A Blog from QualiTest

Zap Zap Zap!

I love testing! It’s as simple as that. It’s something I’ve always enjoyed, and something which I am passionate about. I’m also hugely passionate about...

I love testing! It’s as simple as that. It’s something I’ve always enjoyed, and something which I am passionate about. I’m also hugely passionate about the people in testing that make valuable contributions and bring positive energy to the evolution of our industry. So, as the guest blogger at QualiTest for the next few months I wanted to start my first post with some insights into the primary testing community activity with which I get involved – Zappers!

This is a competitive testing event, something which I helped to start as part of TCL many years ago. Initially it was an event we held inside the company, to share ideas and knowledge amongst people who were interested to learn. We met in pubs and restaurants and had a nice meal or some beers along with the discussions. We started inviting others, from outside the company, and also having a theme to the get togethers. Not just – performance testing or accessibility or some such thing, we would theme like James Bond night and we’d try all sorts of innovations like testing coffee machines, not just software. Then, increasingly, it turned into a competitive environment – finding bugs faster. Finding bigger bugs quicker. Finding the most bugs in a limited time. Debating the best bugs between teams. A lot of this was mirrored by an increasing experience of crowdsourced testing.

Our decision to support a move for Zappers to be an independent brand, now supported by QualiTest among other sponsors, was to make it independent of the company and to ensure it formed around a sustainable community of people. This community has now expanded in the UK, India and USA to be around 600 members and continues to grow.

Why do I like it? Well, for several reasons and perhaps its best to explain my favourite events so far, which have nearly all taken place in India. There the teams come to compete! They come with game plans, with team leads, with passion and energy, with tools set up to use and they bring their own kit so they don’t have any worries getting used to things. The debates are healthy and extensive, particularly around best bugs. The prizes are fought for hard, but the highest prize of kudos in the community seems to be one everyone is looking for. And with the passion in Bangalore comes something else – huge smiles, singing and dancing at the open mic sessions and a lot more than just a competition. Many times in Bangalore the teams will turn up around 6pm, often straight from work, and will push the boundaries of the competition to well past 10pm sometimes midnight. They do so with a joy that comes from doing something they love. I have huge respect for this mindset and the energy it brings.

The Zappers community is, like any other community, something which you “get out what you put in”. I’ve had some great experiences through the events and met some wonderful people. It has felt no chore to invest time and money in being involved, and have encouraged others to do the same.

The Zappers community is, like any other community, something which you “get out what you put in”. I’ve had some great experiences through the events and met some wonderful people. It has felt no chore to invest time and money in being involved, and have encouraged others to do the same. I genuinely feel It is a privilege to have been able to participate at so many events, in all the countries and I hope that the concept and community goes on well past anything I’ll do at any one company.

There’s a meetup group for Zappers, which can be reached via www.zappers-community.com. There are pictures there, if you’d like to see some more of what goes on and if you’d like to join us at one of the events, or to get involved in the community, then sign up! Be great to have you involved.



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