The London Tester Gathering Workshops 2014 are nearly here. Last year I had a great time at the event – it had a really inclusive feel and I learnt a lot from the sessions that I attended.
My review is here, if you want to read about how good it was last year 🙂
This year I’m running one of the workshops. It will be about Testing Mobile Software, and promises to be a lot of fun (I hope).
Want to take part in a hands-on workshop and get an overview of mobile testing? Stephen Janaway will explain some of the common mistakes that are made when starting to test mobile, and will give you the opportunity to put into practice what you learn straight away.
We are increasingly moving towards mobile devices to fulfil our day-to-day computing needs. More smartphones are sold than PCs but many people are unclear on what changes to test strategies are needed when working with mobile.
We’ll spend a majority of the session testing a mobile application across a variety of platforms, and reporting the results in real time to the rest of the group. All you need to bring along is an open mind and as many mobile devices as you can get your hands-on.
Tickets are currently a bargainous £250+VAT until 19th September, and for that you get two full days of workshops, covering everything from mobile to automation, exploratory testing to creative thinking. Well worth it.
What are you waiting for? Sign up 🙂
Episode 7 of the software testing podcast that I record with Dan Ashby is now available. In this episode we talk about the idea of ‘schools of testing’ and compare and contrast approaches such as those from the ISTQB and context-driven communities.
You can download it from the site, via RSS or it’ll shortly be in iTunes as usual.
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.
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.
Next up is Phil Wills from The Guardian, talking about “Ship It!”.
Here’s my mind map.
The Rational for Continuous Delivery
First up, The Rational for Continuous Delivery from Dave Farley.
Here is my mind map.
I firmly believe that in order to be as effective as possible, testers need to engage with the software testing community. Learning from others, particularly outside of the companies where we work, makes us more rounded and better informed individuals. It enables us to inspire ourselves and our colleagues in ways that we could not otherwise.
Recently I’ve been wondering why more people do not engage with the community. What is stopping them, and how can we all help change this? We can explain how brilliant the wider community is, and we can give examples from our experience. We can send people to conferences and email round blog posts. What is that does not work?
What do we do about those within a team who do not want to interact? Those who do not see it as a good use of their time, and are not willing to spend time on community matters, even if that time is given to them by the company. Should we incentivise people to do so? At least in order to push them in the direction of the wider testing community, where hopefully they will get hooked? Or should we do the opposite? Is it a valid idea to make community engagement a part of people’s role description, and therefore penalise those who hold such positions and do not exhibit such engagement?
Or is there another way of persuading everyone that the software testing community is key to their personal development? I’d be interested to know what you think.
I’m here at the awesome TestBash conference today. I’ll be posting updates here, hopefully some mindmaps too.
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.
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.
Stephen Blower taught us how to inspire testers and what inspires him.
Iain McCowatt presented a great talk on changing our automation models.
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.
And then 99 second talks, and that’s it. What a great day!
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/
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.
I was fortunate enough to get the opportunity to speak at TestBash 2.0 recently. TestBash is one of the best software testing conferences, and this year it has a great line-up of speakers: James Bach, Seth Eliot, Matt Archer, Amy Phillips, me, Lisa Crispin, Huib Schoots, Bill Matthews and Tony Bruce.
Dan Ashby has written a great blog post about the presentations themselves, and I’ll leave it to Dan to explain what everything was about. I’ll do that for two reasons, one because he does a great job of explaining it, and two, because, as a presenter, I wasn’t always watching what was going on 🙂
I presented A Testers Hierarchy of Needs, which took ideas from Humanistic Psychology and the work of Abraham Maslow, and applied these to software testing, and the software testers. It stemmed from a blog post that I wrote last year, which seemed to be well received, and attracted a fair few comments.
I’ve published the slides on this site so do take a look – A Testers Hierarchy of Needs.
I’m also writing a further post, which will go into a bit more detail about my presentation, and the links between humanistic psychology, Maslow, and software testing so do look out for that.
A quick post to say that I’ll be speaking at the Reading Tester Gathering which is this Thursday, 28th February. I’ll be giving a presentation on mobile device testing, with ample time afterwards for questions about mobile testing, or testing in general.
It’s at Copa Bar, 76-78 Kings Road, Reading. There’s more details on the meetup page.
Hope to see you there.