EuroSTAR – Star – Paul Gerrard

This is a short series leading up to Christmas where I feature a tester that was at EuroSTAR 2014, who I personally believe you, my readers, will benefit from knowing.

The last tester in this short series before Christmas is Paul Gerrard.

Paul Gerrard at EuroSTAR 2014
Paul Gerrard at EuroSTAR 2014

For those that don’t know – Paul Gerrard was conference chair at this years EuroSTAR conference – so we have Paul, and his excellent conference team, to thank for the content we enjoyed at EuroSTAR.

I’ve known Paul for years now, mostly through his excellent UKTMF event in London each quarter. Paul is very active in the testing community; he’s published many books, speaks at conferences, runs a consultancy business, organises events and is contributing greatly to our industry.

You can find Paul on Twitter – https://twitter.com/paul_gerrard

Paul’s website is here – http://gerrardconsulting.com/

Paul blogs here – http://gerrardconsulting.com/?q=blog

EuroSTAR – Star – Declan O’Riordan

This is a short series leading up to Christmas where I feature a tester that was at EuroSTAR 2014, who I personally believe you, my readers, will benefit from knowing.

Next up is Declan O’Riordan.

Declan O'Riordan
Declan O’Riordan

Before EuroSTAR 2014 I’d met Declan a couple of times and seen him present a good talk at SIGIST.

I didn’t get a chance to see his talk at EuroSTAR this year but I did hear very good things about it.

However, Declan did win this years “Best Conference Paper”.

When he collected the award he did a passionate acceptance speech as Dublin holds special memories for Declan and his family. It was clear how much the award meant to Declan and it was a fitting end to a great conference. Declan also got the ‘Do-over session’, a chance to run his presentation again. “The Do-Over Session is a repeat of the best conference session as decided by conference attendees”

Here’s some text from Declan on why it meant so much:

“The motivation for speaking in Dublin was to pay a belated tribute to my father who died the week after my son was born in June 2006. He’s the one on the right in the photo below. I didn’t have time to mourn when he died because I had my hands full with a new baby and a very demanding job. When Paul Gerrard announced 2014 would be in Dublin it triggered a lot of emotion, and the energy to give it a go. I’m massively grateful to everyone who helped me along the way, especially the EuroSTAR, TMF and SIGiST organizers, speakers and delegates. It has been an amazing journey!”

Declan's Father during the war years
Declan’s Father during the war years

 

You can find Declan on Twitter.

EuroSTAR – Star – Stephen Janaway

This is a short series leading up to Christmas where I feature a tester that was at EuroSTAR 2014, who I personally believe you, my readers, will benefit from knowing.

Next up is Stephen Janaway.

Stephen Janaway at EuroSTAR 2014
Stephen Janaway at EuroSTAR 2014

I’ve known Stephen for a few years now and we regular speak at the same conferences.

Stephen works for Net-A-Porter and is currently working as an agile test evangelist! Sounds pretty awesome.

I didn’t get a chance to see Stephen’s talk on mobile testing at this years EuroSTAR but Stephen is clearly an expert in the mobile testing world. He’s also a great person to be around at the social events – another tester who’s passionate about mobile, testing and sharing this love of testing with the wider community.

Stephen blogs here – http://stephenjanaway.co.uk/

You can find Stephen on Twitter – https://twitter.com/stephenjanaway

EuroSTAR – Star – Alex Schladebeck

This is a short series leading up to Christmas where I feature a tester that was at EuroSTAR 2014, who I personally believe you, my readers, will benefit from knowing.

Next up is Alex Schladebeck.

Alex Schladebeck at EuroSTAR 2014
Alex Schladebeck at EuroSTAR 2014

I’ve known Alex for a while now after meeting her at Agile Testing Days about 5 years ago. It’s always great to meet up with Alex as she’s hilarious and incredibly passionate about testing.

I didn’t get a chance to see Alex’s talk at EuroSTAR this year but I heard it was excellent, and of course there were biscuits.

Alex very kindly answered some questions I was originally going to include in this series (but have since chosen to drop the questions in this series as I didn’t have time). I’ll include here though Alex’s version of BDD. No, not behaviour driven development but biscuit driven development.

What is BDD?

