Tag Archives: presenting

EuroSTAR 2014 – Day 2

This is the second part of my review of EuroSTAR 2014. Check here for day 1.

Day 2

Day 2 started with Isabel Evans giving her experiences of a change project that went wrong. There was a lot of things to learn from here experiences but the main thing I took away was “it’s alway about the people”. People are the main factor in software development and the main factor in change. Understanding them if the key to effective change.

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Here’s my notes from her session.

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Next up I saw Michael Bolton give a very interesting and interactive session called ‘Every Tester Has a Price: Sources of Product and Project Information’. In it we went through different information sources and produced a large and detailed mindmap. I captured some of it below:

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Note – it’s not complete and I need to get the rest of it from Michael.

Following Michael’s session I caught Kristoffer Nordström’s session on Gameification. This was a great personal account of how Kristoffer introduced gameification to a project he was working on, and what the results were. Certainly something that I’d like to see if I can use where I work.

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My final session of the morning was another case study, this time from James Christie. James gave a very detailed and interesting study of a project he worked on for the UK government, whose primary goal seemed to be for the project not to appear in the UK news/ satire magazine Private Eye. While the project did not fail, (the programme it was part of did), it placed a great strain on the people involved and certainly was not the sort of project James would want to be involved with again. There were some clear lessons to learn, hopefully captured in my notes below.

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After lunch it was my turn to talk about “Understanding Your Mobile User”. I was lucky, I had a good audience and they asked some great questions. IMG_20141126_130709

I spoke about ways you could understand mobile users, and why understanding the user is so important when mobile testing.

The final keynote of the day was from Julian Harty, who spoke about ‘Software Talk: Are We Listening’. Julian gave us some hints and tips on how we can listen to software, through analytics for example.

What happened next was a little bizarre. A guy from Smartbear got up on the stage and sang a song about testing, to the tune (and inspired by the lyrics) of Frozen, the Disney kids film. Not my cup of tea but some people enjoyed it I guess.

IMG_20141126_170317Then it was time for the Gala party – a great night at Croke Park, home of the GAA.

Note: Updated 11th Dec as a result of James’ comment below.

 

I’m At Mobile App Europe – Day 2

So it’s day 2. I’ll be blogging as much as I can, scroll down for the earlier sessions.

Dr Cheahan So talking about Why We Are Wrong When We Think We Are Right.

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Next up – Peter Varhol, who is talking about Mobile Apps and the Role of Load Testing. Here’s my mindmap.

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Stefan Gwihs and Philipp Strelka talked about the use of emulators and simulators in mobile testing.

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Some interesting stuff, particularly about how a test approach should not be purely UI driven. My mindmap is here.

First the keynote. Unfortunately Daniel Knott couldn’t make it  – fortunately he put his slides up on slideshare.

Everything is not lost 🙂 – we have a new keynote – Mobile App Quality at Paypal.

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Interviewed for Computer Weekly

I was recently interviewed for Computer Weekly, about the test strategy at Net-a-Porter, and my forthcoming talk at the Next Generation Testing Conference. It was an interesting experience and not one that I have done before.

I spoke about why I believe that Testing As An Activity is important, and why we should all test. The old axiom that “Testers Test and Programmers Code” is so outdated now and everyone needs to change. Testers are the testing experts in a team, and can help enable the whole team to own quality but they are certainly not the only one’s who should be testing.

You can read the interview itself over on the Computer Weekly site, and you can find the slides from the presentation at the Next Generation Testing conference over on Slideshare.

Speaking At Mobile App Europe – Discounts

I’m going to be speaking at the first Mobile App Europe conference, which is on 28th September – 1st October in Potsdam, Germany. My presentation will be about mobile software testing and I’m part of what looks like a great conference, with keynotes from Jonathan Kohl, Dr. Chaehan So, Jesse Freeman, Stefan Bielau and Christian Kaar.  There’s also lots of other excellent looking talks and learning opportunities on offer.

I’m really looking forward to it.

The early bird pricing ends in two weeks time and I also have a speaker discount which will get you another 10% off the ticket price. Let me know if you’d like it and I’ll share it with you.

