My Testing Safari

A Talent Team QA specialist’s look into QA engineering at ASOS.

Lee Clements
Apr 16, 2019 · 5 min read

What’s it all about?

I think it goes without saying that I wasn’t going to come across any lions or tigers during my adventure with CX. However, what I did find was an incredible group of people who are warm, considerate and generous with their time. Our QAs were happy to share their insights and provide tuition in a manner that was suited to a non-tech minded person like me. I like to think I already knew a fair amount about technology, but I’m a strong believer that it’s always good to know more and so I embarked on my safari eager to delve deeper!

A new production release session

What did we cover?

· Introduction into the Agile testing mindset/modern testing principles — We love testing at ASOS Tech, but we also understand that approaches change and evolve over time. I was introduced to these at the start as a foundation for anything that I might also learn throughout the day.

· The ASOS QA values — These are a set of values that our QAs and engineering teams can use to help them deliver software of a high quality. I’m sure there’ll be a blog post in the future explaining just what these are!

· Shadowing a production release — We do a lot of releases at ASOS Tech (last year we put 3,000+ releases into production) and our QAs play a big part in that. This involved sitting down with the QA who was performing the release and helping them in any way I could.

· Continuous Integration (CI) & Continuous Delivery (CD) workshop — To help us complete more releases this year, we are moving towards CI & CD. CI is all about gathering feedback from automated checks about the state of our software, and CD is about being able to continuously deliver software that is of a known quality. This workshop provided an understanding of the why and the how behind it.

· Introduction to API Testing — An API is a way for two programs to talk to one another using a common language. As we are in a micro-service architecture, we have a lot of APIs, and they all need testing.

· Introduction to Usability Testing — This is all about understanding how easy it is to use something. It very much involves thinking about how people will interact, and making sure that they have a high-quality experience when using our apps and site.

· QA community debate — exploratory testing vs automated checking — This was an interesting debate, and most definitely eye-opening for me. We came to the conclusion that (like anything), it very much depends on the context and what you are trying to achieve.

· Load testing an API As you know, we now have a lot of APIs. We also have a large amount of traffic! This means we need to be sure that our APIs can handle this. We use Visual Studio Load Test and Azure to help us manage this, and this involved sitting with one of our QAs to take me through how we do it on a daily basis.

· Introduction to BDD — BDD stands for Behaviour Driven Development; it’s about identifying behaviours that you want out of a piece of software and then using that to drive your acceptance criteria and subsequently your acceptance tests.

· System Integration testing (focusing on a new feature) — This involved sitting with the QAs and testing a new feature. I learned how they go about identifying what new features to test — I got the chance to do this myself!

Continuous Integration & Delivery workshop with members of the CX team

What did I learn?

At ASOS Tech, we are proud of our agile mindset when it comes to the products that the teams are delivering. It is also very clear that our QAs are masters of more traditional agile behaviours in the workplace, such as swarming, spontaneity and adaptability. The whole experience was a true eye opener for me and I enjoyed every minute of it.

Why did I take part?

Before signing off, I would like to thank all the QAs from the CX team for inviting me into their world. It was an absolute pleasure to spend time with you all.

If you would like to find out more about our open QA opportunities at ASOS, please visit our careers site.

About me

My name is Lee Clements and I’ve been at ASOS for almost a year. It’s been an incredible experience so far and I’m proud to play my part in the wider ASOS journey.

I’m a football enthusiast, both managing and playing for a Sunday league team. I also have a passion for live music, making sure to attend a gig at least once a month with my partner.

The ASOS Tech Blog

A collective effort from ASOS's Tech Team, driven and directed by our writers. Learn about our engineering, our culture, and anything else that's on our mind.

Thanks to Gareth Waterhouse and Neil Syrett

Lee Clements

Written by

Headlining QA and ADM Talent Acquisition here at ASOS.

The ASOS Tech Blog

A collective effort from ASOS's Tech Team, driven and directed by our writers. Learn about our engineering, our culture, and anything else that's on our mind.

Welcome to a place where words matter. On Medium, smart voices and original ideas take center stage - with no ads in sight. Watch
Follow all the topics you care about, and we’ll deliver the best stories for you to your homepage and inbox. Explore
Get unlimited access to the best stories on Medium — and support writers while you’re at it. Just $5/month. Upgrade