Why do we go to Ruby conferences? Depending on who you ask, the answer will be different. Among all of them we can distinguish the three most frequently repeated answers: to learn, to share knowledge and to meet people. Certainly, conferences are the best opportunity in which to do all of that. wroc_love.rb was one of them and we took it. There aren’t many Ruby related events happening in Poland, that’s why it was even more tempting for us. On a warm Friday morning, 15 of the Lunar Logic clan departed to Wrocław.

All technical talks were scheduled for the following two days so Friday afternoon was all about project management techniques, programmers soft skills and failed ventures.

During the three days of the conference we had the chance to see 14 presentations. There is no way to tell you about them all in one short blog post. That’s why I’ve chosen the 3 most interesting.

Why should we care about design? What are software boundaries? Which patterns are needed to create a maintainable project? Adam Hawkins answered these questions. Of course fourteen minutes was not enough. That’s why Adam created a series of articles about rediscovering software design.

Another speaker worth mentioning is Markus Schirp who is, with Piotr Solnica, one of the core team members of Ruby Object Mapper. He talked about mutants and how to kill them. Mutant, a gem created by Markus, is a tool for mutation testing.

Of course we have to mention Piotr Szotkowski’s talk about Bogus, a library created by former Lunar employees Adam Pohorecki and Paweł Pierzchała. Bogus is a tool which helps developers write reliable tests ensuring that they don’t stub or mock methods that don’t actually exist in the mocked objects. If you haven’t tried it yet, do it!

Besides other talks, the wroc_love conference continued with Q&A blocks during which experienced developers could share opinions about code metrics and legacy rails apps.

Almost all the talks had something in common. All of them reminds us that Rails is not perfect. Every programmer who, at least, has created a medium-sized Rails app know this. Rails, as a framework, gives us great tools that we can use for fast app building, but when our app popularity reaches a certain level we realise that something is wrong; some things work too slow, there are problems with maintaining app code, and adding new features is a pain. That’s why we, as developers, constantly come up with ways to work around Rails and cope with all these problems.

For some time now we’ve been hearing discussions about the future of Rails. There are so many good ideas but we cannot yet predict if any of it will be part of the next Rails release. Andrzej Krzywda, one of wroc_love.rb conf organizers, created an open document which contains a few ideas worth reading about.

To be honest I can’t say anything bad about the organizational side of conference. Talks were very well prepared, speakers always answered questions from the public and there was hot coffee for all participants. People had a lot of time for networking during breaks or evening parties.

Conferences are great. They make us aware of many problems and at the same time they provide solutions. For me it was also a great motivator. After spending a few days with many people with similar interests, I felt and still feel ready to take on the challenge of improving my skills.

PS. wroc_love.rb was also called the 2048 conference ;)

Attendees playing 2048 game at wroc_love.rb conference
#responsivedesign, #2048game

Well, winter didn’t come to Poland (and we hope it never does ;)), but… Paulina managed to come join our team. Last Monday, Paulina started an internship with our company after a pretty long recruitment process in which we tried to find a quality king through a little game of thrones (Grzester introduces the whole process to us in the below). It was the first recruitment for Grzester so we crossed our fingers that his new experience would bless him with a wealth of knowledge, which he can carry into the future. And… Grzester did well and managed to choose a great QA intern. Lets see how it happened!

Grzester’ story:

That was a long journey… an epic journey entitled ‘The recruitment of a QA Intern’. I will try to describe briefly how the whole process unfolded. It was a really good experience, during which we learned a lot. At the beginning of December, I spent some time thinking of how to prepare this task. It wasn’t so easy, mainly because I had never organised recruitment before. After a few discussions with Paweł, we decided to run a two-stage recruitment process.

During the first stage we wanted to check some basic QA skills such as: creativity, consistency, and critical thinking. We decided to prepare a small application packed with tons of issues. The application was called WTS!. It was a quick form which allowed a user to submit rudimentary sales ads. The task was simple, just run some exploratory tests and send us the test results. We received a lot of good exercise solutions. I prepared an answer key, which helped me to validate results and choose the best candidates.

For me the most important elements were testing engagement, curiosity and showing a good understanding of the application.

