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10 great podcasts for software test engineers

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Chris Ward Tech Writer and Blogger, Gregarious Mammal
 

Software development practices change fast. Development teams use an endless stream of new tools, frameworks, and practices, and it’s your job as a test engineer to make sure that no matter what your development teams use or create, everything runs and works reliably.

How do you keep up to date with what’s relevant to your role and with what the developers around you are using that might affect your role? There are lots of articles out there, but sometimes a good podcast can't be beat. You can listen to them on demand as you commute, work, exercise, clean, and so on. Even better, you can speed them up, slow them down, fast forward to the parts most relevant to you, and refer to the show notes for more details.

But where do you start? Here are some of the most interesting and useful shows and some specific episodes, some recommended by hosts and professionals themselves, and others reflecting my own favorites. Happy listening.

The Changelog

changelog.com

Something of a classic development podcast, this show, hosted by Adam Stacoviak and Jerod Santo, covers a gamut of subjects. The occasional episode focuses on testing practices, but it’s good for a general look at what’s happening in development more broadly.

According to Devin Johnson, co-founder, and CEO at Kennected:

"Their podcasts are really in-depth, intelligent, on-trend, and have a great selection of special guest speakers. From development software projects to JavaScript to how the brain works, the Changelog has you. Their website is also a host for discussion on on-hand topics in the DevOps world."

Notable episode

"The ONE Thing Every Dev Should Know"

Jessica Kerr, software developer, consultant, and symmathecist, digs deep with the hosts, about a range of topics, including building relationships between teams and devs, using Visual Studio Code and Docker to code together, and positioning observability as a logical extension of test-driven development (TDD). She also explains what a symmathecist is.

Test Guild

testguild.com

Joe Colantonio , test automation architect and  founder of Test Guild, hosts four weekly podcasts that geek out on all things software test automation, including news in the testing space, book reviews, and discussions with thought leaders. There’s the occasional sales pitch, but that aside, the podcast offers some great information and interesting guests.

Michael Spivak, CIO at Real Estate Bees, notes:

"As a former development team lead and QA engineer, I can confidently say that it is often easy to get distracted by the compelling details of the various test automation tools and the process of automation, which are often overly discussed on many software testing podcasts, and lose sight of the important high-level objectives.

"When I was leading a team of developers and test automators, I got exposed to the Test Guild podcast. To this day, even after I got promoted to CIO position, my former development department still consistently listens to the Test Guild podcast to stay fresh and up to date on the latest test automation strategies."

Specific podcasts

 

Notable episode

"Chropath Automation Testing with Sanjay Kuma‪r‬"

Would you like to save 20% to 30% of the time it takes to create automation tests? Colantonio talks to Kumar, creator of ChroPath, about how test engineers can use it as a complete script-writing platform.

AB Testing

anchor.fm/abtesting

Alan Page and Brent Jensen talk about modern testing in a sometimes blunt and pragmatic way. Topics have included agile, lean, delivery, DevOps, data science, leadership, and more. The hosts have nearly 60 years of software experience and offer valuable insights. There's also a weekly mailbag where the hosts answer listeners' questions, leading to some great discussion.

Tsvetan Bratanov, quality assurance engineer at Glue42, notes:

"Since it has over 100 episodes so far, there is a backlog of quite interesting topics that have been discussed by a variety of guests. And best of all, it's easy to listen to, even if you are new to testing."

Notable episode

"Test Ownership and Test Automation"

A fascinating discussion about devs and testing and the mindsets around testing, mainly focusing on quality and ownership.

Test & Code: Python Testing

testandcode.com

Test & Code is a weekly podcast hosted by Brian Okken, R&D team lead at Rohde & Schwarz.

The show covers a wide array of topics, including software engineering, development, testing, Python programming, Python packaging, tox, pytest, and unit testing. There are also plenty of language-agnostic topics, including TDD, public speaking, mentoring, feature testing, NoSQL databases, end-to-end testing, automation, continuous integration, development methods, Selenium, the testing pyramid, and DevOps.

Notable episode

"How to Test Anything"

With guest David Lord, Python developer and a core maintainer of the Flask web application framework and related libraries, Okken answers listeners’ broad testing questions.

Testers' Island Discs

https://soundcloud.com/ministryoftesting/sets/testers-island-discs

Who loves music and testing? On this podcast, created by the Ministry of Testing, Mark Winteringham and Neil Studd interview testers about their testing career and the music they love. In imitation of the long-lived BBC program Desert Island Discs, guests are invited to recommend five albums or songs and one book and discuss their testing careers.

You can find all the books recommended by guests on Goodreads.

Notable episode

"Christian Kram"

Kram and Winteringham discuss being a trainer and training others, communication techniques, working in a company that self-organizes and has no leaders, and how to test mattresses.

The Evil Tester Show

www.eviltester.com/show/

Consultant, conference speaker, author, and coach Alan Richardson podcasts in his Evil Tester persona, providing short, snappy episodes. If you're less inclined to listen to the long and meandering, this one is for you.

Notable episode

"What Should I Be? Programmer or Tester‪?‬"

Having grown sick of being asked by new and potential devs whether they should get into development or testing, Richardson sums it up in an episode about more than just getting a job.

Perfbytes

www.perfbytes.com/p/shows.html

Perfbytes consists of three different podcasts:

  • Perfbytes, where hosts Mark Tomlinson and James Pulley review and educate on performance testing and engineering, and help IT professionals improve performance practices.
  • A Spanish-language version of the show hosted by Leandro Melendez. Going beyond English is something more podcasts should consider to meet the needs of an international audience.
  • News of the Damned, where hosts and guests gather "analysis on globally crashing websites and system failures while [Pulley] reviews the disastrous sins of the evildoers in the IT department."

Notable episode

"News of the Damned: The Power of Celebrity"

On June 25, 2009, Michael Jackson died. In the 24 hours that followed, traffic on the Internet surged by up to 20% worldwide. Twitter failed after reaching a volume of over 5,000 tweets per minute about the event. TMZ crashed and burned, as did the Los Angeles Times website and dozens of other sites. This was the largest single celebrity-driven event on the Internet in terms of load, but it defined a path that others have followed.

RBCS Podcast

rbcs-us.com/resources/podcast/

Rex Black shares important lessons learned from RBCS's software test consulting, training, and outsourcing engagements, such as software test management, software testing metrics and results reporting, software test training, system test, unit testing, test automation, and more.

Notable episode

"Testing in the Dark with Rob Sabourin"

Stakeholders drop software on testers' desks and expect them to test it with no requirements, no design, and no product knowledge whatsoever. But testing in the dark is not impossible. Sabourin, an adjunct professor of software engineering at McGill University, and Black show it can be valuable and fun.

The Guilty Tester

theguiltytester.libsyn.com/website

Do you ever feel guilty for not meeting the standards set by others in the software testing community? Dave Duke, a.k.a. All Caps Tester, reassures you that you're in the right place.

Notable episode

"Useless Skills"

Duke ponders which code testing skills companies and projects will no longer need in the future.

Stop Coding Automation Podcast

player.fm/series/stop-coding-automation-podcast

This podcast, hosted by Ajamo Adams, offers a plethora of resources and guest perspectives on careers in automation testing.

Notable episode

"Introduction to UiPath Robotic Process Automation Testing Tool"

Robot process automation (RPA) has a range of benefits, from the AI processes it is built upon to how it allows nontechnical members of a team to automate. Adams speaks with Karthik Bethi about UiPath to find out more.

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