(Testing in Context Conference Australia)
From Little Things, Big Things Grow
28 February – 1 March, 2019
TiCCA19: From Little Things, Big Things Grow
Legendary Australian singer/songwriter Paul Kelly gave us the song “From Little Things, Big Things Grow”. He didn’t have the testing industry in mind when he penned this great song, but its message applies. Australian history is littered with amazing inventions, some of which took a while to take off.
In 1953 several high profile de Havilland Comets airliners crashed with no cause found. This was not unusual as the crashes in the first half of aviations’ evolution rarely came with answers that revealed the cause.
An Australian Engineer, David Warren, was working at the Aeronautical Research Laboratories (located in Melbourne) and believed that if pilot conversations and instrument readings could be recorded it might be possible to understand why an aircraft crashed. In 1957, “black box” prototypes were produced. These devices, called “Flight Memory Units”, could record up to four hours of voice and instrument data. Data was captured through a stylus writing to steel foil. In 1960, a plane crashed in Queensland and no cause could be determined by investigators. The Australian government responded by ordering that all commercial aircraft be fitted with black boxes.
Early flight recorders captured basic flight conditions such as heading, altitude, airspeed, vertical accelerations and time. Today’s flight recorders are much more sophisticated as are the aircraft they are housed in. Minimum requirements are the recording of 88 different parameters, typically recording several observations of each parameter every second.
In the spirit of the black box and with Paul Kelly’s lyrics ringing in our ears, we want to hear stories about how testing has evolved to deal with complexity while keeping focus on the information that is valuable to problem solving and decision making. Tell us about the little testing things you’ve seen grow into something bigger at our 2019 conference.