Interviewed For the uTest Testing Blog

I was interviewed recently for the uTest blog. I’ll be speaking about ‘Testing As An Activity’ at the forthcoming Next Generation Testing Conference, and so they asked me some questions about the topic, as well as some more general one’s about my thoughts on testing and how I started in the industry.

Worth a read I reckon, (I am biased of course). You can find the uTest blog post on their site.

More details on the Next Generation Testing Conference are on their site.

Romanian Testing Conference 2014

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I’ve just got back from the Romanian Testing Conference which was held in Cluj-Napoca. It was a great couple of days, talking testing with a lot of new people, and some friends from the UK and further afield.

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If you get the chance then I would definitely recommend the conference. There was a good mix of presenters and presentations, and the event was very professionally run. They even had their own RTC2014 branded cars!

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I spoke about mobile software testing, and you can find my slides on this site. I also took mindmaps of as many sessions as I could, and I’ve added all of these to a ‘Live From….’ post which you can find here.

Next up, Nordic Testing Days in Tallinn  in a couple of weeks. I’m talking about ‘Testing Your Emotions’, which will be a change from the mobile software testing area that I normally present on. I’ll also try and live blog as much as possible from the event.

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

Further Notes From A Testers Hierarchy of Needs – pt2

In my first post about ‘A Testers Hierarchy of Needs’ I explained a little about humanistic psychology and the work of Abraham Maslow. Let’s now look at how this can be applied to software testing.

As with the first post, the headings match with the slides I presented at TestBash.

A Typical Career Path

career pathA typical testers career path can look like this – it’s rather rigid and set. There are similar paths to this for management roles, and often testers are pushed towards management because it pays better, even if they don’t like management.

But what if we forgot about roles and job descriptions?

But what if we forgot about roles and job descriptions? After all, why do we have to consider our roles as part of a career ladder? How do we fit within our roles? What makes us satisfied as testers? What satisfies those who work for us in testing?

It’s all about considering building blocks. How do we fit the pieces together? How do we build a different kind of model to help us understand ourselves and our testers? Well I think Maslow’s work can help us out here. It can give us a framework.

A Testers Hierarchy of Needs

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Our first level – Maslow would call this the Physiological level. I call it acceptance. Acceptance of testing. So testing is just a job. Management view is ‘anyone can do it’. You are probably complying with work rules and basic processes to continue staying in job. There’s a lack of respect or support BUT there is testing happening. It’s probably manual checking only but it’s a start. So a positive step.

The next level is Maslow’s Safety level. Testing is mandated. There is a test team. Testers have peers. There is some safety – the job is seen as worthwhile and so unlikely to suddenly be moved to somewhere where people can press the buttons and check more cheaply. But testers are still universally seen as an annoyance. It’s about meeting expectations of peers and bosses, sometimes unspoken, to meet a moral and social code. It’s a learning level. As a tester you can learn testing, the company you work for is learning about testing. You play a key part in ensuring that learning happens.

One level up and it’s all about belonging. Testing, testers and the test team is seen as a key part of the company.  It is taken seriously by all. It’s about meeting and exceeding more demanding expectations of peers and bosses, sometimes unspoken, to meet moral and social code. Consultation. Respect. Inclusion.

The Interaction level is next.  The impact of testing reaches further than just the IT team. Consultation from the business. Reliance. Interaction. And overall a real sense of Esteem for the tester. A sense of worth. You are really adding value.

Then the top. Maslow’s self-actualisation level. Test Mastery.

• The skills and continual learning needed to succeed.
• Coaching others up the hierarchy.
• A responsibility to the wider testing community.
• The person must not only achieve the previous needs, but master them.
Recognition from all. Inside a company and outside. Respect and recognition from peers, thought leaders, and those that you really respect and value.

What affects your movement between levels?

Maslow never drew the theory of needs as a pyramid. In fact he never drew it as a diagram at all as far as I know. That was done in a later psychology text book.  He felt that there could be overlap between states. You can move between states. Down as well as up. Changing roles, changing teams, life changes, can all affect movement between levels. Where you are on the hierarchy is just a snapshot in time.

