I thought of writing a post on Czech Republic, but for people that work in IT, related to “xenophobia”. Don’t want to overuse these cliche words, but want to point an idea.
Overall I think Czech Republic is an awesome place where you can have a comfortable life (in most cases).
But like everywhere, there are some downsizes to it. And one is the dislike that a lot of Czechs have for foreigners.
In IT it works like this (my experience and what I saw in other places):
So these are a few things to say about the subject. It’s quite serious, as a non Czech in IT will not be easy, no matter the skill. If you have darker skin you will get more negative stuff too.
In general I can find many other opportunities and that part doesn’t really bother me, because I am white (I look like a Czech) and most of the time I enjoy it here.
But if you don’t want to loose time and life with fake hopes, I think you should consider what I wrote. Because you can get a lot of bullshit “No certification” , “You need to learn Czech” , “You did a mistake there” and what actually happens is that a big majority of Czechs will not want you there or they want to split the promotions between themselves. It’s better to see the things as they are faster so you can can move on to another place, job etc.
I think in the same time an working environment everywhere in the world has similar issues, maybe not “xenophobia”, but other crappy reasons. All people have egos and managing that egos will be always an issue.
And although its possible with all these issues to be better than you opportunities in your native place, not complaining at all is not good, because the issue could become too acceptable.
I am experimenting with tutorials (online and live) for a couple of reasons. One is because I think is useful and the content is much helpful than other tutorials I saw at testing conferences for example. Another reason it helps me improve my “didactical” skills.
But another type of reasons is that I receive a lot of questions related to bug bounties and don’t have time to answer. Also is because sharing too much for free is not beneficial for me in this area as you can understand.
So I am trying to do for now an online tutorial on 18-20 April. Based on the responses and the registered and interested users, I will plan more for the future. Check out the announcement page
I attached my presentation at CzechTest 2013 in Prague.
It’s intended to convince testers to have a look at bug bounties. As a tester that wasn’t always happy with the job, I experimented a lot and I think bug bounties are something worthwhile.
Wanted to avoid all the theoretical stuff that scare people into thinking they need 6 month training and some certifications. Or that they have to be super hackers to participate in the bounties.
I thought of giving some details to someone that might consider visiting Dubai or Abu Dhabi.
First of all, UAE is an Islamic country, but Dubai and Abu Dhabi are quite multicultural (due to many workers and visitors). As a tourist you just need to show respect to the local culture and use common sense and you will be just fine.
Prior to coming to UAE I needed a visa (see visa requirements, for some countries you get the visa when you enter the UAE). I got it by buying a ticket with Qatar Airways (Emirates Airlines has it too and also travel agencies and sometimes I think the hotel you booked can help you) from http://qatarairways.visasolution.info/ . It was a very similar process that I went through when trying to get the USA tourist visa. They want you to know where you will stay (hotel address) and if you have proofs that you have money to spend during the time of your visit there. But it looked like a formality to me, so you shouldn't have too many issues I would say. The visa approval took like 2-3 days. You print it and show when check-in at the airport, then when you arrive.
Traveled Brno-Vienna with http://www.studentagency.cz/ which is always awesome. I use that to travel even further distances in Europe because is quite cheap and comfortable. Still snowy (as oppose to the temperature I would met in UAE) as you can see here:
Flight with Qatar Airways is awesome, they feed you well for the long trip. I went Vienna-Doha-Dubai. Occasionally you feel some negative energy around you from people who look like they have spent all their savings on this trip and are little bit irritating, but this is always and I also like to observe people behavior too much.
In the plane was a funny moment when I made a picture of a lady with a small baby and when I show the picture back to the lady, the stewardess saw it too and started laughing. Then all the people around us started laughing because of that
After arriving in Dubai airport there is a long waiting for the paper checking. And they asked me (I think intentionally) a trick question probably to verify the authenticity of my travel data: "You come from Turkey, yes? From Istanbul, yes?" Then they put you to look somewhere and make you a picture. They looked at the visa too of course.
Hotel was much better than I had expected. I had in mind similar prices from Europe, but Burjuman hotel way better for what I would get in Europe for same price.
