Category Archives: Context-driven Testing

Where are the German testers?

On the bottom of James Bach’s recommendations of people there is a small paragraph:

That One German Guy

Germany has no excuse. There are TONS of smart people there. How is it only one intellectual software tester has emerged from the ISTQB-addled masses to demand my respect with his work? My theory is that Germany has a more command-and-control culture, which perhaps disparages independent thought of the kind required to achieve excellence in testing. This pains me, because I am descended from Germans and I would love to visit and teach there.

Anyway, the one German guy who shines in my community is Markus Gaertner. I’ll do a write-up on him, shortly.

Yeah, it’s about me. From time to time I am asked by James and other people in our community where the German testers actually are. Here are some folks I am in touch with, that have raised my attention, and I think will need some attention from the wider community. There is not only one guy testing in Germany, seriously.

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Automated vs. exploratory – we got it wrong!

There is a misconception floating around that Agile Testing is mostly about automated checking. On the other way the whole testing community fights since decades about the value of test automation vs. the value of exploratory testing. I find these two different extreme position unhelpful to do any constructive testing. Most recently I ended up with a model that explains the underlying dynamics quite well, to testers, to programmers, and to their managers. Here’s the model.

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Software Testing is not a commodity!

Stick in software testing long enough, and you will see enough ideas come and go to be able to sort out the ones that look promising to work, and the ones that you just hope will go away soon enough so that no manager will pay any of her attention to it. There have been quite a few in the history of software testing, and from my experience the worst things started to happen every time when someone tried to replace a skilled tester with some piece of automation – whether that particular automation was a tool-based approach or some sort of scripted testing approach. A while ago, Jerry Weinberg described the problem in the following way:

When managers don’t understand the work, they tend to reward the appearance of work. (long hours, piles of paper, …)

The tragic thing is when this also holds true for the art of discovering the information about how usable a given piece of software is.

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The Three Ages in Testing

On my way back from the Agile Practitioners Conference 2013 in Tel Aviv, Isreal I digest lots of information and bar discussion content. After attending Dan North‘s tutorial on Tuesday, I have six sheets of paper on notes with me, that will probably fill my writing buffer for the next half year. Time to get started. Here I connect Dan’s model of the Three Ages to Software Testing.

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A testing landscape

On my way to EuroSTAR 2012 I was starting to think about the Cynefin model, and landscape diagrams which I know from giving some courses. I tried to relate them to software testing, different techniques, and I was not sure where this could lead me.

I had some exchanges with Michael Bolton, Bart Knaack and Huib Schoots on my early draft, and I wanted to share what I had ended up with. So, here it is.

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GATE No. 2: A transpection report

Two weeks ago the second GATE workshop took place in our offices in Munich. Unfortunately some of the participants couldn’t make it. So, there were the three of us, Meike Mertsch, Alexander Simic, and myself. Although we were a bit low on energy in the morning, the day turned out to be a wholesome day of transpection – or if you prefer, we did a lot of test chat. Here’s what still sticks with me from the day.

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ALE2012 Lookback

It has been about three weeks right now since the second Agile Lean Europe in Barcelona. Although I had the best intentions back then, I promised to write a blog entry about my experiences there, I didn’t do it until now. It seems the best stuff I take away from the break-out conversations in the coffee breaks these days when at conferences, not so much from the session itself. This also holds for the ALE 2012.
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Trip report from the Ukrainian Testing Days

Last weekend I was invited to Odessa, Ukraine for the Ukrainian Testing Days, a conference that Andrii Dzynia co-organized. Andrii has organized public testing dojos in the Ukraine in the past. He asked me to put the reports from their sessions on my blog in an English translation. I think he does great work there for the Ukrainian community. So, I was eager to see that community in action. I had a pleasant trip, staying in Odessa was very comfortable to me, especially since Julia Cherniak dropped me from the airport, and led me around in town on the first day. Here is a full report from my roughly two days in the Ukraine.

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