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Failing: The Very Human Side of Testing

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Presentation given at Let's Test 2013, 22 May

Presentation given at Let's Test 2013, 22 May

Published in: Technology

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  • 1. Failing:The Very Human Side ofTestingSimon Morley@YorkyAbroadhttp://testers-headache.blogspot.com/Wednesday, May 22, 13
  • 2. This is about failure....My experiencesSome learningsWednesday, May 22, 13
  • 3. Being Wrong (testing)Anybody ever been wrong?How did it feel?Wednesday, May 22, 13
  • 4. My takeFrustrating - at firstThen - liberatingWednesday, May 22, 13
  • 5. But first frustration...Wednesday, May 22, 13
  • 6. CommunicationTest Strategy CommunicationTalking about a less linear approach - andmore focus on business needs andinformation flow.What could possibly go wrong????Wednesday, May 22, 13
  • 7. Moving from...Wednesday, May 22, 13
  • 8. To...Wednesday, May 22, 13
  • 9. “But surely if we hadclear requirements...”The requirements can’t always be knownupfrontClear is very subjectiveAnd so are requirementsIt’s a form of not dealing with the problem -what will satisfy the customer?Wednesday, May 22, 13
  • 10. Lessons?Wednesday, May 22, 13
  • 11. Different AudiencesFamiliarityAdoptionRefusal / Not preparedWednesday, May 22, 13
  • 12. “But surely if we had clearrequirements...”Wednesday, May 22, 13
  • 13. And there’s more....Wednesday, May 22, 13
  • 14. Thinking & ModelsAttention to details - too focusedProblems with notetakingQuestions / Not getting started quickly enoughGetting stuck in a rutWednesday, May 22, 13
  • 15. Attention to details - toofocusedWednesday, May 22, 13
  • 16. Browsing or client?Wednesday, May 22, 13
  • 17. Wednesday, May 22, 13
  • 18. CausesFocusExcitedTunnelVisionWednesday, May 22, 13
  • 19. LessonsPair-upRemind yourself:Is it time to switch betweenfocus-defocus now?Wednesday, May 22, 13
  • 20. Note TakingI filed a bug report - and missed out aconfiguration element (parameter setting) thatturned out to be decisive.Kneejerk reaction: Take more notes!Or: Take better notes... How?Practice observation & NotetakingSmith: How to be an explorer of the worldWednesday, May 22, 13
  • 21. And more...Wednesday, May 22, 13
  • 22. Not starting / Too manyquestions...How? When?By when?Who? Who more can I talk to?What do you mean by test?Anything more?Anything more?Configuration?Data?Architecture?Team?Priority?Risks?Known problems?Wednesday, May 22, 13
  • 23. Reaction?SuspicionFrustrationImpatienceWednesday, May 22, 13
  • 24. Lessons?Wednesday, May 22, 13
  • 25. Start with context-free questionsCan I ask some questions?Is now a good time for questions?Ref: Exploring Requirements: QualityBefore Design (Gause, Weinberg)Wednesday, May 22, 13
  • 26. Sitting with a problem fortoo long...Wednesday, May 22, 13
  • 27. Result?Dis-appointmentDelayWednesday, May 22, 13
  • 28. CausesWednesday, May 22, 13
  • 29. Lessons?Wednesday, May 22, 13
  • 30. BalanceCelebrateyourignoranceWednesday, May 22, 13
  • 31. LessonsFail “well”“The chief trick to making good mistakes isnot to hide them - especially not fromyourself. Instead of turning away in denialwhen you make a mistake, you shouldbecome a connoisseur of your own mistakes,turning them over in your mind as if theywere works of art, which in a way they are.”Dennet: Intuition Pumps and other Tools forThinkingWednesday, May 22, 13
  • 32. More LessonsCelebrate your own failuresThey are a case study opportunityAsk trusted colleagues for signsFear of failure = Fear of learningCreativity is bound up with failureWednesday, May 22, 13
  • 33. More lessonsKnow your audienceSynch with themContext-free questions to start withRemember to focus & de-focusTake a step backExplain the problem to someone newLearning is a heuristic activity - implies trialand errorWednesday, May 22, 13
  • 34. ReferencesThinking, Fast and Slow (Kahneman)Exploring Requirements: Quality before Design(Gauss, Weinberg)How to Be an Explorer of the World (Smith)Intuition Pumps and Other Tools for Thinking(Dennet)Wednesday, May 22, 13
  • 35. Questions & CommentsWednesday, May 22, 13
  • 36. Image creditshttp://www.flickr.com/photos/34120957@N04/4199675334http://www.flickr.com/photos/seandreilinger/8252655811http://www.flickr.com/photos/fairyfeet/30860040/http://www.flickr.com/photos/thedevelopmentofbirmingham/4160702095/http://www.flickr.com/photos/mknott/130350679/in/photostream/http://www.flickr.com/photos/wfryer/1342355056/http://www.flickr.com/photos/andrewpescod/1355751357/http://www.flickr.com/photos/stolensnapshot/3611391087/sizes/m/in/photostream/http://www.flickr.com/photos/neilmoralee/6872205942/Wednesday, May 22, 13
  • 37. Image creditshttp://www.flickr.com/photos/flex/26197327/http://www.flickr.com/photos/safetyfreak/498421785/http://www.flickr.com/photos/mdconnell/5209509848/http://www.flickr.com/photos/billsophoto/5243121852/http://www.flickr.com/photos/zyphichore/95961996/http://www.flickr.com/photos/aquilaonline/2055376852/http://www.flickr.com/photos/rvoegtli/7662328952/http://www.flickr.com/photos/betsyweber/3307988944/http://www.flickr.com/photos/cainnmosni/3065256470/http://www.flickr.com/photos/66720528@N04/8476511518/http://www.flickr.com/photos/sharynmorrow/3718891/http://www.flickr.com/photos/vblibrary/8484917890/Wednesday, May 22, 13