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Virtual Defectives University Challenge: Roq-ing Around The Christmas Tree

On Thursday 3rd December 2020, over 70 students from a range of universities and colleges attended Roq’s Virtual Defectives: Roqing Around The Christmas Tree.

ROQ founded the Defectives ten years ago after a colleague decided it would be a fantastic way to bring testers together. The Defectives is a fun and fast paced event with teams competing to find bugs on specific websites. Roq have since adapted the traditional Defectives, to form ‘Defectives: University Challenge’, with the aim of introducing students from a variety of backgrounds and disciplines to a career in software testing. This feeds into Roq’s graduate recruitment programme in a fun and unique way. Roq has invested heavily in the graduate programme since its inception in 2014, and last year attracted over 300 student applications.

The Coronavirus pandemic meant that the 2020 Defectives event had to be held virtually, over Zoom, but that couldn’t dampen the spirits of Roq, nor the attendees who turned out in numbers, raring to hunt some bugs and gain that valuable insight into the world of software testing.

Teams from the University of Salford, Liverpool John Moores, UCLan, Edge Hill, the University of Bolton, and Runshaw College were all in attendance and ready to discover a world of software testing opportunities and put their defect-finding skills to the test. They worked together within their teams to find an array of defects on specific websites in an attempt to win the highly sought-after Defectives University Challenge Trophy!

The hosts for the evening were Roq Graduate Programme alumni, Graham and Louise, who gave a brief introduction to Roq and the Defectives before covering the various types of testing, what would happen across the course of the evening and, finally, the rules of the competition. They then got the competition underway as they sent attendees into their relevant ‘breakout rooms’ for a flurry of functional testing delights.

The students obtained points for finding defects on nominated websites and reproducing the defect to their Roq-assigned ‘Defect Manager’. They could do this either by following the handy clue sheet, or by digging a little deeper and finding a bug which was not featured on the clue sheet – this would earn them valuable double points!

After an hour of searching for defects, the competition was brought to a close as Graham and Louise pulled all the attendees back into the main Zoom call. You could almost feel the anticipation in the air, as each team wondered if they had done enough to take this year’s trophy home.

As the points were being tallied, we heard from Denton Arnold – who joined Roq during 2019’s graduate intake – sharing his Roq journey so far and giving everyone a feel of what they can expect if they’re successful in applying for a graduate role at Roq.

Finally, it was time to reveal the winners of the competition and it was theSalfordCrew who emerged victorious with CheeseMonsters from LJMU close behind them in second place.

Stephen Johnson, Co-Founder and Director of Roq, said:

I’m super proud of the team for running this brilliant event. This is a great example of giving back to the community, opening doors for the next generation of talent, and having fun. Just a normal day at Roq.

The event was also met with an abundance of fantastic feedback, receiving an overall score of 9/10 from those who attended and welcoming comments such as ‘the night was brilliant’ and ‘I would like to work for a company like Roq’.

Roq will no doubt be hosting more Defectives: University Challenge events as they continue their search for testers of the future.


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