Alexandra Schladebeck Interview

Q: Tell us a bit about yourself
A: Hello everyone! My name is Alex Schladebeck, and I never know where to start with these kinds of introductions Professionally, I’m head of our team of testers, and have spent many years testing and as a product owner. I’m super excited and passionate about exploratory testing, test automation and everything that has to do with communication in teams. Personally, I’m an extremely extroverted, people-loving, smiling, quotable-for-all-the-wrong-reasons whirlwind. Since these personal euh, let’s call them idiosyncrasies, are a very intrinsic part of who I am, they come to the fore in my work as well. I wear my heart on my sleeve and I stand by that as a good way to be.

If I had to describe myself in one picture it would be this one from Eclipse Con Europe 2016. I have a “work hard, play hard” approach to life ;-)

Q: Which actress would play you in a movie about your life?
This question stumped me – I know who I would love to play me (Felicia Day, cos she’s just geeky and awesome), but whether that’s a good fit ¯\_(ツ)_/¯. So I opened up the question to friends on Facebook. The very scientifically relevant statistical survey showed a definite preference for Sandra Bullock, Anne Hathaway or Tina Fey. I can live very well with all of those, and am enjoying the feelings of grandeur imaging my life as a film ;-)

Q: What inspires you?
A: People. Communication. Understanding each other. Knowing when to ask questions and when to make suggestions. Anyone who brings me closer to understanding another perspective, or to being able to communicate better, is incredibly inspiring to me. I want to be a communication superhero – and there are so many excellent people, for example in the testing community, to learn that from.

The other thing that inspires me, albeit in a more abstract way, is music. I can lose myself in playing, singing and listening to music for hours. How magical are the sounds that we can make and the feelings that we can create with music?

Q: Do you like kitten pictures on Facebook and why?
A: Faced with some of the awful things going on in the world, you could fill my feed with kittens and it wouldn’t be enough. I love kittens, but I’m terribly allergic to them and my husband and I are always on the go, so it wouldn’t be fair to have one. So kitten me up – I will live vicariously through other people’s kittens!

Q: A world ruled by testers would be…
A: Ha! The correct answer is that it depends on the testers ;-)

I think it would be a good world. We’re inquisitive, willing to try out new things, and are good at working with human-communication-APIs that aren’t well documented or have bugs ;-) I like to think that we wouldn’t just sink into an international bug overload, but rather that we’d be working with our stakeholders to understand needs, test whether our implementations are working well, and finally getting to the much needed 2.0 system update of the world!

Q: What’s the best thing that happened to you during a testing conference?
Now, the obvious answer is to say “meeting the conference king of RTC, Rob Lambert”, right?
I think some of my best moments can be classified as any time I met someone, shared a moment, and knew that those people were now part of my personal community and I theirs. Did I mention about how I need people to survive? ;-)

The other highlight was standing on stage for the first time as a keynote speaker. I love being on stage and sharing with people, but being a keynote speaker was a whole notch higher. That could be a good candidate for my Patronus thought!

There are some other rather hilarious moments that don’t bear repeating on a blog – so you’ll just have to come and find me at the conference to hear my stories about them. Looking forward to meeting you all there!

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