An Interview With Anne-Marie Charrett

Anne-Marie is an active and enthusiastic  tester within the testing community. You can find out more about Anne-Marie on @charrett and her Maverick Tester blog.

Do you leap up or lie slumbering?

If I have some great project on, then normally I leap out of bed. I am definitely a morning person.

Sometimes, I sleep in until 8.30 am.

Does anyone with kids ever sleep later than that?

What time do you get up?

Depends on how much work I have on, how motivated I am and if my kids have to go to school, but normally its around 7am.

How many hours of work to do you do a day?

Well I’m and independent, so the amount of paid work varies hugely.

In some ways I never stop working, there is always something I ought to be doing, marketing, sales, tax returns, the list is unending.

Do you take holidays?

Oh yes. Its important for me to unplug and forget about work. I have just spent two glorious weeks in Italy without phone or internet. It was bliss, but two weeks is enough. I start itching to get back to work after that.

Where do you live?

I have one foot in Dublin, and one foot in Sydney, Australia. This makes for a very big star jump.

Where do you think?

I don’t stop thinking. But inspiration seems to hit me at 3am. I have learnt to keep a notepad by my bed. I also seem to get inspired when I go running.

What are your three greatest pleasures?

I love learning new things, it invigorates me. Its one of the reasons why I went independent. At the moment, I’m learning how to provide IM testing coaching. The aim is to teach testers through the IM medium.

A close second comes my family. I enjoy spending time with my husband and kids. Apart from anything, they ground me, and keep me focused on what really matters in life, which is people.

Sometimes there is nothing better than reading a good book. So I guess that’s my third pleasure, though running comes in close too. Its just you and the road, its my time.

Do you like money?

Do I like money? Hmmm. I don’t dislike money, but my goal in life is to be rich in other ways. To me, being rich is doing what you love, surrounded by people you love.

Are you happy?

Yes. Very.

How many hours do you sleep at night/day?


What are you reading at the moment?

Exploring Science by David Klahr. It a study on how people discover and learn things. Its a difficult but fascinating read. On the fiction side, I’m reading Little Bee.

What have you been thinking about?

IM Testing Training of course! I’m passionate about teaching testers a better way to test. I observe how a tester approaches a problem and then apply heuristics to the dialog to bring the tester to a place of understanding.

Do you have any heroes?

I don’t really like the term heroes as I think everyone is fallible. But people I admire are: James Bach, Cem Kaner, Rosie Sherry, Karen Johnson, Fiona Charles, Selena Delesie, Trish Khoo… the list goes on…

Any advice for young people?

Never be afraid to ask for help or assistance. In general, people love to help, it’s in our nature.

Do you like to go a-wandering?

I have total wanderlust. In the last five years I’ve lived in 4 different locations and have brought my family with me. Understandably my children are starting to object.

I also like to wander in my mind. I explore ideas and concepts constantly. I’m always looking for new ways to ‘see’ things. People by nature have their own personal internal oracle by which they compare the world to. These can be their own internal belief system, or in the case of testing, their own idea of when testing is ‘done’.

I like to stretch that. Challenge my belief system, challenge my own view on testing and what I think is acceptable.

What is paradise?

Paradise is a mindset. Going to CAST 2010 was pretty close to paradise for me. I got to talk and meet some great testers and question and think outside my comfort zone.

Sitting by a pool and playing with my kids was paradise too.

What inspires you?

At the moment, I’m inspired by some really wonderful people. There is nothing better than working with like minded people on a project.

I need people to believe in me, when I have that, there are no limits to what I can do.

What Tester Type are you?

The maverick tester of course!

I don’t see myself as any one type of tester, I’m a contradictory and convoluted mass of different types of testers.

What type of tester do you see me as?

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