Revisited: What's In a Name? Experimenting With Testing Job Titles - Martin Hynie

13th January 2023
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Martin Hynie's profile
Martin Hynie

Human in Software

Revisited: What's In a Name? Experimenting With Testing Job Titles - Martin Hynie image
Talk Description

We will be streaming and revisiting "What's In a Name? Experimenting With Testing Job Titles" a previous TestBash talk regularly referenced in the community when job title discussions start! And the best bit about it is that Martin Hynie will be online to let you know what has changed and answer your questions about what he has learned since!

There is a song that is sung so often that every software tester knows the words: “But what does this have to do with testing?”

Organizational bias towards software testing has continued to haunt us throughout my career. With each successful mission to spread knowledge about our community and craft, I would encounter another challenge. A new manager, an opposing director or a newly contracted consultant who would overlook the potential benefits of including members of testing in key phases of critical projects. I was hiring experts in our target market, brilliant coders and researchers, and excellent critical thinkers but we continued to be overlooked only to be brought in too late to contribute key information that could have saved our projects time and money.

So as a team, we asked the question: “What if we did not call ourselves testers? Would anything change?” In other words... we had an interesting hypothesis about our system and like all good testers, we decided to test it in order to learn more about it.

In this presentation, I will present the story of our 18-month experiment with rotating job titles. I will highlight:

  • The startling impact this had on how the members of the testing team were included (and sought out) within development projects.
  • The dramatic changes in communication paths that happened within weeks of each job title change.
  • The emergence of extremely strong relationships in departments like marketing and product management.
  • The reaction when job titles would get changed back to software tester.
  • And most surprisingly, the observed companywide changes made to accommodate and empower the “new key roles” being filled by members of the testing team.
What you’ll learn

By the end of this talk, you'll be able to:

  • What if we did not call ourselves testers? Would anything change?
Martin Hynie's profile'

Martin Hynie

Human in Software

With over fifteen years of specialization in software testing and development, Martin Hynie’s attention has gradually focused towards embracing uncertainty, and redefining testing as a critical research activity. The greatest gains in quality can be found when we emphasize communication, team development, business alignment and organizational learning.

A self-confessed conference junkie, Martin travels the world incorporating ideas introduced by various sources of inspiration (including Cynefin, complexity theory, context-driven testing, the Satir Model, Pragmatic Marketing, trading zones, agile principles, and progressive movement training) to help teams iteratively learn, to embrace failures as opportunities and to simply enjoy working together.

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