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Roadblocks to writing tests, and what to do about it.

Some developers either don't write tests, or don't like writing tests.
Why not? I love writing tests.
In this episode we examine lots of roadblocks to testing, and start coming up with solutions for these.

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Creating maintainable test suites for complex systems. The episode describes some complexities involved with hardware testing, then shares techniques for shifting complexity out of the test cases.

  • quick overview of what test instruments are
  • discussion of API and communication with instruments
  • techniques for shifting complexity out of test cases

These techniques should apply to all test suites dealing with complex systems:

  • Creating test cases that are easy to read and debug and tell a story about what is being tested.
  • Pushing setup complexity into fixtures.
  • Pushing lengthy repetitive API call sets into helper functions.
  • Using stable, documented, interfaces.

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Test Driven Development, TDD, can be intimidating to try.
Why is that? And how can we make it less scary?
That's what this episode is about.

Chris May is a Python developer and the co-founder of PyRVA, the Richmond Virginia Python group.
In this episode, Chris shares his experience with adding testing and TDD to his work flow.

I really enjoyed talking with Chris, and I think his story will help lots of people overcome testing anxiety.

Special Guest: Chris May.

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Software testing, if done right, is done all the time, throughout the whole life of a software project. This is different than the verification and validation of a classical model of QA teams. It's more of a collaborative model that actually tries to help get great software out the door faster and iterate quicker.

One of the people at the forefront of this push is Alan Page. Alan and his podcast cohost Brent Jensen tried to boil down what modern testing looks like in the Modern Testing Principles.

I've got Alan here today, to talk about the principles, and also to talk about this transition from classical QA to testing specialists being embedded in software teams and then to software teams doing their own testing.

But that only barely scratches the surface of what we cover. I think you'll learn a lot from this discussion.

The seven principles of Modern Testing:

  1. Our priority is improving the business.
  2. We accelerate the team, and use models like Lean Thinking and the Theory of Constraints to help identify, prioritize and mitigate bottlenecks from the system.
  3. We are a force for continuous improvement, helping the team adapt and optimize in order to succeed, rather than providing a safety net to catch failures.
  4. We care deeply about the quality culture of our team, and we coach, lead, and nurture the team towards a more mature quality culture.
  5. We believe that the customer is the only one capable to judge and evaluate the quality of our product
  6. We use data extensively to deeply understand customer usage and then close the gaps between product hypotheses and business impact.
  7. We expand testing abilities and knowhow across the team; understanding that this may reduce (or eliminate) the need for a dedicated testing specialist.

Special Guest: Alan Page.

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In this episode, I talk with Derrick Mar, CTO and co-founder of Pathrise.
This is the episode you need to listen to to get ready for software interviews.

  • We discuss four aspects of technical interviews that interviewers are looking for:

    • communication
    • problem solving
    • coding
    • verification
  • How to practice for the interview.

  • Techniques for synchronizing with interviewer and asking for hints.

  • Even how to ask the recruiter or hiring manager how to prepare for the interview.

If you or anyone you know has a software interview coming up, this episode will help you both feel more comfortable about the interview before you show up, and give you concrete tips on how to do better during the interview.

Special Guest: Derrick Mar.

Sponsored By:

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This is a "Yay! It's PyCon 2019" episode.
PyCon is very important to me.
But it's kinda hard to put a finger on why.
So I figured I'd ask more people to help explain why it's important.
I ask a few simple questions to people about Python and PyCon and get some great insights into both the language popularity and the special place this conference holds to many people.

Sponsored By:

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Some typical technical interview practices can be harmful and get in the way of hiring great people. April Wensel offers advice to help fix the technical interview process.

She recommends:

  • hire for mindset and attitude
  • look for empathy and mentorship skills
  • allow candidates to show their strengths instead of hunting for weaknesses
  • have the candidate leave feeling good about themselves and your company, regardless of the hiring decision

Some topics discussed:

  • interview questions to bring out stories of skills and successes
  • stereotype threat
  • diversity
  • interview hazing
  • white boards
  • coding challenges
  • unconscious bias
  • emotional intelligence
  • myth of talent shortage
  • pair programming and collaboration during interviews
  • mirrortocracy
  • cultural add vs cultural fit
  • empathy
  • mentoring

This episode is important for anyone going into a technical interview, as a candidate, as a hiring manager, or as a member of an interview team.

Special Guest: April Wensel.

Sponsored By:

Support Test & Code - Software Testing, Development, Python

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Nina Zakharenko gives some great advice about giving tech talks.
We talk about a blog series that Nina wrote called "The Ultimate Guide To Memorable Tech Talks". Of course, we don't rehash the whole blog series, but this episode is full of great help and encouragement for your own public speaking adventures.

Some of what we discuss:

  • overcoming the fear of public speaking
  • breathing and pausing during talks
  • planning your talk as well as planning your time to get ready for the talk
  • writing proposals and getting feedback on proposals
  • Nina's talk in PyCascades on programming Adafruit chips
  • types of talks that are often rejected
  • pre-recording demos to avoid live demo problems
  • why you should speak, even if you are an introvert
  • benefits of public speaking
  • a super cool announcement at the end

Special Guest: Nina Zakharenko.

Sponsored By:

Support Test & Code - Software Testing, Development, Python

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Dane and Brian discuss skills needed for people that become software developers from non-traditional paths.

Dane is also writing a book to address many of these skill gaps, Code Like a Pro, that's currently in an early access phase. Use code podtest&code19 to get a discount. And, sign up as a Friend of the Show to enter for a chance to win a free copy of the eBook version.

We also discuss the writing process, testing with a multi-language stack, music, art, photography, and more.

Special Guest: Dane Hillard.

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Andy Hunt and Dave Thomas wrote the seminal software development book, The Pragmatic Programmer. Together they founded The Pragmatic Programmers and are well known as founders of the agile movement and authors of the Agile Manifesto. They founded the Pragmatic Bookshelf publishing business in 2003.

The Pragmatic Bookshelf published it's most important book, in my opinion, in 2017 with the first pytest book available from any publisher.

Topics:

Special Guest: Andy Hunt.

Sponsored By:

Support Test & Code - Software Testing, Development, Python

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