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… Continued from TestBash 2016 (part 1)

Coffee done and dusted, more people caught up with and back for more TestBash 2016 goodness.

Talk 3 – Katrina Clokie – “A Pairing Experiment”

As someone who has never pair-tested, nor seen any developers pair-developing and never having heard anybody in real life tell me that pairing is particularly valuable I was torn 50/50 when I read about this talk (well maybe closer to 70/30) in favour of pairing.

Part of me knew immediately of the benefit that sharing knowledge could bring to testers with differing skill sets, different mindsets or that are willing to take on board all ideas and give them a real shot in their daily testing – Testers who want to get better and will entertain all information in that pursuit.

The other part of me simply saw the age old argument of “while someone is not actively working on a project there are less resources on it and therefore testing isn’t as efficient in that moment of time”.

PairingA few minutes into the talk and the genius is revealed; Native vs Visitor testing!

Native tester (who is involved heavily with the product) “drives” the testing as normal but has the benefit of a second pair of eyes on the screen asking questions; Why did you do that? Can you repeat that? How do you know it works?

And for a Visitor (little knowledge of the product) “drives” this timeĀ  with the Native tester’s expertise to navigate and answer questions. “What do I do next?”, “Is this a bug?”, “Can you remind me how to….?”

The benefit here is immense! Having two sets of eyes on the same product with different domain knowledge for the test “session” basically:

  • Refocuses the Native tester into questioning *everything*
  • Points out potential issues that the Native tester’s domain knowledge may be masking because they instinctively know the answer.
  • Potentially provides the Native tester with new approaches to testing their system.
  • Provides the Visitor tester with new domain knowledge (useful for future projects)
  • Provides the Visitor tester with new approaches which may be useful to their testing and/or project.
  • etc etc etc

SO many benefits! Really excited to try and incorporate this type of work if possible!

EDIT: Since this draft was written I’ve spoken to my boss and we’ve agreed to pair test for an hour per week across different projects and skill levels to disseminate experience and knowledge and to generally break the work up a little. Bonus!

Talk 4 – John Stevenson – “Model Fatigue”

(F)requent (I)ntensive (B)usiness Critical (L)egal (O)bvious (T)echnically Risky (S)takeholder Mandated

(S)ecurity (L)anguage Requ(I)rements (M)easurement (E)xisting

(S)couting Obsessively (A)uthentic Problems (C)ognitive Savvy (K)knowledge Attracts Knowledge (E)xperimentation (D)isposable Time
ModelFatigueMnemonics mnemonics everywhere! And lights! And animation! And music! Well that’s certainly woken up the crowd! And now the mnemonics are changing; adapting, combining.




Funny stuff! It flies in the face of those reciting mnemonics like a mantra. I reckon there are a few people with hairs on the back of their neck standing up right about now; it’s borderline blasphemy to some! *chuckle*

The point is well made however. Mnemonics are test models and re-using “cookie cutter” test models without first slicing and dicing them to remove useless inclusions (and add your more useful ones!) wastes time, budget and degrades the effectiveness of the testing effort. It should almost be a pre-requisite that a mnemonic can *only* be used as guidelines.

An example given here is in the photograph; adapting HTSM ( to evaluate valuable areas to automate.

Another fantastic talk!

Talk 5 – Patrick Prill – “Accepting Ignorance”

IgnoranceI am ignorant… To a certain extent and by a certain version of the dictionary definition of it. I think a lot of people are and we all have the ability to correct that issue should we choose to, it’s just that many people don’t have the drive or the need to overcome it (“if it’s not necessary I’m not doing it”).

Ignorance can be boiled down to four letters – DIKW:

  • Data – We have an overwhelming amount of objective, raw facts, relatively unordered. The base level of a pyramid.
  • Information – Contextual, insightful information. The next level up in the pyramid.
  • Knowledge – How to do things the right way. The next level up on the pyramid.
  • Wisdom – Do the right things and why we should do them. The smallest part of the pyramid. The pinnacle of info.

Be aware of the borders of your knowledge and use that awareness to improve yourself or speak to others with the knowledge you need in the short term to reach your goals.

Much of the talk seems like common sense to those with a thirst for improvement and knowledge. For those who don’t seek to improve either through apathy or simply not thinking about improving it’s a key talk for the day!

Aaannnddd that’s lunch!

Part 3 coming in the next few days!