“Think Big, Start Small And Act Now” – Building A QA Community In Ramallah

Image from the QA community meetup we hosted


“Think big, Start small and Act now”. This proverb is a favorite of mine, but you might be wondering what it has to do with QA? Let me explain.

I have been working as QA engineer for a year and half now, but I have been feeling a bit isolated from the larger QA community, which is frustrating because there is so much to learn! So, I decided to launch a QA meetup in Ramallah where software testing professionals can find a place to meet, network with like-minded individuals, share knowledge and experiences, learn from fellow QA engineers and have a good time. And you know what – it was an amazing success!

So what does this have to do with my favorite proverb?

Think big : connect a group of skilled QA professionals that are powerful enough to make a difference.

Start small : I started with a very small Facebook event page titled Software QA & Testing Meetup, and just sent it to friends in other IT companies to see who is interested to attend.

Act now : When I first created the event, I didn’t even know where we’d host it, but I knew we’d figure it out. The important thing was to post it, and start making it happen.

I knew we’d figure it out, and we did! Our head of engineering, Ayman, was excited to host this meetup in FT’s office, and on 16 July 2016, we had a full house of over 30 people show up to this first event! Most attendees were QA engineers of varying seniority from startups as Yamsafer, Harri, souktel, Socialdice, as well as from large companies in Palestine such as Asal Technologies, Progineer Technologies and Exalt Technology.

The first meeting was more fireside-chat style where we had the chance to talk about methodologies and testing tools used in each company, backend testing, automation and testing tools for mobile applications. We discussed the difference between the role for testers, quality assurance and quality control. It was fun to have developers in the mix as well and to talk about QA from their perspectives. The group will decide what topics to cover at our upcoming meetings, and what tools will be demonstrated and taught. Have something specific that you’d like to learn? Join us and vote for the topic of your choice!

Our next meeting will be  this Saturday 20-August, where we are hosting two awesome speakers:  Karim Fanadka QA team lead in HP Enterprise. Karim will speak about how HPE Software does testing, and the modern QA methodologies and techniques. Misbah AlAjez, the Middle East Representative for the International Software Quality Institute (iSQI GmbH) will be talking about how to be certified in software testing. Check out all the event details on our Facebook event page: https://www.facebook.com/events/283917531981009/

I am very excited of what is next and what can be done! And looking forward to see you at the next meetups.