I feel that, for a testers theory of needs, a pyramid is right. It shows the hierarchy best. But it could be a set of overlapping balloons, if you like that sort of thing.

So….where do you think you are on the pyramid?

Are you on a path to self-actualization. To Test Mastery? Do you think you are there already? What are you doing to stay there? What about the testers who are in your team? What about the company you work for?

I’d be very interested to know what you think.

 

 

Further Notes From A Testers Hierarchy of Needs – pt1

I’ve written about Maslow and links between humanistic psychology and software testing a couple of times before. I presented ‘A Testers Hierarchy of Needs’ at TestBash 2.0. This post gives a bit more information and material to support the slides which you can find on this page.

The idea is that the headings match the slides, in order to make things easy to follow. It’s split into two posts – the first talks about humanistic psychology and Maslow. The second will focus on how we can adapt this to software testing.

Abraham Maslow, Humanistic Psychology and Testing

Abraham Harold Maslow was an American psychologist who died in 1970. He was best known for creating Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, a theory of psychological health predicated on fulfilling innate human needs in priority, culminating in self-actualization. He stressed the importance of focusing on the positive qualities in people, as opposed to treating them as a “bag of symptoms”.

The needs of humans, in their most basic form

Humanistic Psychology focuses on the needs of human’s in their most basic forms. It focuses on the positive qualities in people in a positive way and is based upon observations of humans’ innate curiosity – innate curiosity, something useful for testing I’d argue. Consider the classic “Testing is questioning a product in order to evaluate it” for example.

Maslow studied what he called exemplary people such as Albert Einstein,  rather than mentally ill or neurotic people. He also  studied the healthiest 1% of the college student population.

Humanistic theories of 
self-actualization

Humanistic psychology is a perspective which rose to prominence in the mid-20th century in response to Sigmund Freud’s psychoanalytic theory. Maslow once commented: “It is as if Freud supplied us the sick half of psychology and we must now fill it out with the healthy half”. Humanistic psychologists believe that every person has a strong desire to realize his or her potential, to reach a level of “self-actualization”

It holds that people are inherently good.

Qualities of 
self-actualizing people

Maslow studied what he called self-actualised people. He realized that all the individuals he studied had similar personality traits. All were “reality centered,” able to differentiate what was fraudulent from what was genuine. We do that as testers. They were also “problem centered,” meaning that those treated life’s difficulties as problems that demanded solutions. We do that as testers. These individuals also were comfortable being alone and had healthy personal relationships. Are we like that as testers? 🙂

Self-actualizing people tend to focus on problems outside themselves; have a clear sense of what is true and what is false; and are spontaneous and creative..

The Theory of Needs

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The theory of human needs can be expressed or ordered in a pre-potent hierarchy—a pressing need would need to be mostly satisfied before someone would give their attention to the next highest need. Maslow described human needs as being relatively fluid—with many needs being present in a person simultaneously.

1) At the bottom of the hierarchy are the “Basic needs or Physiological needs” of a human being: food, water, sleep and sex.

2) The next level is “Safety Needs: Security, Order, and Stability.” These two steps are important to the physical survival of the person.

3) The third level of need is “Love and Belonging,” which are psychological needs.

4) The fourth level is achieved when individuals feel comfortable with what they have accomplished. This is the “Esteem” level, the need to be competent and recognized, such as through status and level of success.

5) At the top of the pyramid, “Need for Self-actualization,” occurs when individuals reach a state of harmony and understanding because they are engaged in achieving their full potential.

Once a person has reached the self-actualization state they focus on themselves and try to build their own image. They may look at this in terms of feelings such as self-confidence or by accomplishing a set goal.

Usually people in developed countries focus on the third and fourth level of needs while those in less developed worlds focus on the first and second.

Meta-motivation

Maslow used the term metamotivation to describe self actualized people who are driven by innate forces beyond their basic needs, so that they may explore and reach their full human potential. To become better people. Or better Testers.

But how does this fit in with Software Testing? We’ll find out more in part 2.