Friday, November 16, 2012

Tales from the Testers' crypt

I'm going to Turku.

It's the third time inside a year I'm going there with testing in my mind. Year ago I went there to Turku ICT University to give a guest lecture on software testing, labeled My sorry life as a tester. It was remarkably fun, and so when Arttu and Aki (the guys making a huge favour to Finnish testing community by self-organizing a really awesome sounding testing course) asked me to do the same thing this year, I didn't have to think twice. 



In last year's talk I listed out things that I as a software tester had done, and thought that other testers also should at least think about. The list included a lot things that were not really hands on testing, which lately was a theme of the FIST (Finnish testing peer conference) I also was thrilled to be able to join. 
So anyway, this year I'm even more enthusiastic about the guest lecture than last time, mainly due to two things:
1. I'm gonna do it together with Pekka Marjamäki, a colleague and a friend.
2. I like the idea we have for our lecture

Skipping bullet 1, the label of our lecture is Tales from the testers' Crypt - and it consists of short experience reports both of us will give. Exp report in this context means an event that has happened to me, which taught me something I feel to be important, and which I care about. Hammer down real life experiences. We are going to send ten of these each to Arttu and Aki, who together with their course participants will vote four they like most from each, which we will then present in turns. And a Q&A will follow each exp report, (which likely will be me questioning the shit out of Peksi, and vice versa). Also we are asking them to generate one topic of their own, a joker, which they must not tell us until just before the lecture. And we will then freestyle through this one together with Peksi -> points to him on this idea I LIKE a lot.


I'm thinking this is a really challenging thing for us to do, and could be a really fun thing to listen and watch to. The name of the lecture comes of course from the horror tv-show / movie / comic book (pick one based on your age) called Tales from the Crypt. My rough set of topics I'd like to have the spectators to select from are:



  1. “Test planning - my Kipling method”
    Seen the ISO test template? This one is mine (I got it from a poem).


  1. “Test idea generation workshop”
Food, people, white-board, mind map, and TARKOTUSTESTHRKAVK


  1. “Treasure map - trying to find out what needs to be tested”
One of the most important things a tester needs to do, is to find out the what it is you are supposed to be testing. Couple of nice (perhaps even funny) examples given.


  1. “My worst testing moments”
Missing bugs is pretty horrific. Even more so when you have to read about them in the newspapers...


  1. “My best testing moments”
           What makes a tester happy! Couple of joyful moments from my career.


  1. “Reading bugs - easy way to improvement”
There’s a lot to learn on reading bug reports. Sometimes its an eye opener - story of such a situation


  1. “Test management - baby sitting and arguing”
Being a test manager is often about a lot of other things than testing. I’ll share a couple of my most interesting test manager moments.


  1. “Finding out the hidden purpose behind testing”
A testing consultant is usually expected to do some testing. The reasons behind why testing is wanted are often a lot more colorful than that.


  1. “How I failed first in scripted, then in exploratory approach to testing”
There’s a lot more to testing than testing. This story is about good testing and bad results.


  1. “Tester is a bad word (but I like it!)”
There’s a shitload of stuff you may end up doing as a “tester”. Actually testing hands-on is a harmfully small part of the task.. I’ll take a deep inhale and spill out all the stuff I’ve done as a tester during my career.

Not so horrific? Yea I know. Unfortunately for the listeners, testing is not like a horror show. At least all the time..


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