Posted on April 9, 2012 in Uncategorized by adamNo Comments »

So this graphic is making the rounds today.

And while it is interesting (at time of posting, Selenium has crossed QTP and the trends are going the ‘right’ way), it is important to also remember this:

Posted on April 7, 2012 in Uncategorized by adam3 Comments »

The Un-Conf is a common event type these days; no scheduled speakers, just a bunch of smart people and a space to facilitate conversation. The success of these is entirely dependent on who is there. And there is the classic Testing Conf where speakers are selected, assigned slots and talk about things directly related to Testing.

But what I think I want a Un-Testing Conf. This would would be the same format of a classic conference but without topics about Testing.

Well.

Obviously about testing.

Irony Alert

I am sick of going to Testing conferences and hearing the same sort of stuff over and over. Or something that I could quickly pick up from any number of industry related books or blogs. I want to learn new, mind blowing things. And do you know where those things hide out? Hint: its not in the testing world!

Tangent. Have a single track conference; 5 or 6 concurrent tracks is too much.

So what would my Un-Testing Conf look like? Well, it would likely be expensive since you can’t just comp the speakers a ticket and expect them to graciously accept the invitation. Currently the line-up would be something like…

I can, without even trying, explain how each and every one of the above people have important things to say that would make testers better at their job.

That is a full two days of speakers already. Who else would you like to see? The only ‘rule’ is they cannot self-identify as a Tester.

Posted on April 3, 2012 in Uncategorized by adam2 Comments »

So last week I was in New Orleans for STPCon and one of the things I did was a 15-ish minute gabfest on Set Course For Awesome (as a ‘Career Tester’). One of my supporting ideas for it is that you need to shut up, listen, and figure out what it is you are supposed to be providing information on. (Protip – its not what you think it is; or the second thing; or even likely the third thing.)

One trick I have started to intentionally using is to understand why something is the way it is. Especially for the things that stand out as particularly bone-headed. Often a series of perfectly rational thoughts happened in a perfectly logical order only to have nasty repercussions.

There are lots of examples of this, but when I was in New Orleans I took a ‘pirate tour’ (I know, shocking) and it provided yet another example of this.

  • In 1788, a candle lit a bit of curtain and started a pretty nasty fire
  • It was Good Friday, and the Cathedral bells had burlap on them so as to not ring until Easter Monday
  • New Orleans burned. Almost to the ground.
  • But they rebuilt! In stone!
  • And inside each stone building was a well — not only for drinking purposes but to have ready access to water in case of another fire
  • Mosquitos breed in water
  • There is water in every home
  • Between 1817 and 1904 there were over 41 000 yellow fever deaths
  • Yellow fever is transmitted by mosquitos

All perfectly reasonable individually, but viewed through the lens of history, 41 000 people died from yellow fever because a candle’s flame caught a curtain.

The trick, especially for those of us who see lots of companies is to trace back things and where possible address the original concern rather than just the current manifestation of the concern.