TestBash Workshop Day

2 TestBash Banners 2015-04

Testers of the world will (re)unite on Friday March 10-11th 2016 in Brighton (UK) for the most awesome, friendliest and jam packed software testing conference ever!

Our TestBash Brighton Workshop day on Thursday March 10th will host a variety of half day workshops about software testing in central Brighton.  There will be plenty to soak up and learn.

The list of workshops are below.  They are either morning or afternoon workshops.  Please don’t double book yourself!

Date: Thursday March 10th 2016

Time: Morning Workshops: 9am – 12:30pm / Afternoon workshops 1:30pm – 5pm / Social Meetup from 6pm.

LocationTour de Brighton – TestBash Workshops Schedule (PDF)


Registration is closed.

Morning Workshops

Lego Automation – Richard Bradshaw

Automation is playing an ever increasing role within software development, including testing. Specifically to testing we see the desire to have many automated checks in place, in the ‘DevOps’ space we see more and more deployments being automated. The use of CI is becoming common place. But where will it end, what are the limits of all this automation.

In this interactive experiential workshop we will explore automation using Lego Duplo! We will create a number of automated scripts, ever increasing in complexity. We will adapt existing scripts for new purposes. All without writing a single line of code.

Attending of this workshop will get an insight into the challenges of automating activities. Gain an understanding of the complexity required to automate something that is so simple for a human being to do. Observe first hand the limitations of automation. Hear real life experiences from myself and other attendees on their experiences will automation.

This fun, high energy workshop will leave you with a core understanding of where to use automation, how to explain it’s purpose with others and more importantly why you decided to automate something.

About Richard
I am a friendly tester with a passion for testing. I try to share my passion with the wider community via blogging, forums, twitter and participating at conferences. I currently organise a testing meetup in Winchester, UK (#WinTest) and am a founding member of MEWT (Midlands Exploratory Workshop on Testing). Testing has been my only career since graduating and have been testing for 9 years now. I have strong technical skills and encourage the use of tools and automation in the right context.
Blog: http://www.thefriendlytester.co.uk/  – @FriendlyTester

TestOps 101 – Become The Master of Your Domain – Martin Hynie & Ioana Serban

The world of DevOps is evolving and innovating at an incredible rate. Let’s be honest, for a tester it can be horrifying. Your entire tech stack can be suddenly swapped out overnight, and when encountering an issue it’s hard to tell where in that tech stack lies the problem. Even worse, with so many moving parts, it can be near impossible to reproduce the exact conditions from production in your test environment.

However, the curious and adventurous tester is always looking for an edge, always exploring new approaches to learn more about their system under test with the hopes of discovering new information. Maybe this tidal wave of tech infusion can be used for good? And yes, by this I mean OUR good.

Getting a stranglehold on the world of containers opens a lot of opportunities for software testers. Open source projects like Docker have provided us an affordable option to creatively emulate production environments in safe and manageable ways. As a tester, you can learn to create aspects of production in localized or managed cloud environments to properly explore and learn about how they behave, interact and where they fall down.

In this introductory workshop, we will explore the use of container technology like Docker, and the many cloud-based services that can be (affordably) adopted by testing teams. We will discover how to setup initial containers on local and hosted server providers, and go through some exercises that will include setting up development and testing frameworks, and ramping up services and servers to best emulate production safely.

What you should bring:

  • A reasonably modern laptop with admin rights, decent horsepower and room for installing containers and virtual machine (Details will be provided closer to conference date)
  • A sense of adventure

About Ioana
Currently working for eBay as a Software Engineer in Test and Adobe before that, Ioana Serban has a strong leaning towards the more technical side of testing. She is, however, interested in learning all aspects of the craft and is a big fan of challenging assumptions of what a tester is or isn’t “supposed” to do.


About Martin
With over fifteen years of specialization in software testing and development, Martin Hynie’s attention has gradually focused on emphasizing value through communication, team development, organizational learning and the significant role that testers can play to help enable these. A self-confessed conference junkie, Martin travels the world incorporating ideas introduced by various sources of inspiration (including context-driven testing, the Satir Model, Pragmatic Marketing, trading zones, agile principles, and Christensen’s Job-To-Be-Done, progressive movement training) to help teams iteratively learn, to embrace failures as opportunities and to simply enjoy working together.

@vds4 – http://developersbestfriend.com

Connecting the Dots – Empowering People Through Play – Christina Ohanian & Nicola Sedgwick

As testers we care just as much about our projects and products as our Product Owners and Developers. With a history of being the people at the end of the chain (no longer the case as we know), we tend to see the communication issues and impending risk and somehow always feel inclined or voluntarily willing to help solve those problems and yes, it always means our lives become easier! Win win!

