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LIVE! from Potsdam! Agile Testing Days – Day 1 (Rhythm of Testing)

On November 11, 2014, in Syndicated, by Association for Software Testing
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Tuesday, 11 November in Potsdam dawned a bit foggy outside, but the areas in the conference center were clear and bright.  People are recovering from the Software Testing World Cup Finals (STWC, #STWC2014) last night – which saw 6 teams competing in the same room on a piece of software.

I found myself moderating the contest – providing “commentary” during the live stream … for 3 hours.  It was fun – it was a lot of work – and the beer afterward was extremely good.

This morning we have Jose Diaz making opening comments, thanking people who contributed to the conference (500 attendees this year!) and about to announce the decision of the judges in the testing contest last night.

There are several things I am looking forward to the next several days.  For example – there is a project to build a car at the conference – ummm – yeah.  Not kidding.

I’ve also been asked to talk with some of the presenters over the next several days – some keynote speakers, the organizers of the Software Testing World Cup, Jose Diaz and others.  It looks to be an excellent time.

Fair notice, I will be away from the conference briefly this morning – my luggage had a problem getting here.  Eventually my bag made it, just not intact. So, I’m talking with KLM/Delta about what happened and in the meantime I need to get my stuff home – so luggage shopping in Potsdam I will go!

Jose is finishing the introduction of sponsors now – Dynatrace, Soasta, Zalando (whose software was used for the STWC last night), Parasoft, SEQis and others… Some humorous, some very business like (Pete Note: if you’ve ever been to a conference where sponsors talk about their company in 2 minutes, you’ll have a good idea – its too fast for me to keep up…)

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Of some 3,000 people started out in the STWC, by the time last night came around, there were a total of 6 teams, 24 people.  Jose is presenting the teams on stage – QuadCore (Kitchner-Waterloo, Ontario) TestStar from China, The Annunciation from New Zealand, OpenBox from Cape Town, South Africa, Cesar Brazil from Brazil, and Army Ants from Romania.  All of them did an excellent job – and the winners will NOT be announced this morning, but at the party tonight (Pete Note: No – I’m NOT going to be live blogging during the party…)

The opening Keynote is being presented by Lisa Crispin and Janet Gregory, who just had a new book published “More Agile Testing” – a follow-on to their previous book “Agile Testing.”  These two ladies spoke at the first Agile Testing Days six years ago.  Jose called for a show of hands who attended for all 6 years – a few hands went up.  Loads of hands went up for “who is here for the first time.”

There are a few issues getting the presentation sorted out (technical problems) However, I can say that Jane is dressed at Captain Kirk (TOS) and Lisa is dressed as Mr Spock (TOS).  This is going to be itneresting (Pete Note – sorry – just realized I left my camera upstairs… maybe someone can post pics I can link to?)

“Welcome to the Future! Preparing for our Agile Testing Journeys”

We can’t predict the future, but there are things we can do about making the future.  They refer to last year’s keynote (find my blog post on last year’s Day 3) with how people can loosen bounds and help teams work together better.  (Pete Note – I’d dropping the STTOS references – too much happening)

The question is “how do we move and work toward the future?”  There are sets of challenges we need to deal with, changes in context are pulling and pushing people away from their comfort zones.  New skills, new technologies, changes in communication models, greater awareness of product – We need to morph – shape shift into people – Elizabeth Hendrickson cited for Exploratory Testing – Cheezy cited for automation… etc.,

What testers need to do is have the ability to Lean – be the “T-Shaped” tester (wide breadth, deep depth in specific areas), cognitive thinking, “take charge of your career.”

We need to be not only aware, but focus on our specific context.  We need technical awareness (to help drive collaboration), Exploratory Testing (Pete note: If you have not read ‘Explore It!’ why not?) other techniques – swarming, generative testing and (Pete note: ewwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww) “Big Data.”

OK – generative testing is developing test data that fits specific attributes and what expected results should be.  By modelling around this, you can evaluate the data trade-offs within a system and may catch problems that can not be reproduced using more conventional approaches.  (Pete Note: this sounds a bit like data modelling/orthogonal arrays/pair-wise testing)

Distributed Teams have introduced new complexities – technology has developed over the last few years that can mitigate those problems and challenges.  Video Conferencing, Google Hangouts, Virtual white boards, etc., Sometimes the easy thing is to get up and go to where the other folks are – like walk to their desk (if they are in the same building) or go to their office (if they are in a different building.) 

One challenge that has not changed is that Customers want us to deliver exactly what they are thinking of – except we are not mind-readers.  There are tools available – for example Impact mapping (Goko Adzic) can help facilitate communication and break down misunderstandings.  Story Mapping (Jeff Patton) demonstrate how the individual stories relate to each other – This gives us a visual representation of how the individual stories work together.  Doing this can help people think through what the software will do.

And we have an “OOPS!” moment as J&L realize that the screens look HORRIBLE.  “Works on MY machine syndrome.”

Ah well….

 make teams work

 

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