Tuesday, May 27, 2014

TDD and Software Testers

I've been following along with the series of conversations with Martin Fowler, Kent Beck and David Heinemeier Hansson (DHH) entitled Is TDD Dead. The whole conversation about what's good, bad and ugly with test driven development (TDD) is interesting in my role as a software tester and from an overall system / quality perspective. What works, what doesn't? What do some programmers like about it and what do others fear? Does TDD translate into a better product? Etc.

According to Fowler's website, part 3 of the series covers
...the various ways in which we get feedback while programming and the role of QA in providing feedback to developers.
The whole series is worth a watch but if you are just interested in TDD and the role it plays when you have software testers (or QA), watch it here:


The three people involved with it have have varying experiences with Fowler having worked for many years with software testers in enterprise software, Beck now working at Facebook where they have few testers (and his own experience with dysfunctional QA) and DHH's experience running Basecamp. It's an interesting and relevant discussion because it's coming from a programmers point of view (programmer testing).  My view says testing is an investigation designed to reveal information about a product. Beck frames it as feedback that builds confidence in the code. I think both views of the software are valuable and those differences in techniques and approaches yield very different ways of viewing quality.

The title "TDD is dead" reminds me of the saying "Test is dead". Neither of those titles are accurate (they are catchy) but understanding the differences in views can help us when talking to stakeholders who have similar feelings or views. 

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Life as a Remote Worker

My "life as a remote worker" has just begun. A few weeks ago, the company I work for decided it was time for my small team to let go of its office and work remotely on a full-time basis. To prepare for this change and gain a better understanding of the intricacies of remote work I've decided to do some research. My first reference was the book Remote: Office Not Required by Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson of Basecamp (formerly 37Signals).

There’s been some debate over the tradeoffs of remote work, sparked by Yahoo’s decision to end remote work so “speed and quality aren’t sacrificed.” My experience was limited to the occasional stint working from home or working during business travel. I saw the advantages of sitting next to my developers, over-hearing potentially interesting and useful information. Prior to reading Remote, my position was similar to Yahoo’s – speed and quality must be sacrificed. I suppose that’s why I needed to do research; I was only seeing things from one side.

Friday, February 28, 2014

BBST Domain Testing - An Experience Report

Testing Circus Magazine’s February 2014 "special edition" issue on the Black Box Software Testing series is out and I wrote an exclusive article on the new BBST Domain Testing class in development. I also contributed to a review / reflection on the classes I've taken through AST.


BBST Domain Testing is a new class (in the pilot stages) that I took part in after WTST in FL earlier this year taught by Cem Kaner and Becky Fiedler. The course is taught in conjunction with the newly released Domain Testing Workbook.

I thought writing an experience report of the five day crash course would get people excited for its eventual release (though at the moment there are no plans to teach it through AST) through Kaner Fiedler and Associates. So if you'd like to learn more about BBST Domain Testing or read up on next generation of BBST classes take a look at my article "BBST Domain Testing - An Experience Report" on pages 29-31. If you feel so include also check out my brief reflection on my experiences with BBST through the Association for Software Testing courses on page 25.

Also check out Cem Kaner and Becky Fiedler's article "The Prospects for BBST Course" for an overview of the changes coming to BBST on pages 13-17.

Download a copy of the February issue here

Friday, February 14, 2014

Conference Idea - A Bug Advocacy Boot Camp?

If someone asked you to speak at or submit a proposal to speak at a conference do you know what you’d say?

I'd say no thanks for now, but I do have an idea for a tutorial. (This is a not-so-well thought out brainstorm and not a proposal.)

Anyone who’s read my blog of late knows I’m a fan of the Black Box Software Testing courses and anyone who has taken a course knows there’s more material cover than the typical 4 week class can get to. It’s very good material but it’s overwhelming at times. One of the classes, Bug Advocacy, has an immediate real world impact for practitioners. If the class could be sliced up in a way that helped participants understand:

Sunday, January 12, 2014

I'm a BBST Instructor

That's right, I completed the trifecta of BBST classes and decided to continue on to being an Instructor. I finished the class in November but just recently got the proof:


Boom! Now comes the hard work - working as an assistant through enough classes until I learn the system and work my way up to a lead instructor role for AST.

Part of my desire for taking the BBST Instructor class is to become more familiar with material taught in the BBST classes, get exposed to new student's ideas (that will hopefully broaden and challenge my understanding) and learn how to provide important and useful feedback (and help others do the same thing).

Eventually I hope to teach the BBST materials to people I work with and help expose others to the material outside of AST. This was the first step.