Testing Tour Stop #2 : Pairing with Amitai Schleier

For this session I feel like I was cursed or should I say the God of coding was not with me.
After a long wait of 6 months, I finally got chance to pair with Amitai Schleier

I was really looking forward to this session and was super excited. Out of many reasons, one of them was that I got a chance to pair with a developer outside my team.


We dint knew each other well and this was the first time we were having our conversation so we started off with a quick introduction. There was definitely a level of comfort which allowed us to share and learn despite the fact that it was our first conversation.

The first question from Amitai was to know what's my goal behind this Testing Tour.
It was great to give some context and share my goals. I shared that my aim is to pair and learn from different testers and developers about various topics. Amitai was a developer so he was curious to know what I would like to pair on with him.

This was an interesting part for me. I shared that I wanted to use existing code and do a strong style pairing where we both can exchange the role of driver and navigator. I shared that I would like to be confident while talking to developers while I’m going through bugs, unit tests or could be anything related to reading the code. I shared one of a situation about how I tried to change the background of my IntelliJ IDE to black to make myself feel that I am technical and I'm part of the team.

I was always told that I'm not technical and it's funny to be called as semi-technical since recent months. I shared this with Amitai and we could not stop laughing as it really was funny to see the stages or categories from non-technical to semi-technical to technical.

He shared his mission that he doesn't want to change people into programmers or automation testers but he wants people to feel comfortable and confident and mostly feel part of the team regardless of the role.

Ability to read the code is a great skill which I want to improve going forward. Now that we shared our thoughts and different perspectives it was time for real action. Amitai introduced me to Gilded Rose and we planned to clone the repository and pair on it. I was very excited and this time to my surprise I wasn't scared or nervous even though I didn't know enough coding.

We were having some issues with the internet connection so we switched off the video to make it stable. The joy of remote pairing. Once we got the repository Amitai asked my preference for language and IDE. My preference was Java programming language but hang on do I have Eclipse or IntelliJ? I just got so embarrassed here. I always had Eclipse IDE on my laptop as I practice automation using Selenium Webdriver. I didn't realise that I moved into a new job just a month ago and I got a new laptop. I still dint lose my hope so I said I'll quickly download one so I started downloading and I got another surprise here. I did not have the latest Java to install Eclipse. A little bit of hope was lost here so I tried to install Java which my laptop wasn't liking it for some reason. We tried all we could to get it set up and at least pair up for a few mins.

I was completely disappointed. When doing a live code demo you need full support from God of demos. I think was unlucky and cursed by them this time.

We had to end our session as our time was up. I still didn't give up tried again after our session. Within 10 minutes I was able to download the latest version of Java and Eclipse both. So this proved that the coding Gods were not supporting me.
I thought I had nothing to blog about. But Amitai made me realise of this.

Now I could see it differently, that I had a great conversation with Amitai which could have not been possible without with this pairing up session. We together discovered what I could use to achieve my goal of making myself feel confident in reading the code. It was a great learning experience.

When I look back on my learning journey I want to see both my failures and learnings. As those failures could teach me to get my lessons learnt and I could improve something. I could have prepared well for this session but this is something I'm taking away to improve on.

"Where's there failures, there's chances to learn and improve" - I follow this and failures for me are like feedback loops.
I still remember Philip Lewis Keynote at Hustef where he mentioned which I really liked it.

"Practice with feedback makes US perfect"

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