On the first day, in the morning, I had a booking to visit Burj Khalifa, the tallest building in the world. It was early, I was quite tired and still adjusting to the environment when I realized I lost my iPad at the train ticket office. It's the worst when you loose something you don't want to loose. But luckly I recovered back from the nearbuy police station. UAE is quite safe btw and they have a strict policy to return lost items in public places, transportation etc. As I was told by several taxi drivers, many locals avoid taking other stuff for religion reasons. In Islam they would have to pray a lot to get forgiveness for taking someone else's stuff.
This picture I did it from the helicopter 15 min tour I took.
I didn't capture too well the helicopter tour, but here is a sample:
I love the city. It looks great, it's safe and you feel comfortable.
Near Burj Khalifa there is a huge mall, Dubai Mall. There you can visit a huge aquarium. There is a fountain show in the evening that looks nice too.
Loved the Arabian Nights Tour (see info here). They pick you up at 15:30 from your hotel and they return you back at around 22:00. Awesome experience! You have a nice trip through sand and arrive at a camp with fun stuff in the evening, like traditional food (mostly kebab like food), shows like bellydancing. You can smoke some Egyptian pipes or make pictures sitting on the camel.
And all this tour is only 300 Dirhams (~ 60 Euro)
Missed the skydiving session because of my weight (but just little bit – 3 kg and I can do it next time or now I can do it without any need to loose weight in USA for example ). But I am not in a hurry. However I hope I will do it soon enough.
Too much to share, and too hard to organize all the small clips and pictures so that's what I am showing. It's much better in reality.
Went for few hours in Abu Dhabi, beautiful place too and only one hour from Dubai. I took a tour bus (2h 15 min) because it was the best choice for the interval I had.
Was impressed particularly with a beautiful mosque. I think it might be one of the biggest, if not, the biggest in the world.
I went with a bus from Dubai to Abu Dhabi but of course not so nice as StudentAgency.cz and back I took a taxi directly to Dubai airport (280 Dirhams)
Return flight and bus was pleasant and the whole trip was great!
My next trip would be in August in Las Vegas. But before that I might fill in (still need to see if it will work out for me) a trip to Japan, a place I wanted to see for a long time (probably Tokio and Kyoto)
Note:More small clips I wasn't too lazy to upload are here http://www.youtube.com/channel/UCcVi0CaL12nDToV6rxpVEpQ/videos?flow=grid&view=0
Tips on How to Become a Better Tester
There have been several occasions throughout my career that have allowed me to speak about the work that I do in front of an audience. Despite the fact that I find presenting more difficult than testing, I actually enjoy it as I am able to share my knowledge with other professionals, and inspire them. This gig has been going on for years now, and it was only last weekend when I was lost for words for the first time. You see, a nephew of mine asked me how to become a better tester. I was quite taken aback because I didn’t expect a serious question coming from a kid. I tried simplifying the answer, but it just made it more confusing for him. When I got home, I reflected on his question, and wrote a list of tips about it. That being said, here they are:
Test, test, and test some more.
As testers, we have to insure the quality of the product that our employers have asked us to test, and to help developers find and eliminate any bugs that it may have. So, it is really important that we provide topnotch testing procedures as the success of the product’s usability depends on it. To achieve that level, improve your testing skills by running independent examinations on your free time. For instance, I ran a series of tests involving online gaming sites, partycasino.com to be particular.
In this series, I tried testing their browser-based and standalone versions on the laptop that I have at home. I repeated this testing procedure several times, and on different perspectives. The first test that I ran was client-centered. By doing so, it had given me an idea or two of what the average end user’s expectations of Party Casino are, graphics and process-wise. Next, I have conducted a test based on the concept of exploratory or common sense testing. This allowed me to produce variations in testing to quickly ferret out bugs. The last test that I did was focused on the changing features of this leading social gaming source, and whether they fit all together, or pose a great risk with the existing ones.
Take advantage of the availability of Google Reader and Twitter to find news on the latest trends in the software testing industry. You can also talk to fellow professionals from the industry, at conferences, training, etc, and share ideas.
Have some experience as a developer.
I know that programming is not the main responsibilities of a tester, but understanding its process is good practice. It allows testers to predict some errors before detecting them in the testing process.
[This is a guest post]