Friday, September 20, 2013

Wrap up of my Outreach Program for Women Internship

My internship is rapidly coming to a close, so the time has come for me to do a wrap up of my time here.

Overall, +2 for the internship.  The internship was a really positive experience for me on many levels.  I met amazing people and got an inside view of how an Open Source project works.  Chris and Zeljko were awesome mentors, and I learned a great deal from them about Quality Assurance and automation.  I also accomplished my goal of learning to code QA automation tests in Cucumber and Ruby.  It was truly inspiring to work in an environment that held itself to the high standards it promotes of collaboration, transparency and sense of community.  By participating in the Engineering Community Meetings I got to see the ways in which Wikimedia works to involve volunteers at many levels.  Very impressive was the quality of the QA automation workshops we held, and the number of volunteers participating.  Also impressive was the QA mailing list, and the high level of discourse there.  I always wondered how open source projects like Wikipedia are able to be so successful.  Now I know; it is the dedication and passion of the people involved that makes these projects happen.  It  was cool to see this up close and personal, as I saw how projects evolved and people collaborated together to make things happen.

On a personal note, I am grateful that programs like the Outreach Program for Women exist to give people like myself an opportunity to learn new skills.  I have been trying to get into the QA automation field for some time, but unfortunately I have found that the corporate world is not so eager to take a chance on you if you don't already have the skill set they are looking for.  This becomes the classic chicken-and egg problem.  You can't get the job till you have the skill, and you can't get the skill until someone gives you an opportunity to work in that field.  Kudos to OPW and Open Source for giving people a chance to advance themselves and learn new things, and to break out of this cycle!

On to the list of my major accomplishments:

  • Wrote a test plan for VisualEditor, detailing the types of tests needed to test VisualEditor.
  • My test cases were the first automated tests to be written to check VE functionality.  They included tests for logins, links, headers, references and bullets.  To see my coding contributions, please go here.
  • Learned cutting edge technology to write my tests: Cucumber, Ruby, Page Object Design and Selenium/Watir.
  • Did exploratory testing of VisualEditor resulting in several bugs being found, and filed in Bugzilla.
  • Make use of Git and Gerrit to check in my code and get code reviewed.
  • Contributed to the QA community outreach at Wikimedia by helping to run the QA automation workshop for volunteers, attending Engineering Community Meetings, and pair programming to  train a new QA volunteer.

For the future, I am planning to still contribute to QA automation efforts at Wikimedia, and will also be job hunting, looking for a QA automation job in the Boston area.  By the way, if anyone out there has any job leads for this sort of job, please let me know!  (Email: rachelqa99 (at)
Thanks to the Wikimedia Foundation for giving me this wonderful opportunity, and thanks to the Outreach Program for Women for making this program happen.  

See you all around the web. :)


  1. Thanks for writing these, your code helped me adapt tests for the Flow extension. I'm glad the OPW worked for you.