Category Archives: Testing

Live from Pipeline

I’m at the Pipeline continuous delivery conference today. I’ll try and mindmap as many sessions as possible and post updates here. Scroll down to see the earlier sessions.

It’s All About the People

Last up – Tomas Riha, talking about why its All About the People. A good presentation about moving to Continuous Delivery at VGT. My mind map is here.

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Big Ideas, Small Company, Moderate Heresy

Next up, Big Ideas, Small Company, Moderate Heresy from Alex Wilson and Benji Weber from Unruly. A very interesting presentation on their approach, particularly their synchronous processes. My mind map is here.

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Ship It!

Next up is Phil Wills from The Guardian, talking about “Ship It!”.

Here’s my mind map.

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The Rational for Continuous Delivery

First up, The Rational for Continuous Delivery from Dave Farley.

Here is my mind map.

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Live from Testbash

I’m here at the awesome TestBash conference today. I’ll be posting updates here, hopefully some mindmaps too.

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First up – Scott Barber. An excellent presentation about Managing Application Performance. My mind map is here.

Next up, Contextual Decision Making, from Mark Tomlinson. Great presentation with added spinning cats. Mindmap is here.

Jez Nicholson gave us some good tips on how to win developer friends and influence people.

Joep Schuurkes explained to us how to help a new tester to get a running start.

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Context driven testing in an agile context from Huib Schoots. Some great stuff.

Bill Matthews kicked off the afternoon talking about Getting Out of the Testing Game.

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Stephen Blower taught us how to inspire testers and what inspires him.

Iain McCowatt presented a great talk on changing our automation models.

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Chris George gave us a great story from RedGate on how they improved a legacy automation suite.

And finally Keith Klain gave a great talk on how to talk to a CIO about testing.

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And then 99 second talks, and that’s it. What a great day!

Testing In the Pub Podcasts Are Here

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 :)

London Tester Gathering Workshops 2014

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

Automated Functional Testing – A Test Activity?

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.

Testing As An 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.

State of Testing Survey 2013

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.