Interviewing the Program

Testing, in the quick definition that James Bach and I use, is questioning a product in order to evaluate it. One way of questioning the product is to ask ordinary questions about it, and then to operate it—supplying it with input of some kind, and operating it in some way. The product “answers” us by producing output or otherwise exhibiting behaviour, which we observe and evaluate. Another way of questioning … Read more

Going to Vancouver

I’m off to Vancouver, British Columbia, teaching Rapid Software Testing to a corporate client the week of December 8. Live near there? Want to get together and chat about testing? I’ll be there Monday through Friday nights. Drop a line to me at

We Won An Award!

I’m ambivalent about honours. Recognition is nice, but I’m skeptical about the notion of winning over other worthy nominees. Nonetheless, at the EuroSTAR conference, I accepted the inaugural EuroSTAR 2008 CapGemini Award for Innovation, recognizing the most innovative track session, for my talk Two Futures of Software Testing. We won! Who won? Well, I did for the presentation itself, but James Bach, Cem Kaner, and Jerry Weinberg share credit for … Read more

Heuristics Art Show, EuroSTAR 2008

Galvanized by Jerry Weinberg‘s workshop on experiential learning at AYE 2008, I led a tutorial at EuroSTAR 2008 that included an experiential exercise invented by my colleague James Bach. I call it The Heuristics Art Show. In small groups, people contributed, discussed, and refined headlines and descriptions of some of their heuristics, mostly to do with testing, but also to do with other aspects of life and software development. It … Read more

Schools of Testing and Schools of Music

There’s been a lot of controversy on the schools of software testing lately, in Paul Gerrard’s blog here and here and here; in James Bach’s blog here and to some extent here, and on the software-testing mailing list. I also had a pleasant chat with Paul Gerrard at coffee break and lunch today at EuroSTAR 2008. Jonathan Kohl and I did a paper on the parallels between testing and music … Read more

Schools can go away… when we all think alike

In a recent blog post, Paul Gerard wants to reject the idea of schools of software testing as defined by Bret here. To me, this means that he belongs to a school of thought that suggests that there shouldn’t be schools of thought about software testing. That’s different from my school of thought, so I guess we’re in different schools of thought, at least on that issue. Paul argues that … Read more

I’m Published!

I’m delighted to announce that my first contribution to a book debuted today. The book is called The Gift of Time. It’s a collection of essays honouring the life and work of Jerry Weinberg on the occasion of his 75th birthday and his 50th year in the computing business. The book was edited by Fiona Charles, and features contributions by many of Jerry’s colleagues and students: Robert L. Glass, James … Read more

Fair enough

George Dinwiddie told me a wonderful story at the AYE Conference last night. He was working with a group of developers at a company with several development groups. He coached them in implementing test-driven development and unit testing, and he emphasized to the programmers the importance of delivering well-tested code to the system testers. The results were impressive. The testers found dramatically fewer problems than usual—only one bug that was … Read more