“BDD is Biscuit Driven Development! It’s based on the idea that people react well to praise, feedback and rewards and that food is a natural gel for conversation. I will offer biscuits as an exchange for assistance, I like to have biscuits in my office to encourage people to come and chat, and I use good tasty sweet food as a way of calming tough situations. It works well as a way of encouraging communication but it can’t be the only motivator. It’s just another tool in your box.”

Perfect.

You can find Alex blogging on her company’s website – here is one about her trip to EuroSTAR 2014

You can find Alex on twitter here – https://twitter.com/alex_schl

EuroSTAR – Star – Amy Phillips

This is a short series leading up to Christmas where I feature a tester that was at EuroSTAR 2014, who I personally believe you, my readers, will benefit from knowing.

Next up is Amy Phillips.

Amy Phillips at EuroSTAR 2014
Amy Phillips at EuroSTAR 2014

I didn’t get a chance to see Amy’s talk at this years conference but I did see her at last years and it was a great talk.

It’s really the first year that I have spoken to Amy properly and she’s a joy to talk to. She’s so incredibly passionate about the company she works for, SongKick, and the kind of testing that she is doing. It’s always great to meet fellow testers who see their role as helping the company succeed and not just through testing.

Amy is a great ambassador for SongKick. Amy is like a growing number of testers who are becoming brand evangelists intent on improving their company’s ability to ship software but also promoting that work to the wider tech community.

You can find Amy on Twitter – https://twitter.com/itjustbroke

Amy blogs here – http://testingthemind.wordpress.com/

EuroSTAR – Star – James Christie

This is a short series leading up to Christmas where I feature a tester that was at EuroSTAR 2014, who I personally believe you, my readers, will benefit from knowing.

Today’s tester is James Christie.

James Christie at EuroSTAR 2014
James Christie at EuroSTAR 2014

I’ve known James for a while now and he’s recently been sharing his strong views on the new testing standard ISO 29119.

James used to be an auditor and this provides a unique perspective on the insanity of simply complying with checklists and regulations without understanding why they may be helpful.

James’ talk at EuroSTAR this year was about a similar topic “The Triumph of Process Over Purpose” – an experience report of his time working on a high profile UK Gov project. It was a great talk full of the woes around why strict process adherence matters to some companies/organisations and why it’s not always the right thing to do. Really great talk. It left me wondering though how we stop the insanity of starting projects we know to be doomed from the outset.

You can find James on Twitter – @james_christie

He blogs on his website – https://clarotesting.wordpress.com/

EuroSTAR – Star – Fiona Charles

This is a short series leading up to Christmas where I feature a tester that was at EuroSTAR 2014, who I personally believe you, my readers, will benefit from knowing.

Next up is Fiona Charles.

Fiona Charles at EuroSTAR 2014
Fiona Charles at EuroSTAR 2014

I see Fiona at pretty much every EuroSTAR and every year I thoroughly enjoy chatting to her about software development.

The reason I wanted to include Fiona in this series is because she’s refreshingly straight talking and direct about the challenges facing the testing industry. She’s also supremely knowledgeable – I suspect a week spent learning from Fiona would be invaluable.

Fiona is on Twitter here – https://twitter.com/FionaCCharles

Fiona blogs here – http://quality-intelligence.blogspot.co.uk/

EuroSTAR 2014 – Adam Knight

This is a short series leading up to Christmas where I feature a tester that was at EuroSTAR 2014, who I personally believe you, my readers, will benefit from knowing.

Next up is Adam Knight.

Adam Knight at EuroSTAR
Adam Knight at EuroSTAR

Me and Adam have often been at the same conferences and seem to share a similar career trajectory from testers to “anything that the company needs to get software shipped”. For me this resulted in engineering manager, for Adam it’s resulted in looking after testing, support, technical documentation and release management!

This year at EuroSTAR Adam spoke about on the challenges of testing a Big Data product in agile.

Adam’s outlook on testing is fabulous and he’s clearly a brand evangelist and someone who’s intent on evolving the testing to meet the needs of the company he works for, Rainstor.

Adam is also a good laugh to be around and very much someone I like to sit down with a beer and chat to about testing, life and work.

