Tweets from Software Testing Conferences 2013

Here is a list of my curation of tweets from the software testing conferences in 2013.  I haven’t included the smaller conferences.  Let me know if I have missed any conference – I can include it next year.  Let me know if you would like me to create a similar list for any other conference/topic.

Eurostar

Agile Testing Days

STPCON

Starwest

CAST

Seconf

Let’s Test

Agile Testing Days 2012 Buzz

Agile Testing Days 2012 is being held in Berlin on November 19th.  Here is my concise summary.  I have included links when available.  Some of my summaries are so concise that you’ll have to stare at the words for a few minutes.  If you get tired of staring, click on the links.

Management Successful automation Transition to agile
Ambler on agile Legacy code? Performance
“Mindful Team Member: Working Like You Knew You Should” Mindmaps Spec by example
Really hands-on no ppt Ambler on agile “5A – assess and adapt agile activities”
Data->quality story Endusers Distributed teams
Understanding agile Distributed teams Line Managers
Exploratory What is A testing Agile->Culture
World of Warcraft Communication Developers exploratory
“Self Coaching” “How to change the world” Factory requirements
Shorter releases Good news CI experience
New techniques Continuous Delivery Test developer
Markus on 21st century tester Advanced CI “Testers Agile Pocketbook”
Continous testing Sapient “Reinventing software quality”
“Fast Feedback Teams” User stories RIA BDD
Test Oracle Slack=creativity Requirements+testing
Javascript TDD BDD Open source tools
Test data Change “Technical Debt”
Bank context driven “The ongoing evolution of testing in agile development” Rigid environment
Right thing right Mobile automation CI
Winning the game

Leadership in a large test organization

The main keynote in Stareast 2012 was by Keith Klain of Barclays Capital Global Test  Center.  Zeger Van Hese has written a nice account of Keith’s talk.

Keith’s talk was an inspring story of personal leadership and leadership shown by an organization, Barclays Capital.  There were important lessons for test managers and leaders:

  1. Attract and retain the best talent. In testing it is often a challenge to attract and retain the best.  In Barclays, Keith made sure that testing was considered the ‘place to be’.  This probably worked better in the case of Barclays since it is a large organization and people can move between departments.  It might have also helped that IT overall (test and dev) is probably a strong function in Barclays.  If you have a large test organization (or a small one) this is a key *value* and challenge – making sure that you can attract and retain the best.
  2. Keith mentioned that he has a very flat organization.  Test managers spend 80% of their time testing.
  3. The flat organization ensures that testers don’t obsess over the next better title or grade.
  4. The organization has a big focus on training.  This isn’t just a “HR initiative”.  It was clear that Keith is deeply involved with this personally and not something he “manages”.  Barclays provides various training including in tools such as QTP.  Keith has arranged for extensive training by James Bach (Satisfice).  Given the tight budgets in the last few years, managers always start groaning when anyone mentions training.  In Barclays team members took the initiative to provide training to others.

In addition to the management lessons, there were many personal lessons:

  • One of the key lessons was that testers should be responsible for how they are perceived by the organization.  Too often, testers don’t spend time reading or learning about testing.  Given that there are very few formal degrees in testing, this seems like a sure way to ignominy.
  • In the last few decades one of the phrases which has become common place is ‘direct but sensitive’.  In Keith’s talk it seemed much more  genuine when he said that sometimes you have to ‘speak your mind, that’s OK, as long as you do it respectfully.’
  • Another core value which appealed to me was that of ‘questioning everything’.  Don’t just do your job.  Make sure you question everything.’  The lesson in leadership and management is that it helps when this message comes from the head of an organization.

This talk was not about idealogy or management jargon.  It was about values and setting the tone for an organization.  It was about hard work, responsibility and accountability.  It was about taking pride in your work and excellence.