I run a regular brown bag session for the teams at Gurock. It’s an opportunity for us all to meet together (virtually) and learn about a tool or a technology or an approach related to the testing domain. Often that means watching a conference talk courtesy of the wonderful Ministry of Testing.

Last week we watched Alan Page’s Modern Testing presentation from the Brighton conference earlier this year. Hearing folk talk about different approaches to software testing tends to be quite illuminating for the team since, though we sell a testing product, not many of the staff actually have direct experience of what it’s like to deliver testing for a project(s) or product(s) in some professional, rigorous, repeatable capacity.

Speaking personally, I don’t disagree with the modern testing principles that Alan has identified. By and large though, they just seem to encapsulate what testers working in the frontline of the profession have understood for some time. That, it’s not the tester role to do all the testing. It’s the testers role to accelerate delivery where possible by owning the quality culture, optimising testing processes and removing obstacles where they can.

No wonder so many testers move into coaching, scrummastery type roles where those responsibilities become more explicitly mandated.

The modern testing principles imply lots of opportunity also. Particularly in the realm of using data to really gain an understanding of how the customer sees the product, and drive quality improvements based on those data points.

I think it can be difficult for testers to actually get access to that data. Particularly in more corporate environments where roles and responsibilities are less fluid. In my experience, it’s been much easier to get ahold of customer usage data when working on smaller, more startup type teams. But, there are opportunities. Whether it’s just a matter of trawling social media or the App Store for actionable customer feedback, or getting the logging from your production system. Being able to observe and understand how your product is actually used by customers and using that information to drive improvements is a must for the modern tester.

I’m doing that for TestRail by talking directly to our customers. If you’re one of them, and would like a chat, please do feel free to reach out directly.

  • On the subject of optimising and accelerating, the idea of a Product Management burnup chart holds some attraction.
  • Yesterday was the monthly Wolverhampton Board Games Day. I played Mysterium and Terraforming Mars with the Venus Next expansion set.
  • The idea of creating a workspace that’s more conducive to working deeply is something that holds a fair degree of interest for me. Particularly if you consider framing effects also, as written about extensively by Robert B. Cialdini in his seminal book Influence: The Power of Persuasion, and more recently, Pre-suasion, which speaks even more directly to this point. In any event, I enjoyed this from Cal Newport, which reminded me to actually do something about it.
  • I also enjoyed this set of GitHub flow recommendations which I’ll be sharing with my team also for some potential improvements.
  • I discovered this book yesterday and immediately added it to my reading list. Evolutionary psychology, meditation science and practice; yes please!
Thanks for reading. Feel free to reach out via a comment or on the socials if anything resonates.

Cheers,
Simon

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