Friday, June 25, 2010

Presenting at CAST 2010

In early August, I will be presenting a paper at CAST 2010 in Grand Rapids, Michigan with Carsten Feilberg entitled "Nice words are not enough". The paper describes our experiences with introducing session-based and exploratory testing approaches in organisations that are more accustomed to detailed scripted tests. Projects where tests are designed upfront and progress is measured in numbers of tests passed. It also looks at some ways we used our skills to face the challenge.

I met Carsten at CAST in Toronto - in 2008. One of the many benefits of attending CAST is that you end up building a network of people that you can call on, debate things with. People who are just generally fun to hang out with. Carsten is one of those people and he has encouraged me to do this with him. Although it is a scary thing for me, I am also glad that I am finally stretching myself in this way.

Putting the paper together has been an interesting process. Although we are on opposite sides of the planet, in terms of our experiences with using session based testing as as approach we faced very similar challenges. It was also interesting to collaborate with someone that you are not in the same room with. There is a level of trust and understanding required when communicating in this way. I think we had that down.

So why did we write the paper? Well, Carsten thought that we might have something interesting to share... and I agree :)
I am hoping that people will take away some ideas they can experiment with on their own projects. I am also hoping that we have some cool debate and discussion around the "numbers game". Finally, I am hoping that people get a sense that they are not alone. That there are lots of us all over the world struggling with these same kinds of projects and project managers. :) All trying to figure out how we can communicate better and add the most value possible.

CAST is a really special kind of conference. One where you end up meeting people that inspire you. One where debate and discussion is not only encouraged, but where the environment, facilitation and organisation supports it. There is also an opportunity to meet and debate with some of the most thoughtful and thought-provoking super testers around - Cem Kaner, Scott Barber, Karen N. Johnson, Doug Hoffman. And my friends who will also be presenting, Carsten Feilberg, Henrik Andersson and Johan Jonasson.

I'm excited. Hope I see you there!

Friday, April 23, 2010

Back to blogging...

I have just completed an extremely exhilarating project that was supposed to be a quick 6 week testing assignment for 6 people. It ended up lasting a year and at its peak, the project test team was at 19. On this project I was able to really get my hands dirty and do a lot of testing myself. Something which I hadn't done for awhile. I had almost forgotten just how much I love it. The thrill of finding juicy bugs and coming up with new and exciting ways to break something. It was great to put into practice some of the things I learned on the BBST Bug Advocacy course and also to refine my approach to Session based testing.

Although the project implementation was the hardest I have worked in a long time (and possibly the most stressful implementation I have ever been on) I learned a lot and am really grateful for the experience. The project also presented the opportunity to work with a fantastic bunch of people. I felt like I truly collaborated with the developers on the project. We formed a great team and it was a pleasure to work with such professional and dedicated people.

And now its time to move on to new things... and some old... and I am looking forward to hopefully having a bit more time for research and blogging and mentoring. Before I start the new project however, I am off to an extremely exciting course in Albuquerque, New Mexico - PSL I first heard about PSL from my CAST buddies. A couple of them attended last year and could not say enough about it, so I decided I had to see for myself. I am looking forward to learning and growing from the experience. Hopefully I can bring that back into the next project and use the skills to cope with whatever new challenges come my way. I'll be blogging about it as soon as I am back....