Eurostar > Day 1 > Keynote 2: Monty Python’s Flying Test Lab – Rob Sabourin

Eurostar > Day 1 > Keynote 2: Monty Python’s Flying Test Lab – Rob Sabourin

Great start to Rob's talk, despite a few technical faults…, great clip from Monty Python


Great example of Ambiguous Requirements. Don't we see this often in testing where we ask for clarifications.

Rob suggests we build a model and take to the customer to build this model. Instead of "your requirements are wrong" try to build a model with them to open channels of real communication. Concrete communication with checks and balance. "Is that clear" <– you haven't communicated anything – make it explicit.

Other ways from the crowd….."ask why?" "Paraphrase" "Provide a structure for requirements that need to be filled in (template) (Rob not so sure)" "Don't express your tests in a semantic language"

Next one up: The Witch scene:


Rob –> You could almost make a University of course of lessons learned from this clip.

We blindly trust the tool……just like they did when the witch weighed the same as the duck. Rob S did a mini rant on testing tools…when it tells you something, it must be true. Great point.

The chain of logic is something that people follow, even if the logic is wrong. Watch out for false logic and incongruent chains of reasoning.

In testing we check one thing and draw a conclusion.

Rob looks for three ways to judge correctness:

Look at the value on the screen, in a report and in the database.

Having a sticker doesn't make you a tester. How you apply your knowledge to solve problems makes you a tester. A hidden lesson from Rob about applying a cert or label or sticker to someone.

Clip 3


Dev teams would build software and then throw it over the wall at the test team. Lessons learned from Monty Python.

Great presentation.

3 thoughts to “Eurostar > Day 1 > Keynote 2: Monty Python’s Flying Test Lab – Rob Sabourin”

  1. Excellent Rob, thanks for sharing. I’m watching from afar 🙂 As soon as the new budget comes in the first thing I’m asking for is tickets to next years eurostar 🙂

  2. Darren,So far so good. Really good topics. Next years it’s in Manchester apparently.Rob..

  3. Glad to see you got there safely Rob, and very impressed from the analogies drawn and illustrated by a classic comic film. Very engaging. I can certainly empathise and have been guilty of throwing stuff over the wall. This often occurs when Dev teams are under pressure but its clear this only compounds the issues and time to delivery. Having tightly integrated Dev and test teams has certainly improved things wihtin my team. Possibly because the feedback loop is smaller and throwing stuff over the wall can come straight back at you like a full sized cow (as per sketch) making you think twice.

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