August 27, 2012

Perspectives on Testing

Test Management
Welcome to Seapine’s Perspectives on Testing. Every week I’m going to look at articles, blog posts, tweets, and other testing and quality content, and provide some perspective on the news or commentary. Enjoy, and I look forward to hearing your feedback.

Testing Philosophy

Earlier this year, I wrote a presentation called Moneyball and the Science of Building Great Testing Teams (to be given at Agile Testing Days, among other venues). Its thesis is that we make known and predictable thinking errors that cause us to be less effective team members and managers. QAHatesYou is thinking along the same lines, and publishes a post that includes excerpts from a Psychology Today article on Deadly Mind Traps. He ties those mind traps to specific things that can happen in software testing and software projects in general. The general public is starting to notice that software runs the world, and there is an awfully lot of bad software out there. We put up with it because it’s usually just an inconvenience. This article in The Atlantic focuses on recent software failures in finance, but notes that when critical systems fail today, it’s far worse than an inconvenience. TestObsessed (Elisabeth Hendrickson) shares her testing heuristics cheat sheet, a tool that should be in every tester’s kit.

Agile Point of View

If you’re looking for end-of-summer reading, Jurgen Appelo provides us with his list of the top 100 Agile books. And in case you're still not entirely sure what to make of the Agile movement in software, ThoughtWorks consultant Jim Highsmith provides a brief but thoughtful overview on just what it means to be agile. Adopting an Agile methodology to begin with is usually not that difficult a problem. But how do you make it scale to your biggest projects? SD Times covers the keynote at Agile 2012.

Testing Events

I spoke at the Conference of the Association for Software Testing (CAST) last month (that Moneyball thing again). Here testing consultant Matt Heusser provides an overview of the conference. My favorite session was Ben Kelly talking about The Testing Dead, where he gave a short but thoughtful talk on testers that can’t die, but can’t contribute either. Not all of the interesting thoughts on testing and quality occur in the US. Markus Gärtner invites us to read his trip report from Ukrainian Testing Days.