So how can we help teach and build up a solid channel of communication with our peers (whom all have different behaviours and characters), to help them stop, zoom out and avoid the rabbit hole?

One of the best ways to build an individual’s or a team’s skills and understanding can often be through the method of games, metaphors and stories. Abstracting the problem and playing through potential solutions can make it easier to identify how to deal with situations. Lessons are easier taken on board if the learning is also fun, and if the risk discussion uses a Jenga tower (hint hint) rather than a risk register.

The Game Plan
Our workshop session will comprise of the following techniques and games, covering a various range of scenarios and role plays for both individuals and teams to take away and use daily within their own teams.

  •  The stand up circle: Communicating short & snappy doses of useful information.
  •  Building mental structures: Visualising concepts and problems using Lego
  • Modelling project risks: Learning about the impacts of decision making using Jenga.
  • Role playing requirements: Learning the impact of games & sketches on the effectiveness and success of projects.
  • Collaborative Round up: Improvising communication in a world of changing variables.

The Outcome
The games we’ll teach and play have direct practical uses to bring teams together to work more productively and reduce communication difficulties. These are games that can prove a point in as little as 5 mins, or work through relatively complicated risk mitigation solutions in under an hour.

We want you to leave with at least one technique that you can try the very next day at work, helping kick start identification of the root causes of problems. We also want you to equip yourself by learning about different methods that lead to tangible results around dealing with communication and team dynamics as well as understanding how to share these games with your teams in a fun and collaborative way.

About Christina
My passion and strengths lie in agile software development focused in the testing discipline in particular the practice of Behaviour Driven Development. I care about helping embed testing early on in development focusing on testing early, and often. As an avid agile evangelist, I am passionate about helping build and support self organising teams and individuals from the ground up and love learning about people, their passions and what motivates them.

You can find me working at The App Business in London or failing that, i’ll be sitting in a coffee shop somewhere in the world, having a flat white and sketching!

About Nicola
Nicola is one of those testers ‘fell into the role’ after working Support Engineer and Trainer for a small software house working predominantly with the construction sector. However, ‘fell’ implies the role focus was not chosen deliberately, which is incorrect. Over time Nicola has made a number of deliberate choices that have given her a wide range of experiences that she feels enriches her approach as a tester. Having been working in the IT industry for nearly 15 years she feels she should share some of those experiences to help others and to help them help their colleagues & teammates. Although, don’t be fooled – Nicola may seem serious as may some of her experiences, but anyone that has ever worked with her will tell you of her tendency to giggle.

Testing the Bigger Picture – System Architectures – Ash Winter

A question I often ask testers is ‘can you draw me the architecture of the systems that you test?’  The answer is often *stares blankly.* I believe this is a core competency for an effective tester and the answer should be (more often than not) ‘of course I can!’

This workshop will enable testers to interrogate, evaluate and elucidate the architectures they test, with the end goal of providing analysis of risk and information to those who matter.

  • Recognise and explain the load balancing, web, API, database and shared access networks architectural layers.
  • Able to sketch server side architecture from a set of technical documentation and anecdotal sources.
  • Able to evaluate a mobile client to reveal its architecture.
  • Identify key risk points within an architecture and build a context sensitive approach to testing.

As a result, you as a tester will be able to engage with, contribute to and add real value to discussions around system architecture, an area I believe the testing mind-set can make a tangible difference to.

About Ash
Ash Winter is a continuously learning tester with a penchant for getting involved in all aspects of developing people, products and organisations. His career spans consultancy, veteran of various engagements encompassing testing, performance engineering and automation, being a team member delivering mobile apps and web services or a leader of teams and change. He also coaches, blogs and speaks at tech meetups, across many disciplines. Quite busy but always has time for a question, usually answered with another question.

Building Quality in With Distributed Teams – Lisa Crispin & Abby Bangser

Many companies today deliver software products developed and tested by globally distributed teams. Even in organizations that identify themselves as agile, dependencies among delivery team members in different locations may mean that no one location has complete control over product quality.

In this workshop, Lisa and Abby will examine the obstacles faced by both onshore and offshore teams. For example, onshore teams need to negotiate scope and feel the in-person client pressures. Offshore teams have vague requirements they have to piece together, and may be blocked due to lack of access to product owners or business analysts to answer questions.

