EuroSTAR: The Supertesters – A Slightly True Story

At the EuroSTAR conference Anna and Linda Hoff presented the supertesters based upon a slightly true story. It was an ironic fun session, which should be taken too serious lightly.

Anna and Linda got on the stage at this fun session. There was an Al Waysright who introduced a software project chart. The budget was at 100% all the time. After the kick-off party in the beginning, functions were merely there. Now, the developers started to build into some functions now. Another slide showed customer complaints. Customer complaints were just ignored at that company.

The test department on the other hand, were measured according to the TPI index. Testers never do anything useful. They just overwhelm programmers with bug reports, with unimportant bugs. Performance for example. Test data is far from reality. And as managers don’t see any quality improvement in the product, they could also fire the department, though.

From the TPI they had to improve customer satisfaction numbers. So they introduced the solution to all their problems: Scrum. Working software every four weeks is appealing. As a side-effect you can drop that boring stuff like documentation, and get a lean mean software machine.

As a second thing coming out of the TPI evaluation, the test department needed to improve. So, they hired a test guru to work with the test department for a week. The testing guru appeared, and claimed to solve all their problems within a week. The test guru explained Al that Scrum would not solve all their problems. They would not have working software every four weeks. The testing guru continued to explain his vision of a brighter future.

Introducing the tester who just found a serious bug. The testing guru appears, sees the bug, and takes it like Golem in the Lord of the Rings takes the ring. The testing guru then explained the tester, that she had to be in the right equivalence class, with the right boundary value. Not hearing to the project managers, but to explore the problem. The testing guru then walked the tester through her supertester bootcamp.

Like a military training, the tester went through some physical exercises. While “doing 20” slides with pictures appeared visualizing testing concepts in a funny way. Next the tester went through Karate Kid and My Fair Lady satires. After a final exercises, the tester turned out as another supertester in a superman custome.

The final TPI assessment provided the results similarly as to the European Song Contest. The session ended with the final supertester song. I assume it was more funny than my write-up of it – sorry, can’t communicate everything, but it was recorded by the EuroSTAR crew.

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