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 exploratory testing puzzles that take the form of engimatic black box machines. James Bach and I have used an early version of one of these machines in the Black Box Software Testing course for several years. I can’t, won’t, tell you much about them here, since the whole point is to encounter and explore for yourself. But I can tell you that they’re intriguing and stimulating, and they help to sharpen the questioning processes involved in excellent testing.

James also took the Best Paper honours at STAR East this year for The Irrational Tester: Avoiding the Pitfalls, in which he presented “his view of bias—why we so often labor under the illusion of control, how we lock onto the behaviors we’re looking for, and why two people can use the same evidence to support opposing positions.” These are important and under-explored issues in the testing business.

James is presenting a class on Exploratory Testing in Berlin on June 4-5, and in London, July 2-3. That happens to overlap the latter two days of a course I’m teaching. Nonetheless, I’m delighted to recommend his.

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