Challenges with distributed teams aren’t limited to time or cultural differences. This workshop will begin by uncovering even more of the struggles based on the different structures of distributed teams, such as:

  • Offshore: a single role, typically developer or tester, in a different location from the rest of the team
  • Remote: a team that’s members are able to work from home, this may be everyone or only select members
  • Distributed: complete teams with programmers, testers, analysts and others present in each of the global locations

Through hands-on simulation and group discussion, this workshop will generate ideas for how to improve communication, empathy and in turn productivity and satisfaction.

Key takeaways:

  • Ideas to work around the impediments distributed teams face as they strive to build quality into their product
  • Ways to turn disadvantages of distributed teams into positive benefits
  • Techniques to identify specific testing issues for distributed teams and ways to overcome these

About Lisa
Lisa Crispin is the co-author, with Janet Gregory, of More Agile Testing: Learning Journeys for the Whole Team (Addison-Wesley 2014), Agile Testing: A Practical Guide for Testers and Agile Teams (Addison-Wesley, 2009), co-author with Tip House of Extreme Testing (Addison-Wesley, 2002), and a contributor to Experiences of Test Automation by Dorothy Graham and Mark Fewster (Addison-Wesley, 2011) and Beautiful Testing (O’Reilly, 2009). Lisa was voted by her peers as the Most Influential Agile Testing Professional Person in 2012. Lisa enjoys working as a tester with an awesome agile team. She shares her experiences via writing, presenting, teaching and participating in agile testing communities around the world. For more about Lisa’s work, visit www.lisacrispin.com,www.agiletester.ca, and follow @lisacrispin on Twitter.

Test Strategy in 10 Minutes – Bill Matthews & Pekka Marjamaki

“How should we test this?” is one of the toughest questions a practicing tester can encounter; to answer this we need to consider our context and devise a workable strategy but this is a skill that is seldom taught and much of the related literature is weak and uninspiring. To develop this important skill we devised the Test Strategy In 10 minutes workshop where we will hone your strategic thinking skills to enable you to create a solid test strategy for a product in time it takes to drink a cup of coffee.

During this participatory workshop we will work in groups to devise test strategies for a series of project context, we’ll present our strategies, think critically about the presented strategies and collectively improve our test strategy skills – this is going to be fast-paced and a lot of fun.

Don’t worry if you *think* you’ve never created a test strategy before or that you can’t create a solid test strategy in 10 minutes – we’ll start nice and easy and allow you more time to devise strategies but as the workshop progresses and your skills develop, we’ll increase the complexity of the context and shorten the timescales. By the end of the session you’ll feel like a Test Strategy Ninja ready to tackle any project context.

Our aims in this participatory workshop are to:

  • Develop a clearer understanding of test strategy as a questioning and thinking process.
  • Sharpen your questioning skills to drive to the heart of the context.
  • Work collaboratively with others to devise test strategies.
  • Practice communicating Test Strategy and thinking critically about strategies put forward by others.

About Pekka
The guy who does a lightning talk and uses 20% time to make people shout “TESTING” as loud as possible. The guy who does extempore workshops on test strategy in the hallway. That guy is Pekka Marjamäki. When cut, he bleeds testing.

A Context-driven tester who has a knack for coaching and currently a software testing specialist at Solita Oy, Finland. Years of experience from different projects ranging from virus protection to logistics acting as a test manager, devops-dude, coach and code-breaker. “Always be braver than the next guy!”

About Bill
Bill Matthews has been a testing specialist for 20 years with the last 17 years as a freelance test consultant working mainly on large migration and integration projects as a Test Architect, Manager and Technical Tester. He spends much of his time focusing on helping companies deliver the more technical elements of system and operational testing such as integration, performance and security. A regular part of Bill’s work is coaching and mentoring testers in thinking tactically and strategically about testing as well as technical testing skills.

He is a regular speaker at testing conferences mainly on technical topics such as web and mobile security and teaches course on both Web and Mobile Application Security.

Afternoon Workshops

You Love Load Testing? So, what’s next? Mark Tomlinson

Okay, you’ve jumped into the deep end of doing some load testing for the project and miraculously it went so well that now every time someone mentions the word “performance” they point their fingers at YOU! Welcome to the club! And you don’t mind because, this performance testing stuff is actually really fun – getting the scripts to work, firing up some threads and getting some graphs. But seriously, if you’re gonna take this whole load testing thing as the direction for your career and your primary specialty, you’d better take the next level of training to get going. This session is exactly for you!

