Magnus Pettersson

Company: SWARCO Sverige AB

Role in Company: Test leader

Country: Sweden

Presentation Takeaways

1. Inspiration on new and different ways to learn about testing.
2. The knowledge that a beloved hobby can be a great training ground for testing.
3. Skills and interests that you might want to look for when hiring testers.

Speaker Biography

I started working in testing by coincidence like so many others. Having previous experiens as a teacher and an IT-technician I just happened to apply for the right work at the right time and by that I found my calling. I have worked in testing for almost ten years now and even though I have looked back or pondered the famous grass on the other side some times, I still consider myself to have the best job ever. Currently testing various smart traffic solutions which is both fun and challenging since the solutions often demand that I not only think outside the box.

Presentation Description

Can we learn vital testing skills from a collective daydream? I say yes, and I’ll tell you how it worked for me. Roleplaying has elements that answers to the description above, and teaches skills that can be put to good use in testing. My own journey as a roleplayer started when I was 8 years old. Now, about 30 years on, I can thank my hobby for many of the skills I use in my testing career. I ended up in testing by coincidence like so many others and had to use whatever skills I already knew to come in control of my new job. Fortunately, the skills I’d learned through all these years of roleplaying proved useful, and through the years, I’ve had many opportunities to find uses for them.

The curiosity and ability to learn things fast, that sort of comes natural with roleplaying helped me a lot during an internship where I had to learn the quite complicated software fast to become productive in the test team. Reading the thick books and tables that makes out the rules and worlds of some of my favourite roleplaying systems, proved very useful when sifting through data, for example when I had to follow reports for several buses, to see if they sent the data they were supposed to. Writing scenarios for a hobby was no different than writing a scenario test which was well suited to combine with another common roleplaying feature, the drawing of maps and floor plans.

As an example: I was testing alarm controls on a new platform a couple of years ago. To make my scenarios more clear, and have a comprehensive way of describing quite complicated alarm systems I made a simple floor plan for my scenarios. Thanks to this, the scenarios managed to live as long as needed, and could be pulled out months after creation without raising any questions on what was the thoughts behind any of the tests. To this day, 8 years of testing and 30 years of roleplaying later, I still try out new ways of using skills I learned from playing Dungeons and Dragons, in testing.