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TestBash – 23 rd March Cambridge UK 2012 at The Pitt Building.
About The TestBash
A TestBash is a one day conference from The Ministry of Testing. It is designed to inspire and educate, but equally as important it is about meeting other testers and building upon your knowledge & community.
A Glimpse Into The Future”. We’re not talking years ahead. We’re kind of talking about now. What is happening now in your testing world that is making a difference? What are you working on that is making a change? An advance to the software testing craft? Improvement to processes? Funky tools that change your testing life? Back to basics with communication and team building skills? Small ideas are as good as big ones. Come and share some worthwhile stories with the software testing community.
Order of the Day
8:45 – 9:30 – Registration
9:30 – 9:45 Hello from Rob Lambert
9:45 – 10:30 – Visualising Quality – Dave Evans
We think we know what we mean when we talk about quality. We try to assess it, improve it, safeguard it. To do so we devise ways to measure it, or at least to measure approximations and indicators of it. We try to quantify quality, so we resort to quantitative measures of qualitative goals.
I have a nagging concern that we have drifted too far from the thing we originally found valuable, and are busy counting in currencies that have lost most of their true value.
I am looking for new ways to visualise quality. I want to find ways for stakeholders to be able to intuitively discern good quality from bad quality, for teams to quickly detect when they are improving or degrading it, and for testers to easily highlight the good and bad areas of our products.
This is not a presentation as such, but rather an informal sharing and exploration of ideas that are currently simmering in my head.
10:30 – 11:15 – The Evil Tester’s Guide To Evil – Alan Richardson
“Have you ever heard someone say that “System Testing is a necessary evil”? Well, what they don’t tell you is that “Evil Testing is a necessary system”.
And will THEY ever tell you that? No!
Why? Because THEY don’t want you to know.
Only I will tell you. Because I want you to grow.
I want you to be the best tester you can possibly be. Why should you settle for being a good little tester? You can be better than that. You can experience the freedom and possibility for growth that comes from adopting lessons from the Evil Tester System of Evil Testing.
Too often people think they are advancing by following a well trodden standard path. It seems like the right path. Everyone else is walking it. I walked it too.
And I want you to explore the other path. The left hand path. The path that THEY are too scared to walk.
Yes, the information I’ll give you comes with danger. Be aware. These lessons do not offer an easy route to testing conformity. Instead they offer you the chance to build your own system.
I’ve spent years reading and studying forbidden texts. All so that you don’t have to. And now, I am prepared to share some basic precepts derived from those studies, illustrating how I have used them to change my testing, and how you can use them to change too.
Likely precepts include:
- No-one is born evil
- Benefits of a bad attitude
- As Simple As Sin
- Now, Now, Now – when to favour instant gratification
- Nothing is True, Everything is permitted
- One road to heaven, a thousand roads to hell
- Deceive, but be wary of self-deception
- What did you expect? The door wasn’t locked.
11:15 – 11:45 – Break
12:30 – 13:15 – An 8-Layer Model for Exploratory Testing – Steve Green
Exploratory testing is often represented as being unplanned, unstructured, random and unrepeatable, and that it mostly finds obscure edge cases with unrealistic user behaviour and data. Ten years ago this would have been fair comment, but it’s not now.
Developed over the last decade, our 8-layer model is a framework (not a process!) for exploration that finds bugs with the simplest sequence of events and most vanilla data that can cause them, minimising the need for lengthy diagnosis. These are generally realistic, repeatable bugs that project managers will want to fix.
When used in conjunction with appropriate note-taking, this approach provides a means of planning and tracking test coverage and conveying to other people what has and has not been done.
13:15 – 14:00 – Lunch – Nom, nom, nom!
Do you have the suspicion that you are biased in your testing? Do you think that you can share a great deal of testing knowledge with peers while pairing? Find out about your testing, and maybe coach another tester and get coached. Testing with a stranger calls you to action to pair up with someone completely unknown to you, and test an application. You will learn new approaches to testing, and overcome some of your current biases – or maybe just become aware of it. And – most important of all – you will meet a new tester, and learn more about that person by actually testing with her or him.
15:00 – 15:45 – Adam Knight – Survival of the Fit-Tester
There seems to be a lot of discussion in the testing community at the moment over the future of testing. Whether you believe the scale of the threats to testing are as serious as some would suggest, it would be unwise to ignore the movements that could threaten to disrupt our industry. In this talk I’ll discuss some of the trends around software testing that could place the testing role as we know it at risk and look at ways that we can improve our own chances of survival.
My own opinions have changed in recent years around how the interactions between testers and coders should be managed. I’ll discuss why and give examples of how a close tester-programmer relationship has been a key benefit to me in presenting a united front when reviewing testing needs. I’ll go on to examine whether the way that we’ve historically sold the idea of testing could be working against us and actually masking our true worth.
I’ll discuss some ideas that I have found help to show the value that testers can add outside their teams and in their wider organisations. I’ll look at key roles in our organisations with whom we can develop mutually beneficial relationships which reinforce the strength of our own positions. I’ll then suggest ways that the adoption of agile methodologies presents us with opportunities to expand our responsibilities and integrate more fully into the specification process.
In this session I will present some ideas from my own experience and hopefully generate some further ideas from the room on demonstrating our value within our own organisations.
15:45 – 16:15 Break
16:15 – 17:00 – A picture is worth a thousand words – Andy Glover
Describing testing to a project manager or user can be difficult at times, but have you ever tried to explain software testing with a painting, a photo, or even a cartoon?
In this fun and interactive presentation, Andy will lead small groups in trying to describe software testing with simple drawings and images. By using lateral thinking techniques and a bucket load of creativity (arguably essential characteristics for a software tester) you will come out of the presentation with a picture worth a thousand words!
17:00 – 17:30 – Chill out
- great people
- great talks
- teas / coffees
- meetup on the night before
- meetup on the night