Everything

Test is a four letter word

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When you hear the word ‘test’, what does that mean to you? (If you just said ‘it depends’, congratulations, you’ve earned your ‘consultant’s answer to everything’ badge). When folks who aren’t career software testers use the word ‘test’, it frequently comes with a raft of associations that are decidedly different to what many software testers […]

Everything

You probably need fewer testers than you think

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I have noticed that companies have a tendency to conflate software quality problems with software testing problems. This sometimes leads to a knee-jerk reaction to conclude ‘we need more testers’ or ‘we need better automation’.  The net result is hiring more software testers than you actually need. Software quality suffers for all sorts of reasons. […]

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Software Development Team Dynamics Revisited

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I’ve been thinking a lot recently about how teams interact and particularly where they fall down and why. What follows is a model that illustrates how I’ve observed high-performing teams interrelate when producing software, as well as causes for different kinds of intra-team dysfunction.  The outer circle represents the constraints a given team has accepted at […]

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Donating book proceeds to save Linnea

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You may have heard that Kristoffer Nordstrom’s daughter Linnea is bravely battling DIPG, a very rare and aggressive form of cancer. With my own little one recently arrived, Linnea’s plight hits very close to home. I feel compelled to do what I can to help. To that end, I am donating all proceeds from my […]

Software Testing

Tension and Negotiation Between Disciplines

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My thinking in this area are evolving and so I expect I’ll be updating this in future posts, but I think there’s enough utility here that is worth sharing. There’s a natural tension that exists (and should exist) between product folks and development folks. For a long time I’ve explained it to people like this: Product […]

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Software development as an apprenticeship – primer

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What if, through the deliberate practice of software development disciplines, we could not only create better software, but become better human beings? I have written before about the chapter that I contributed to David Greenlees’ book Software Testing as a Martial Art. If you don’t own a copy, and you have an interest in either software […]

Software Testing

On skills and roles in software development – automation

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A recent blog post from Alan Page prompted an interesting subsequent twitter conversation In Alan’s blog, he writes: Automation works wonderfully for short confirmatory or validation tests. Unit, functional, acceptance, integration tests, and all other “short” tests lend themselves very well to automation. But I think it’s wasteful and inefficient to have testers write this […]

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Cynefin and Software Testing – The Complex Domain

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Cynefin - The Complex Domain

The Complex domain seems to be where all the fun happens for software development. It also seems to be the point where we most often get into trouble. In the complex domain, there are many variables that we simply do not understand until after we have interacted with them. If the Obvious and Complicated domains […]

Software Testing

Cynefin and Software Testing – Chaos

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If you are in the domain of Chaos, then action and consequence appear to be completely disassociated. If there were rules that were working for you, they’re useless to you now (and more likely detrimental if you’re still clinging to them). There are those that thrive in chaos. Often, they are dictators and despots as this […]