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. […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

Software Testing

Cynefin and Software Testing – Disorder

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The odd shape in the middle of the Cynefin framework is the domain of disorder. Despite not looking a whole lot like the others, it is a domain in its own right and arguably the most interesting of the domains as it is (I find) less straightforward to understand than the others. At its most […]

Software Testing

Cynefin and Software Testing – The Complicated Domain

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At the top right of the Cynefin sensemaking framework is the domain of the Complicated. Like the Obvious domain it describes an ordered system, in that cause and effect can be predicted with a high degree of accuracy. The major distinction here is that understanding the rules and relationships that make up a Complicated system […]

Software Testing

I am become bug, destroyer of apps

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Once you have been a tester, it stays with you. You can’t switch it off, there’s no cure and it seems to be communicable. Case in point, I have passed it on to my new company and it continues to find bugs on my behalf. Whilst setting up House of Test in the UK, the fun started when […]