The little debate that couldn’t

Posted on Posted in Everything, Software Testing

There was to be a debate at Foo Café in Malmö in early November about the ISO29119 software testing standard. It was to feature Karen N. Johnson and myself debating Stuart Reid and Anne Mette Hass on whether the current volumes should be retracted and the upcoming volumes suspended. At the time I was invited to participate, my understanding was that all participants had agreed to the debate. The only thing left to sort out was the format and the moderator.

Sadly, the debate will no longer go ahead. Mr. Reid and Ms. Hass have pulled out. I am obviously disappointed. I was looking forward to finally having some of the questions and concerns raised by my testing colleagues addressed by people from the working group. To my knowledge that has not happened with the exception of a response from Mr. Reid himself. His response inadequately addresses a small number of concerns raised by those opposed to the standard and misrepresents a number of others. If anything, my experience with this debate, in which Mr. Reid and Ms. Hass agreed to participate then subsequently backflipped has raised even more questions that need to be addressed.

I understand how having poured so much time and effort into the standard, it must be difficult to hear people criticise it so strongly, but I am curious as to why no one from the working group seems to want to publicly defend their work. Neither Karen nor myself (nor indeed any of the other testers I’m proud to associate myself with) have any interest whatsoever in personally disparaging Mr. Reid, Ms. Hass or anyone else in the working group. The standard itself is what we take issue with. The issues are what we want the opportunity to discuss further. I do hope an opportunity will arise for Mr. Reid and co. to address the very real concerns my colleagues and I have raised about the standard.

2 thoughts on “The little debate that couldn’t

  1. Ben,

    It sounds like you called their bluff. They thought you would get cold feet and back out. Looks like you turned the tables on them. At least now you can say that you offered to meet and they declined.

    1. Hi Thomas,
      There could be any number of reasons. I don’t want to put words in their mouth. For whatever reason they decided that backing out was the right thing to do. More than that I cannot say.

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