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Community Spotlight Presents Ard Kramer

  • 26/04/2013
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  • Posted by EuroSTAR

The Community Spotlight is a brand new feature on the EuroSTAR Blog which brings to focus those who matter in software testing industry in Europe – you, the members of the EuroSTAR Community!

We want to give you the chance to get to know more about your peers throughout Europe and share your own experiences, career highlights and some fun facts with the testing community by taking our Community Spotlight interview.

This Community Spotlight features Ard Kramer. Ard has been to 5 EuroSTAR Conferences and is also one of the 2013 EuroSTAR Community Leaders.


1. Name:

Ard Kramer


2. Where are you from?

I live in Barendrecht, close to Rotterdam (the Netherlands) the city of my favourite football club Feyenoord and Olli, “where you never walk alone”(look at this great video Rotterdam is the city of hard labour and that attracts me.


3. Where do you work?

I work for EclipseIT. A small test and business Intelligence -company, with just more than 100 colleagues. Our statement is that we don’t want to be the biggest, but the best. That always stays a challenge!


4. Can you tell us how you got involved in testing?

At the end of the nineties I saw a little add in the newspaper: “you want to be a software tester and we will give you an in house training”. I reacted and 3 months later I was a tester. After the training I went to a company to test embedded software. This kind of testing is really going as deep as the 0 and 1 and you know what? I loved it. Then I knew, testing is fun. Although I also did some other work e.g. as project manager I found out that testing is my destiny.


5. How many times have you been to EuroSTAR?

I’ve been five times to Eurostar (every time since 2008). Although I could go to EuroSTAR in 2001 as a speaker, I didn’t. I had just left my company so someone else went in my place. I knew then what I know now, I have to visit EuroSTAR many more times.


6. What’s your favourite hobby?

Hm, Am I allowed to say testing? But besides that, I do a lot of other things which I can use very well as a tester. For example: I am also a volleyball coach. I train young players and I am certified to train up to the almost top level of volleyball in the Netherland. The way how you work, as a coach, with players gives me a lot of knowledge I use as a tester. That was also a reason to combine agile / testing and volleyball at a presentation for Testnet in the Netherlands. The audience was almost as enthusiastic as I was. Volleyball was injected during my youth by my father and brothers and besides being a coach, I am also a referee and I am a member of the Dutch parliament of the Dutch Volleyball Association. I am also active in different local committees as board member and in those committees we organize parties, publishing books and do some crowd funding. (Just look at my LinkedIn profile and Yes, I’d like to link with you ;-) )


7. What would you have been if you weren’t involved in testing?

Is there something else? To be honest; if I discuss with people about the question; if money was no longer an issue? I would probably go back to university and start to write a thesis for a PhD and the subject would be: (software) Quality. This doesn’t mean that I won’t fulfil this dream when I am grown up.


8. Have you any advice to give to a young tester or someone just starting their testing career?

Open your eyes to see and read all about software testing. But also keep your eyes open to see what is happening around you. If you look at all kind of trends in software development up to trends in business management and society (even up to philosophy) this will contribute to the quality of your work as a tester. This doesn’t only mean reading blogs and other interesting things on the internet. It is also about reading books. Books is about elaborating information in a way internet can’t give you. I try to read a book a week and it gives me so many ideas! Besides this, be active in other ‘worlds’ besides the test world. Being a chairman in a local committee gave me more confidence in managing testers and test teams.
But always look at what drives you, do those things that you like and this mean that you also have to leave your comfort zone, now and then. With these new experiences, you even know better what you like.


9. If you were stranded on a desert island what 3 things would you like to have with you?

Books, books and books (with of course books about food, you have to eat, don’t you?). But if you count books as one, then I would definitely want to have my family around (my wife is great cook) and a beach volleyball court to play with my son.


10. What is your favourite motivational quote?

I like to call myself a Qualisopher: just a joke to combine philosophy with quality, but besides the joke and I am serious about both subjects. The consequence is that choosing a quote is a hard one, but the one I am convinced about and is hard for many people “You have to have a lot of self-confidence, to admit that you are wrong”. But is it motivational enough?


11. What has been your biggest software testing challenge so far?

I am not going to tell you! You have to come to Gothenburg and I will tell you everything about it. I am not only going to present this case, I am also going to discuss with you about the subject: how are you looking at your assignment and are you doing to right things? I found out in an assignment, that things went wrong which lead to my EuroSTAR track: “This is not a success story”. Besides being a speaker I will also be there for you as a Community Leader I am available for a good discussion about testing (and any other interesting subject) or how can you can get the most out of the conference or just for a cup of coffee and some chitchat.

Twitter: @ard_kramer

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