James Lyndsay Mea Culpa

In a recent posting, I made a mistake: I erroneously stated that James Lyndsay, the genial host of the London Workshops on Exploratory Testing (LEWT), had not attended a LAWST conference before setting up LEWT. Except I was wrong: he had. Shame on me for not checking. If you’re not aware of James’ work, you would do well to know about it. He’s the author of a rich set of … Read more

Automation and Coverage Part II

Last week posted a blog entry on automation and coverage, in which I questioned the usefulness of trying to cover “everything” with automated tests, comparing them to the CCTV cameras that are in use all over the place, but especially in Britain. Despite the limitations of such schemes, there might also be some useful aspects. What might they be? For certain areas that we decide to cover with a camera, … Read more

Bangalore Workshop on Software Testing

In 1999, Cem Kaner and Brian Lawrence came up with the idea of having testers and test managers meet to talk about some of the problems that seemed to bedevil all of them. This was, for its time, a radical idea for the testing community. Here’s what they said, after the second LAWST but before the third: This is a process developed by Cem Kaner and Brian Lawrence for technical … Read more

Posted: Presentation Notes from STAR East

At the STAR East conference, produced by Software Quality Engineering in Orlando, FL, I gave a keynote address on Testing and Noticing. I also gave a half-day experiential workshop on Difficult Testing Questions and How to Answer Them, and a track session called Insource or Outsource Testing: Understanding Your Context. A number of people have asked about the source for the video that I showed. It can now be revealed … Read more

How Far Back Does This Go?

For almost as long as I’ve been a tester, with occasional lapses into process enthusiasm, I’ve been questioning the value of test automation as a presumed good, especially when the automation is deployed against the highest levels of the application. Automation is a tool, and there is great value in tools. But with that value comes risk. The Agile Manifesto, properly in my view, emphasizes individuals and interactions over processes … Read more

Automation and Coverage

If you don’t read the forums on the Software Testing Club, I’d recommend that you consider it. In my view, the STC is one of the more thoughtful venues for conversation about testing. (I’d recommend subscribing to the Software Testing mailing list, too.) A correspondent recently posted a request for help in recommending an automation approach. I answered something like what follows: Need to get a code coverage of at … Read more

To London, to London to visit… some testers

I’ll be in London (the U.K., not London Ontario), June 17 2009, to present a keynote, “Two Futures of Software Testing” to the British Computer Society (BCS) Specialist Group in Software Testing (SIGIST; they must have bought a vowel). In the talk, I project a dark future for testing, in which the goal is Making Sure That Tests Pass, and in which processes and tools rule the roost—chillingly reminiscent of … Read more

An Experience Report from India

I don’t know how this slipped in under my radar, but it did until a couple of days ago. Sharath Byregowda is a software tester in Bangalore, and he provides a marvelous experience report here. As I read the report, I’m delighted on a number of levels. First, it’s India! India tends to be a very conservative place when it comes to testing, with many test organizations preferring scripted, document-heavy, … Read more

Active Learning at Conferences

I was at STAR East this past week, giving a tutorial, a track session, and a keynote. I dropped in on a few of the other sessions, but at breaks I kept finding myself engaged in conversation with individuals and small groups, such that I often didn’t make it to the next session. At STAR, like many conferences, the track presentations tend to be focused on someone’s proposed solution to … Read more