Several years ago, I worked for a few weeks as a tester on a big retail project. The project was spectacularly mismanaged, already a year behind schedule by the time I arrived. Just before I left, the oft-revised target date slipped by another three months. Three months later, the project was deployed, then pulled out of production for another six months to be fixed. Project managers and a CIO, among … Read more

Should Testers Play Planning Poker?

My colleague and friend Eric Jacobson, who recently (as I write) did a bang-up job on his first conference presentation at STAR West 2011, asks a question in response to this blog post from 2006. (I like it when people reflect on an issue for a few years.) Eric asks: You are suggesting it may not make sense for testers to give time-based estimates to their teams, but what about … Read more

Confusion as an Oracle

A couple of weeks back, Sylvia Killinen (@skillinen on Twitter) tweeted: “Seems to me that much of #testing relies on noticing when one is confused rather than accepting it as Something Computer Programs Do.” That’s a beautiful observation, near and dear to my heart since 2007 at least. The night I read Sylvia’s tweet, I wanted to blog more on the subject, but sometimes blog posts go in a different … Read more