such events in future as well.
The group break up for a delicious tea which was more of an excuse to indulge in even juicier discussions that happened in the gallery next to the seminar room. Lots of new connections were seen to be made there.
All testers assembled again to have a panel discussion on “Automation, Why and What to automate”. First the panelist shared their version of the story and then the audience poured in lots of questions. The panel included likes of Sadia Malik who is head of QA services at Kualitatem, Kamran Khan who has a decade plus of automation experience, Dr. Shaukat Ali who is a Ph.D. scholar at Simula Research lab, Norway, Muhammad Rafiq and Arif Masood (famous for his testerlogic blog) who are automation practitioners. Questions were a mixed bag, where people asked that they have certain years of experience and can they start automation now, if a code base is years old – whether you should automate that or not, what are the criteria of selection for automation and so on.
Given the lack of choices the organizers had, I was asked to close the session. After thanking all the participants who sacrificed their Saturday morning to their passion for the testing profession, I requested the audience to collaborate more and try the things they learned today at home. “Do try this at home” was what my message was.
Certificates were distributed among the presenters, panelists and organizers with a special thanks to Dr. Khurram Bhatti of ITU who took all the pain to arrange all the stuff which ensured the seamless execution of the event.
And your guess is right that this event is start of the story, not the end. We’ll be soon back in Lahore to have more sessions like above and now eyeing to do so in Karachi too. Our testers friends in Islamabad, don’t worry, we have some plans for you too 🙂