We’ll cover five areas of growth and learning for your next steps in becoming a better performance tester:

  • scripting tips and techniques – advanced load test scenario design
  • integrated performance test frameworks
  • system monitoring and application profiling
  • results analysis, reporting and escalation

Attendees will come away with a new level of understanding of how to engage on any project and take their organization’s performance testing practices to the next level of sophistication and value. This is a hands-on workshop requiring the basic knowledge of a load testing tool (we’ll use JMeter) and also web application architectures.

The Test Doctor’s Proxy Surgery – Dan Billing

Are you looking to dig under the surface of your applications? Are you making your first steps into security testing? Just want to learn more about how tools can your testing? Then this workshop is for you.

I love tool assisted testing! I use proxy tools all the time. They are fun to use and help me to discover more about the applications I test. This workshop will help you to discover more about proxy tools and how they can help you too.

Together, lets explore how using proxy tools can inject huge value into your testing. We will look at we can get the best out of these tools. We will dive into intercepting traffic and examining web requests. We will learn how to understand requests and responses to uncover potential issues.

Through a series of exercises, together we’ll get to grips with proxy tools. We’ll examine the key abilities of these tools and how they help in a variety of testing scenarios. We will look at some of the oracles that can be in play when using proxy tools. We’ll also look at some of the risks and implications of these types of tools.

Join me and we’ll get our hands dirty under the covers of our applications!


Participants will need to have access to a laptop, either Windows or Mac.

ZAP and Burpsuite (Free edition) are available for both Windows and MAC. Fiddler is available for Windows, and can be run on a Mac in a Windows VM.

About Dan
Dan ​has been a tester for 15 years, working within a diverse range of development organisations, mostly in the south west of England. He currently works as a test engineer at New Voice Media, where most of his time is spent working on the security testing needs of the business. This includes mentoring, supporting and training members of the team to use these skills also.

Dan’s love of testing drives me to become an active member of the testing community, helping to organise local tester meetups in the Bristol and Bath area. He is also a co­facilitator with Weekend Testing Europe, and also organises the South West Exploratory Workshop in Testing.

Dan lives in Frome, Somerset with his wife Rae, and cat, Misty

Make Testing Visible: Developers Produce Code and Testers Produce… – Emma Armstrong

Have you ever tried to justify why software should be tested?

When you have lost almost a whole day investigating the root cause of a bug, merely accounting for what you have spent your time on can seem difficult. So how do we provide visibility to the testing tasks that make up our workload. How do we show the skill involved in the risk analysis we do daily to determine the cost benefit of the tasks we chose to carry out?

In this workshop we will look at ways to identify the distinct activities that we do to provide the (sometimes) intangible benefits of testing. These approaches will enable us to explicitly communicate to others what these tasks are and how they benefit the team.

During the workshop we will look at:

  • Ways to provide visibility for the tasks you need to do
  • Ways to report your findings to your stakeholders
  • Ways to help visualize the value we bring to our teams
  • Ways to identify processes that can help you do your job well


About Emma
Emma Armstrong is a test engineer, who has been testing software since 2000. In that time she’s carried out both manual and automated testing and had the opportunity to dig into everything from compilers to web applications.

She’s worked with most methodologies, gotten to grips with technologies ranging from chipset hardware to UI (and everything in between), managed test teams and is currently working on financial modeling software.

Agile Testing Strategy – Responding to Change – Richard Bradshaw & Huib Schoots

How is agile impacting our testing strategies? How do you combine checking and testing in such a fast paced environment? How do you handle continuous change and the ever increasing use of tools?

In this workshop Richard and Huib will challenge the hype around agile testing. We will explore the need to balance human exploration with automation in this context. How you can get the two working harmoniously and reap the benefits. Attendees will work in groups to solve agile testing problems in avariety of ways. Experience, explore, discuss and debrief in this extraordinary workshop.

Attendees will leave this workshop armed with many visual strategies for tackling testing in an agile context. With new perspectives on the importance of skilled human exploration when it comes to creating automation truly capable of supporting testing.

About Huib
Huib is a tester, consultant and people lover. He shares his passion for testing through projects, consulting, coaching, training, and giving presentations on a variety of test subjects. With almost twenty years of experience in IT and software testing, Huib is experienced in different testing roles. Curious and passionate, he is an agile and context-driven tester who attempts to read everything ever published on software testing. Huib is one of four instructors of Rapid Software Testing. A member of TestNet, AST and ISST, black-belt in the Miagi-Do School of software testing and co-author of a book about the future of software testing. Huib maintains a blog on magnifiant.com and tweets as @huibschoots. He works for Improve Quality Services, a provider of consultancy and training in the field of testing.