Grzester's notes

An interview at our office was the second stage of the recruitment process. To be honest, it was the first time in my life where I was on the other side of the table. I was the recruiter, not the recruit. I gathered a lot of experience from this.  During the interview, I wanted to understand how the candidates tested the application we prepared, what kind of tools they used and what was the most important for them during testing. I also prepared another short exercise. I asked the candidates a few times to test a Coca-Cola can. If you think that it’s an easy task, go and buy one can. Try test it! The results were really surprising. People were super creative. Throwing the can, checking text on the can, checking internal pressure, checking composition and much more. It was really funny and I am sure that it helped relax the atmosphere during the interview. That was the final stage of our recruitment. Only one thing left to do… to decide who will be the new king or queen… :)

Grzester and Paweł chose Paulina. So lets meet our new QA queen:

PaulinaHi, I’m Paulina :) I study human-computer interaction and applied psychology.

The recruitment atmosphere was very pleasant and laid-back, so from the moment I entered the front door I started taking a liking to the office. I didn’t think that a job interview could be so relaxed. I spoke a lot about myself and the process of testing the WTS! application.

I’m glad to say that winter didn’t come to Poland and I got accepted into a really great internship.

Thank you Grzester for bringing Paulina to our company. It was a really successful recruitment  :)

Internship at Lunar Logic - QA position

Beata Mosór December 6, 2013

Winter is coming… If you are interested in game of thrones a QA position at Lunar Logic, you need to outsmart your opponents apply on our internship page. Then we’ll send you a crow an e-mail with more information.

What’s going to happen next? We will deliver you a sword link to an application, which you should test (in order to find as many traps mistakes as you can, which we left for you in the application).

Lunar Logic internship teaser - the Iron Throne and a ruby

Agile Testing Days 2013

Grzegorz Jedo November 15, 2013

As those of you who follow us more closely know we are not just a software development shop. We cover anything from design through development to testing and if you need a helping hand with shaping your product, we can do that too.

One of the tricky parts of running such an organization is how broad range of stuff we want to learn. While there are plenty of software development-focused events and it’s pretty easy to find an Agile or Lean conference around it gets more difficult with designers and testers.

This is why we couldn’t miss the opportunity to send our representation to Agile Testing Days (AgileTD), which is the biggest event focused on testing in Europe.

Pawel’s Story

For me AgileTD, as pretty much any other conference, was mainly an opportunity to network with people. This is why the fact I had to leave early was a bummer. Nevertheless, I finally met face to face some of the most awesome people in the testing community, like Lisa Crispin, Janet Gregory or Dan North. If nothing else this would make a trip to Potsdam worthwhile.

Not only that. Hallway and evening chats with fellow speakers and attendees were, as always, opportunities to challenge my thinking. I especially liked Lean Coffees that were held by Lisa and Janet early in the morning every day. Want to discuss the real problems and get the insight from practitioners? There’s no better opportunity.

The sessions, as usual, were mixed. There were these that I loved, there were those which I didn’t learn that much from. I’m happy that my presentation on effective teams seemed to stir the discussions and bring some controversy. The worst case scenario would be when the only reaction was “meh…”

The interesting, yet sad, observation is that improvements that are happening in the testing domain seem to slower and less common that those happening around software development. From the patriot’s point of view I’m also sad that only few Poles showed up. If we want to make a difference in software development world our presence there should be more significant.

All in all, an awesome event, with enough great discussions, opportunities to learn and hugs to remember it for a long time. As always it’s all about people and Agile Testing Days brought the right people to one place.

Grzester’s Story

Two months ago I was asked by Paweł, if I want to participate in a agile conference which mainly focuses on testing content. I couldn’t believe in what he said.

Agile-testing conference? I thought that something like this doesn’t exist., I replied. I was convinced that testing on conferences is treated as something peripheral. I typed fast Agile Testing Days 2013 in Google. I was in heaven. Three day conference about testing, three days of exchanging experience with other QA, testers and other people related with testing and agile environment. My answer for Pawel’s question was quick:

Of course I want to go there. 2 months passed really fast….

29 X 2013

After a brilliant weekend in Berlin, at really morning I arrived at venue.  During day one I attended many good talks, but two of them really stand out. The first one, prepared by Tony Bruce “Be a real team Member”. The presentation started out with a small discussion about what it means to be a good team member, then Tony moved very smoothly to Belbin’s study about team members models. But the most important thing for me was the discussion about things which we should do ‘day to day’ to become a good team member: reciprocations, ‘breaking bread’ (e.g: lunch with other employees), asking questions, feedback, listening to others, so obvious but so enlightening.