Adam is on Twitter – https://twitter.com/adampknight

Adam also has a terrific blog – http://www.a-sisyphean-task.com/

EuroSTAR – Star – Mary Walshe

This is a short series leading up to Christmas where I feature a tester that was at EuroSTAR 2014, who I personally believe you, my readers, will benefit from knowing.

Today is Mary Walshe.

Mary Walshe at EuroSTAR 2014
Mary Walshe at EuroSTAR 2014

I attended Mary’s talk on “Why Should I Be Concerned with the Availability Heuristic”. I learned a lot from Mary’s talk and took away the idea of a “waste snake” (a snake that you can stick post-its to describing observed waste in the process) and the Popcorn flow of change, first introduced by Claudio Perrone.

This was Mary’s first talk and to be honest, it was awesome. The talk was very well received by the audience and Mary had a load of questions after the session, and the talk itself had little to do with testing – it was more about process improvement.

You can find Mary on Twitter – @mary_walshe

EuroSTAR – Star – Kristoffer Nordström

This is a short series leading up to Christmas where I feature a tester that was at EuroSTAR 2014, who I personally believe you, my readers, will benefit from knowing.

Today is Kristoffer Nordström.

Kristoffer Nordström at EuroSTAR 2014
Kristoffer Nordström at EuroSTAR 2014

I first met Kris about 4 years ago at a EuroSTAR conference – Amsterdam I think. We spent a night talking about testing, life and families and struck up a great friendship. Now getting together with Kris each year at a conference is a great treat.

Kris is the owner of Northern Test, his own consultancy. Kris is big in the Python for Testers world and offers some great talks and training on the subject. If you’re interested in learning to code Python then Kris is your man.

I attended Kris’ talk at EuroSTAR on Gamification – one of the best that I saw at the conference. Kris was talking about how a company was looking at ways to improve feedback from users – add gamification. Kris’ message was insightful, interesting and incredibly balanced. Kris warned against communicating the need for gamification with power and turning what can be a good game in to manipulation. Great talk.

Kris always has his Moomins with him. Here’s a post from earlier this year about the Moomins.

You can find Kris on Twitter – @kristoffer_nord

His website is – http://www.northerntest.se/

Visualising your product or service using Evernote and MohioMap

One of the perrenial challenges I’ve had at every company I have worked for is being able to see an organic and evolving view of the product being built that isn’t buried deep in the code, or hidden in high level specs that are out of date.

This got me thinking – what if I could use Evernote and MohioMap to visualise the product being built, the links between the components and features and of course, the detail of what each component does.

Continue reading “Visualising your product or service using Evernote and MohioMap”

EuroSTAR 2014

It’s been a week since the EuroSTAR 2014 conference kicked off and I’m still trying to digest everything I learned.
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This years conference was one of the best I’ve been to for a number of reasons.
The talks were very forward looking in some respects – they seemed to show me the future of what testing will be (Internet Of Things, Lean and Kanban in testing, Mobile testing challenges, DevOps).
It was my first proper Keynote which pushed me even further out of my comfort zone.
The vibe was really relaxed. There were lots of community activities and lots of discussions happening around the event.
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The Test Lab seemed a lot busier than usual and was back to back with the community hub meaning it became a central place for discussions.
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The social events were really good.
A lot of my good friends in testing were there this year – and this makes a huge difference (a lot of my good friends weren’t able to make it this year though sadly) 🙁
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Last year and this year seemed to show more clearly the move I’ve personally seen in the industry – a shift away from the Test “phase” to a more continuous testing lifecycle. A lifecycle where the testers do less testing at the back-end of the project, but they have way more input in to the design, code and building of the software.
This highlighted itself quite clearly in the discussions I had with many of my peers – we find ourselves in a strange place where we do a wider range of activities than testing (management, leadership, recruiting, strategy, support, marketing, evangelism of our company’s brand) – basically whatever it takes to ship great software and make the business a success. Is it as simple as start-up versus established company? I don’t think it is. I’ll be exploring this idea next year on this blog.
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Next year EuroSTAR is in Maastricht, Netherlands and is chaired by Ruud Teunissen – the theme is “Walking the Testing Talk”. I’m very much hoping I can make it to next years conference. The call for papers is out now – and the most cost effective way to get to a conference – is to present at it 🙂
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Some more photos can be found over on my g+ page