About Richard
I am a friendly tester with a passion for testing. I try to share my passion with the wider community via blogging, forums, twitter and participating at conferences. I currently organise a testing meetup in Winchester, UK (#WinTest) and am a founding member of MEWT (Midlands Exploratory Workshop on Testing). Testing has been my only career since graduating and have been testing for 9 years now. I have strong technical skills and encourage the use of tools and automation in the right context.

http://www.thefriendlytester.co.uk/  – @FriendlyTester

Examine Your Testing Skills – Alexandra Casapu

“Socrates said that unexamined life is not worth living. Perhaps it’s time to inventory the imprints and anchors in our own life.” Dan Ariely

Most of the times I do a testing activity, I face new intellectually challenging problems. Considering that there is no bullet-proof recipe for solving these problems, how can I improve in using my skills to find the solutions?

The key lies in reflection. By evaluating the skills we use, and how we genuinely use them when solving a testing problem without aiming to control their use, we can learn a great deal about our personal testing skills and get hints on how to improve them.

The premise I start from is that from your day-to-day experiences you can gather valuable learning material. This is why my goal is to provide you with a framework that you can use to examine this material, and what set of skills you employ in each situation.

In this workshop we will focus on doing, and on practicing with this framework.

In the first part you will get to work in groups of 3-4 persons and explore some black-box devices with the aim of discovering their pattern (based on James Lyndsay’s exploratory testing machines – http://www.workroom-productions.com/black_box_machines.html ). During the debrief and feedback section, you will start building the map of your own testing skills.

In the second part you will practice reflection on a specific past experience you had in the realms of testing, in relation to your skills.

We will close by collaborating on creating a testing skills map with skills categories.


  • Instead of a standard set of needed skills in testing, we will discover how diverse the skillset of a tester can be
  • When solving a testing problem, you use a combination of skills, and their interaction can be more relevant and interesting than the individual skills you employ.
  • The skills you have available constrain your approaches in testing / how your skills influence your approach
  • You can grow your skills by using them

Equipment: Laptop is not necessary, but advisable.

Inspired by and based on ideas from:


  • I will provide a set of black box devices made by my colleagues starting from some of the patterns of James Lyndsay. There will be a diversity of patterns to work on, since we created boxes based on multiple algorithms, some of them being the products of my colleagues’ creativity.
  • Participants will not necessarily need laptops, as they can work on paper as well, but for building the skills map a laptop may be more convenient. Although the black boxes pattern exploration is a group activity, reflecting on one’s own skills is an individual activity, so each person should have the tools for creating the skills map and for taking notes during debriefings.

About Alexandra
Alexandra Casapu does software testing at Altom. The environment she works in has facilitated her learning on the importance of context in testing, the exploratory approach, and caring a great deal about improving her testing skills.

After finishing school in the educational system, she took full responsibility of her learning. Since then she enrolled in BBST courses, followed courses on Coursera, read challenging books, had coaching sessions on testing, presented at Eurostar in 2013, at CAST in 2014, as well as Copenhagen Context and Let’s Test in 2015.
In 2013 her presentation was voted for the do-over session at EuroSTAR. She was in the program committee for Eurostar 2014.

In the last year she became an instructor for the commercial version of the BBST courses, enjoying the great experience of going in depth with valuable learning material and having more interactions with fellow testers.

Her current interest is at the interface of hands-on testing and practiced reflection on testing activities.

Understanding and Testing RESTful WEb Services – Mark Wintergham

RESTful software architecture is becoming more and more popular as a choice for applications and this poses new and interesting challenges and opportunities for Testers. This workshop will give attendees the knowledge and ability to test REST services through hands on experimentation with sample REST services. We will cover the general components that make up RESTful services such as verbs, response codes, headers and payloads and how we might test these services in a exploratory and automated testing context.

Key Learnings:

  • Learn how RESTful web services work
  • Learn how to design different types of tests by manipulating different parts of an HTTP request
  • Learn how to use REST client and WebProxy tools to learn about a Service
  • Learn how to automate testing against a Service
  • Learn when to choose whether to test against UI or a Service depending on the work required

About Mark
Mark Winteringham is a freelance technical tester with eight years of experience in providing in-depth testing on various projects in the broadcasting, publishing, professional audio and public sectors.  He is passionate about all aspects of testing and regularly participates in workshops, meetups and conferences.  Outside of work he is interested in discovering unusual types of automation and blogging about it as well as mentoring other testers in good testing based on his experiences in the development sector and personal projects.

He mixes programming, testing and behavioural knowledge to get the job done.