Q&A with Samantha Connelly

Welcome to Q&A, a series in which we discuss testing and quality with guests from the world of technology and software development.

Some guests you may know well, and others might be less familiar. You should learn something new about each of them, and something new from each of them. Each brings their own perspectives and insights on quality and testing.

The format will be the same each time:

  • a little information about this month’s guest and what they are currently up to
  • some questions for them to answer
  • some answers for them to question (the ‘Jeopardy’ section where I will provide the answer and ask the interviewee to give me the question)
  • finally, the ‘Pass it on’ section with a question from last month’s participant and the opportunity to pose a question for next month’s guest

After a prolonged break (apologies for this!) Q&A returns with super bug hunter, Sam Connelly who could be described as a motorbike riding, robotics obsessed, beer brewing girl geek. Sam is a Quality Coach at Campaign Monitor; focusing on teaching software engineers how to be better testers, but she would prefer ‘bug hunter Sam’ as her title with the tagline ‘she will help you find your bugs’. Sam is the co-chair of Sydney Testers, a meetup group supporting Sydney’s community of testers in growing their skills. You can find Sam on Twitter @bughuntersam and you can read about Sam’s work at samanthaconnelly.com

Welcome to Q&A, Sam. Would you like to tell us about anything interesting you’ve been involved in recently, any exciting upcoming ventures, or just what you are working on at the moment?

I’d like to write a book, seems like it could be an interesting adventure and all of the cool kids are doing this.

When you look back at your career so far, what do you consider to be the highlight(s)?

Getting the opportunity to work on tangible products like Opal card, Google Maps and banking. I can’t officially say that I worked at Google for contractual reasons, but realizing that there’s a lot of hype around that company was also a lowlight.

When you consider the many organisations around the world involved in developing software and technology, is there an example of one which stands out for you as having a focus on quality?

House of Test. I’d like to work in Europe at some point and I’d definitely hit this team up when I do. Spotify would be another example and Pixar is one of the few American companies I would migrate to the States for.

Canva delivers an amazing product without hiring any testers. They appear to understand what quality means for them and deliver on it without having a single “QA expert” on board.

What do you think is the most common misconception about testing?

Test cases = testing

And now, the Jeopardy section. I’ll provide you with some answers and ask you to suggest the questions…


What is… value to someone who matters?


What is… analysing the product to help people make informed decisions?

Lastly, the ‘Pass it on’ section.

What question would you like to pose for next month’s participant?

What are the challenges facing you in your career?

Thank you to Sam for taking the time to participate in Q&A. See you again soon!

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