Sometimes there are conversations around that you’d like to be part of. Listen to what’s happening around”

T.B

Second talk prepared by Peter Saddington charmed the listeners. Peter asked few simple questions during his talk e.g.:

Are you having fun?” [in your team, at work]. If not - why the hell you are doing this?

These answered for many of my questions related to: team composition, behaviour, effectiveness. Elements of psychology interleaved with reasonable approach made this talk really inspiring.

Effective leaders should see themselves not as “managers” or even “problem solvers” but as “lovers of people” and “inspiration starters”

P.S.

Day finished with lovely ‘MIATPP Halloween Award Night’ party.

30 X 2013

The organisers scheduled for the second day four keynotes. For me the most interesting was the third one prepared by Dan North: “Accelerating Agile Testing”. At beginning of talk Dan asked two questions:

  • “How Agile teams do testing?”_
  • “How does testing happen?”_

During the whole talk Dan prepared nice background to answer the questions above. He very nicely defined: user experience: “User Experience is the Experience a user has.” . Fresh look at _test automation “Don’t automate things until they are boring.” He created a picture of a very interesting look at Agile Testing yet again.

Dan North's wrap-up presentation slide

It was time for Testing Dojo! I had no idea what was going on, so I went to Dojo a bit scared- unnecessarily. Testing Dojo is a place where you can learn from other participants new testing practices, new techniques, discuss with people and give and receive constructive feedback about your skills. During my session we had an opportunity to test in pairs a small ‘Parking Calculator’. You can’t imagine how fun it is to build a communication channel with a stranger in a few minutes and probably you can’t imagine how valuable the received feedback is.

31 X 2013

Day 3rd was marked by me as the FUN DAY! After two days of pure methodology I decided to check out the lighter talks. Therefore my day started with “Natural Born Tester. Are you one?” by Graham Thomas. Great talk about a tester’s nature and predispositions.

I have few questions for you:

  • are you always in the wrong queue?
  • are you a fool for the promise of the new thing?
  • are you challenged by an unused feature?
  • and do you like to play “Lemmings” or “Angry Birds?”

If so, maybe you should consider changing your profession to… tester :)

Later I decided to become a Lab Rat at Test Lab. Try imagine up a situation small, dark room hidden at the end of  the venue, you are open a door and what you see?! LEGO Mindstorms robots with RGB sensors. I was feeling like a kid. You play with LEGO, you log issues in the robot’s behaviour and you get badges.

Test Lab pins

Time and space in Test Lab are totally wrapped. Day 3 ended with nice keynote preceded by Lisa’s and Janet‘s performance telling us a story about the ‘dark times’ before Agile was introduced.

Agile Testing Days 2013 was great experience. A very nicely organised conference with wide range of topics and opportunities to meet people from the agile community. If you are thinking about going there next year STOP thinking and just DO IT !

dolly.js logoWhen dealing with user-defined data tables, spreadsheet software is an infinite source of UI inspirations. The well known gesture of dragging a handle in the bottom-right cell corner to clone the contents is one them. Now, we bring this functionality to your tables.

Avoid repetitive work

Assume you are filling a timetable of sort. You laboriously scheduled all day and then realized that three consecutive weeks are going to be the same. What do you do? It’s obvious – just drag a square handle in the cell you’ve just filled and select all cells that should have the same content. It’s trivial for anyone who has ever seen MS Excel (namely – most of the users out there). And it’s exactly the functionality you can add to your tables with Dolly.js.

Easy to use with any table

Dolly.js is a jQuery UI widget without any other dependencies. It adds the UI behavior, leaving the data logic implementation up to you. Therefore you can use Dolly with any data structure, no matter how complicated it is. And it’s markup-independent so if you aren’t using a semantic HTML table, Dolly can handle it.

Wow, great! Where can I get it?

GitHub: http://github.com/LunarLogic/dolly.js

Live examples and documentation: http://lunarlogic.github.io/dolly.js/

You are also welcome to share your feedback or code contributions with us!