Myself and Dan Ashby (@danashby04) have started a software testing podcast. It’s called Testing In the Pub, primarily because we spend time in the pub talking about testing, and we thought that others in the software testing community may be interested in hearing what we talk about.
We published the first episode yesterday, called “Reviewing the Conferences 2013″, which is about the conferences that we attended in 2013, and the main learnings we took from them.
Testing in the Pub has it’s own website, and, (Apple approval permitting), will be in iTunes very soon.
It’s be great if you had a listen and gave us some feedback. This is the first time we’ve done something like this, and so all feedback will help us make it better.
If you want to appear as a guest on one of the shows then let us know as well. We’d really like to make the podcasts as varied as possible so the more the merrier
I’ve got an article in the January edition of Testing Circus magazine. It’s called Reach Out Beyond the Software Testing Community.
You can download the magazine for free here: http://www.testingcircus.com/testing-circus-2014-january-edition/
The London Tester Gathering Workshops are back this year, Oct 16th-17th in London. Last year was great (see my blog post with more details).
This year I’ll be running a workshop on mobile testing. More details to come, but Super Early Bird tickets are already available for a bargainous £95 instead of the usual £395 so well worth getting some early.
Other speakers include John Stevenson, Richard Bradshaw, Nigel Stock, Rob Fahey and Peter Houghton.
More details from Skillsmatter: https://skillsmatter.com/conferences/1912-london-tester-gathering-workshops-2014
There’s just 3 spaces left on my mobile testing course, on March 26th in Brighton. More details: http://www.ministryoftesting.com/training-events/an-introduction-to-mobile-testing/
Let me know if you’ve got any questions about the course.
If you are a functional test automation expert then times are good. There’s big bucks to be made in the contracting game, companies are desperate for candidates to ‘automate everything’ and to get to this oddly perceived test automation nirvana that those who are either mis-informed or have hidden agenda’s seem to feel fit to promote.
This has made me think. Primarily about how we have got to this state? Is it because, as the testing community, we have wanted to own test automation? Is it because those outside of the test community see test automation as less important than the production code that it tests? Is it that we just built up an expertise and then protected it just for the money?
Some might say that what has actually happened is that we now have a situation where second rate developers now have a great way to stay in the development game. There is a danger, in the apparent supply-side crisis that we find the industry in, that companies merely employ anyone who says they know something about test automation, without doing the same due diligence that one would do for a development position. This would be a mistake.
In my mind there is a solution to all these problems, and that solution comes from treating test automation just like production code. And that means primarily using developers to write it. Sure, you may choose to have testers involved as well, where they have the skills and expertise, but let’s not try and force skills on people who don’t want them, and let’s not accept second rate people just because they can ‘do some test automation’. One advantage to using developers is that test automation becomes a team thing, and you are less likely to spend time playing catch-up when development slips. One downside; it’s going to look like the team has slowed down. Believe me, it hasn’t. It’s just got more effective, and is playing to the right skill-sets.
Don’t believe me? Here’s a couple more examples from Rob Lambert and Amy Phillips which show where continuous or more frequent delivery has been successfully rolled out at New Voice Media and Songkick. The common thread – in both cases the test automation is a development activity.
Recently I’ve started to come to the belief that we can solve a lot of our problems if we just start to think differently about testing. If instead of thinking about software testing only as a distinct discipline, we instead to start to think about it as an activity. After all, testing is just that, an activity. It’s something we do. Something we’d love others to do more. James Bach likes to define software testing as a performance, and what is a performance without some activity to perform?
Once we start to think of testing as an activity then it matter less that it’s not always testers who do it. Everyone in a team should test, it’s just that the tester role can be where the expertise lies, and where the test coaching comes from.
Think of all the problems we can solve if we think like this.
Via Rob Lambert’s Social Tester blog I’ve just come across the State of Testing Survey 2013, which the guys over at QA Intelligence and Tea Time with Testers are going to be running.
This seems like a great idea to me. Too often within the testing community I think we focus too inward, be that within the company we work for, or the testing community that is immediately around us. I met some great people at this years’ Eurostar who I never knew existed before, primarily because they were not from the UK and therefore not part of the UK testing community.
A survey which allows us to get a wider view of our profession and our community can only be a good thing in my book. It can help us understand our joint challenges far better, and to set the future direction. I’ll be a part of the survey and I hope you will be too.
The survey is not currently open but it will be soon. You can find out more information at the QA Intelligence blog.
Note: I’m not affiliated with the survey or those running it, I think the survey is a good idea so I’m supporting it.
I’ll be doing a mobile software testing course on 26th March 2014, down in Brighton. It’s the week before TestBash so why not come down a bit earlier and spend a day finding out all about mobile software testing.
There’s details on prices and the topics I’ll cover over on the Ministry of Testing website.
It’d be great to see you there.
The Agile Testing and BDD Exchange took place last week. It was the first time that I had attended the event, and I was looking forward to attending something that was not purely testing focused. I think that we in the testing world do need to branch out a bit more and attend events that are not merely about testing, (blog posts on that coming later), and this was one of my first.
Although billed as a testing event, it was primarily BDD focused, with sessions focused around requirement analysis and definition, stakeholder engagement and business collaboration. And testing.
As is usual with Skillsmatter events, all the talks were recorded and podcasts are available. I took mindmaps as each session progressed, where it was possible to do so. You can find them all linked below.
Two things struck me at the event. One was that it the audience was primarily Business Analysis and BDD focused. This wasn’t a bad thing and meant that it was possible to strike up some conversations around how testing could get closer to the business, and how the information that testers can provide can be of real value to the whole team. However, despite everything that we as testers say and the education that we do, there are still significant numbers of people in the software development world who do not understand that testing should be more than just pushing buttons and checking. Too many attendees were using the term QA, and too many were questioning the value of testing, which surprised me at a conference about Testing and BDD. This shows we have a lot more work to do in order to educate and share what testing really is, and Tony Bruce did an excellent job in this respect with his talk ‘What Do Testers Do?”. Unfortunately I don’t think everyone was listening.
The second thing that struck me was that having group Skype Q&A sessions as part of a conference can actually work. The session ‘BDD and the Business Analysts’ was conducted with 5 experts in Business Analysis who were all sitting in various parts of the US, with the facilitation and questions coming from the conference in the UK. I was dubious that it would work but it worked very well. It felt inclusive and I’d certainly like to explore doing something similar at testing events and meet-up groups.
Overall, the Agile Testing and BDD Exchange was worth attending. It was good to meet those who one does not normally meet at more traditionally ‘testing’ events, and share cross team experiences, rather than just talk testing. I’d go again.
I’m at the Agile Testing and BDD Exchange today. As I did with EuroSTAR, I’ll try and get some mindmaps down, and share them after the talks on here.
Check back later for, hopefully, more