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Testing Bias

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Minneapolis, MN


Thinking past the simple answers to the myths and methods of testing.






13: Anybody can Test

Andy and Ian pull open the idea that "anybody can test". What's behind the perspective? What's missed? "Testing is easy, doesn't require a special skillset" We hire testers without experience Pay gap Sub in non-testers to help, and they find bugs Scripted, repeatable tests Testing as a general word Testing vs. Checking (Bolton and Bach) "Anybody can cook" Testing to provide information Whole team ownership Specializing Generalists (AB Testing) Testing does not require a tester role What do...

Duration: 00:26:12

12: The Five Languages of Testing?

If you look at the Schools of Software Testing as tribes in the model of Arnold Kling's Three Languages of Politics, what would you find each tribe values? Andy leads a thought experiment to build awareness in value axes of the field. Show Notes: Andy's Article in Testing Trapeze The Schools of Software Testing Four Schools of Software Testing (2004) (PDF) by Cem Kaner, James Bach, and Bret Pettichord The Structure of Scientific Revolutions by Thomas Kuhn Principles of Context Driven...

Duration: 00:29:53

11: The Value in Test Cases

Ian and Andy look for the value in test cases vs. other approaches to testing. Show notes: Where is value perceived in test cases? 'That's the way we do things.' (See also, Episode 3, Automated Testing Efforts) A learning tool, capturing business knowledge Repeatability and Boris Beizer's Pesticide Paradox, as framed by James Whittaker Alternative Options? Adjusting Test Case verbosity James Whittaker's Exploratory Tours James and John Bach's Session-Based Exploratory Testing Charters...

Duration: 00:37:50

10: Lenses of Testing

This week Andy and Ian challenge the idea that there is only one way to test an application. Good testing involves looking at the application through multiple lenses, such as requirements, risk, the "-ilities" and our own experience. Show Notes: One way to test an application Functional Testing via a Lens of Requirements Lenses of Testing Risk Test Eye's Software Quality Characteristics (PDF) A tester's experience iOS Notes App Risk vs. Consequences Flash Cards & Desks The Art of Game...

Duration: 00:29:17

9: What's the point of process?

Show NotesThe Monkey Experiment (apparently, not really a real experiment)More on retrospectivesJerry Weinberg's "It's always a people problem" is his Second Law of Consulting from his book,Manager Tools podcast (where Mark Horstmanand Mike Auzenne talk about many great topics, including Mark's definition of conflict ("2 people living in the same county"))

Duration: 00:53:08

8: Testing Quality In

Andy and Ian talk through the idea of 'testing quality into software'. Why can't you take software, find all the bugs, and boom! You've tested quality in. Show Notes: The output of a tester's activities is not quality Michael Bolton's three stories (slide 34) The Impossibility of Complete Testing - Cem Kaner Origins of 'Quality Assurance' Software is Different - Boris Beizer The testing activity, in itself, does not change the quality of a piece of software

Duration: 00:31:10

7: Nuance Matters... Sometimes

In this episode, Ian and Andy ramble on about nuance and how it matters (sometimes). They talk about testing and checking, bug and defect, meander into audio panning, and wrap up with bug advocacy. Peeping Tom the turkey guests, adding occasional commentary.Show Notes:Testing vs. CheckingThinking like a robotMichael Bolton's tweet on testers not preventing defects (and subsequent replies)Friend of the Show Mark Tomlinson's tweet poking us to talk about bug vs. defectJames Bach's definition...

Duration: 00:54:30

5: Career Growth Follow Up with Heather Tinkham (Part 2)

Andy and Ian conclude their interview with Heather by discussing valuable personal skills and different ways to grow a testing career. Show Notes: Getting at What Information Is Valuable Understanding the environment to inform your perspective Cueing on resistance & pushback The Role of a Mentor in Testing Minnebar Conference & Fear and Failure talk Dunning Krueger effect Imposter syndrome Making Models of the Application Static & Dynamic Models Testing as a Career vs. Profession Testing,...

Duration: 00:47:38

4: Career Growth Follow Up with Heather Tinkham

Heather Tinkham joins the show to offer a different perspective on career growth for testers. Show Notes: How you view yourself & How others view you Wikipedia on conformity in groups Testing as a Career vs Profession Career: Success, Growth, Prestige, Hygeine Factors Profession: Skills, Expertise, Resource Shrinking Opportunities Agile Manifesto & testers Test team size over time James Whittaker's Test is Dead The Skills that lead to growth

Duration: 00:59:18

3: Automated Testing Efforts

Andy and Ian discuss balancing manual vs. automated testing efforts and how to bring automation onto a project. Show Notes: Human vs. Robot strengths in testing Pattern matching, Relational Thinking, etc. "If you feel like you're being a robot, a robot can probably do that better" Considering Automation on a project Automation does not guarantee faster testing Take inventory of tasks consuming time Which parts can be automated Pilot automating some of it Tacit and Explicit Knowledge by...

Duration: 00:34:45

2: Career Growth for Testers

Ian asks Andy why testers can struggle with career growth in software testing. Show Notes: Testing as a Career "Anyone can test" perception There are lots of testers (list) Exploratory Testing and Charters Joris Meert & James Bach on Lévy Paths A/B Testing on Specializing Generalists T-Shaped Teams The Goal of Testing Providing Information as the Goal of Testing (slide 23) James Whittaker's Testing is Dead Alan of A/B Testing on Microsoft's changing test roles

Duration: 00:28:29

1: Negative Testing is not the Opposite of Positive Testing

Andy and Ian look at the confusion between Positive and Negative testing. Show Notes: Term confusion Medical Negative Test Exploratory testing Assumption Testing Testing vs. Checking Explicit vs. Implicit Assumptions Inputs into the System Under Test System Under Test Ian's "old Microsoft negative testing thing" (section 2.2) Disney fairy tales are dark

Duration: 00:31:30