Things I done did in August

My shenanigans in August

Completed my purifier, legendary and non-legendary raid medals in Pokemon Go

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I’ve done so much walking this month

On the 20th of May I borrowed my friend’s Samsung phone and used the store to purchase £200 worth of Pokecoins at a discounted price so I could get the 600 odd raid passes I needed to complete both my legendary and non-legendary raiding medals.

On the 1st of August I completed my non-legendary medal (having done just shy of 350 raids) and on the 8th August I completed my legendary medal (doing 220 raids).

I got a nice little surprise from my 1000th legendary raids as I got a shiny Rayquaza for all my hard work!

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A nice little keepsake

Just as I got close to completing my raid medals Niantic dropped a new feature into Pokemon Go — Team Rocket battles.

These battles take place by spinning a PokeStop and then having a PvP battle against Team Rocket’s massively over-powered Pokemon, the reward of which is to catch one of the Pokemon they used.

This introduced two new medals; 1000 fights completed and 500 Pokemon purified (which is how you make them normal after Team Rocket messed them up).

On the 28th of August I completed the 500 Pokemon purified medal but still have about 400 battles to go, so hopefully I’ll complete this in September when another medal will pop up around catching Generation 5 Pokemon.

Built a component library for a React Native app

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In order to make my work on the React Native app I’ve inherited easier, I created a component library to help make the code base more readable and allow re-use of those components later on, should they wish to use them.

In August I managed to complete some of the work and updated the app to work with the library while using Github’s new Package Registry to host the package.

The component library allowed me to go from a code base with no testing and 0% test coverage to having a library of components that were documented using Storybook and had 100% test coverage.

I’ve also introduced theming into the component library which will make it much easier to make cosmetic changes to the app without changing the structure of it.

Started using Notion and built a test report template and test reporter

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An example Test Execution

In late July someone suggested I look at Notion as they’d been using it as a replacement to JIRA and after seeing the power of the templates I was completely sold on Notion.

In order to try and show how easy notion is and to provide testers with cheaper tools I decided to set myself a little goal to create a template in Notion to record testings activities and built a PyTest reporter to use the template to record test run data.

This worked really well and I recorded a video of how the templates and PyTest reporter work together to enable bi-directional traceability.

I’m now working my experience into a talk that I hope to do at a bunch of meet ups around Leeds.

Did my Kafka talk at BJSS

On the 15th of August I did my Kafka talk at BJSS in Leeds.

This time I had a full hour to cover Kafka, the system I was working with and how I used Jest to create an end-to-end test suite.

Feedback I got was while the talk content was interesting there was so much of it that it there wasn’t much room to breathe before diving into another subject.

Now I’m working on my test reporter talk I think I’m going to retire the Kafka talk and if I pick it up again remove a lot of the in-depth Kafka explanations.

Started using Github Package Registry

After being accepted into the beta we were able to start publishing the component library to the Github Package Registry.

It wasn’t as easy as I’d hoped as our account existed in what I’m calling “Schrödinger’s beta enrolment” but once we’d got past the teething issues it worked really well and I’ve now successfully separated the concerns of displaying data and providing data within the app I’m working on.

Created a new talk — Test Reporting: Why I hate piecharts

Off the back of the Test Reporting with Notion blog I decided to write a new talk about test reporting, piecharts and bi-directional traceability.

I’ll be parking the Testing Kafka with NodeJS talk and focusing on this Test Reporting talk for the next few months as I think it’s easier to follow and of more use to the testing audiences I talk to compared to the more technical Kafka talk.

Ended my ‘gambling’ engagement at work

In August after spending a year and a half at a gambling company I’ve finally ended that engagement and will be moving onto something new and less unethical.

My initial reaction to starting the engagement in February 2018 was to try and get replaced as soon as possible, but over time I stopped thinking about the impact the work I was doing was going to have on people’s life and instead focused on the team and the problems they faced.

In retrospect I should have really stuck to my guns to show my employer that my morals can’t be compromised but sometimes it’s hard to do this when you’re very aware you’re just a ‘resource’.

Still this engagement has been eventful.

I joined as a frontend developer working on the client’s EJS template & Backbone based web application which overtime started into incorporate React apps.

This was a fun architectural challenge as we had to add a lot of feature toggles to the configuration files used for the server and client side rendering to allow the client to target a new market in the US.

As I worked within the team more I started to realise that I wasn’t really a developer’s developer and instead was more interested in making sure the product was delivered to a high level quality that delivered value to the end user.

I was lucky that the client was open to me moving to test halfway through their project as if they hadn’t I don’t think I’d be where I am now.

I started working on the automation suite the team used to make sure we were compliant with the regulations the app needed to meet and quickly used my development skills to improve the code base and the team’s standing within the team.

Due to my technical background I was asked in October 2018 to move from UI automation to a new project that was being set up which was to move the client’s backend data systems from their old supplier to a new set of services being built in house.

I was completely out of my comfort zone on this front, the team was comprised of very experienced Java developers, it used streaming messaging platforms (Kafka) which I had no experience in, let alone writing tests for such a system.

I did eventually manage it after a few months of being completely unable to prove the value the tests I was writing would give the team and fighting some internal politics around resource management (1 tester and 4 developers on a team means a massive test backlog!).

I’ll do a write up on my experience soon, I just need to find the right topic(s) to cover.

Written by

Technical Lead at BJSS. Interested in Automated Testing, Dev practises, Metal, Chiptune. All views my own.

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