Testers are your friends

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Software Development Summit, Helsinki, 10 December 2013

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  • My name is Ilari Henrik Aegerter and if the name somehow sounds a bit Finnish to you then you are rightI was born in Riihimäki and then moved to Switzerland at the age of 4 Ever since I have been back to Finland on a reguar basis and it is a great honor to me to talk at a conference here in Helsinki
  • In my daytime I am Manager Productivity & Test Engineering Europe for eBayMy team is distributed and located in Zurich, Berlin, Paris and LondonWe are the world’s biggest market place with 116 million customers of which there are more than 60 million here in Europe
  • I am also the President of the ISSTwell…one of four presidents that isThe ISST advocates for good testing and my keynote is a small part in that endeavour
  • Ok, now I am interested who you are
  • Ok, it is early in the morning, let’s fresh up a bit
  • You all know this boring little eye illusionWhich one is longer?They are equal length, right?But, again, even in this casein order to not fool others, you first have to not fool yourself
  • Well, some of you are testersYou should know betterVerify your assumptions
  • ok, today’s topic is “Testers are your friends”apparently sometimes they are not, or not perceived as suchmaybe there are reasons for thatI believe there are some misconceptions about testers and about the tester/developer relationship out therelet’s have a look
  • And: for whatever I say, I suggest to apply Jerry Weinberg’s rule of three: Find 3 reasons why what I say is not trueBeing here In front of you does not make me the holder of the truthBut I have strong opinions, though
  • So what exactly is the problemMy talk’s title is “Testers are your friends” but apparently they are not viewed that way sometimesWhy is that so?
  • I found this quote and I think it describes the problem quite accuratelyAnd there are other influences that might be problematic, too
  • Yes, I know many among you have “QA” in their job title or even see themselves as suchBut let me ask you this:How many among you QAs have full hiring or firing rights for all people involved In the project?See?By the way, this is a map of Zurich and you can see the sewage plant on itQuality Insurance insinuates that you get something dirty or of at least questionable quality an then it passes your “Quality Insurance Sewage Plant” and out comes a clean, pure productOh, come on
  • A little courtesy by me: a pre-fabricated tweet for you guysBy testing the product you deliver information, you don’t magically clean it up
  • I have observed organizations where the bureaucrats seem to have taken overThere are more paper documents (ie test case documents) and process description flying around than anything else
  • Please, if anything, remember that developing software (an that includes testing) is by no means similar of what a factory producesThis here is knowledge work, not commoditized packing of tomato soup over and over againIt is applied problem solvingIt is using your brain, not rote repetition of optimized subtasks
  • all this has lead to years of bad testingineffective, bothersome, bottle-necky, annoying
  • When have you last time argued with the surgeon on how she should operate your overstressed heart?But everybody seems to know how to testWhat’s the fuss about it, “just check that it works”, right?
  • If you are a tester, nothing good comes out of talking bad about developersPlease be aware that you as a tester might be a victim of the Dunning-Kruger EffectYou might simply not understand the complexitiy of getting something to runDo you think the develpers put the bugs in there just for fun?
  • And, I believe there are quite many misconceptions about testing
  • Yes, if you pack tomato soup, there certainly is a standard process Get SoupPack it in tinsShip it
  • This isespeciallyprevalent in theclassical „testcase“ productionExpectedbehaviourObservedbehaviourPut a thermometer in boilingwater, thecolumnrises, right?It‘sobviousWe‘llcome back tothat
  • Creating a pile of paper is not testing
  • Don’t get me wrong: Automation has huge merrits and it is indispensable for skilled testingHowever, you need to understand its strengths and weaknessesAutomation is very strong in:1. accellerating repetitive processes2. checking facts3. finding anticipatable errors4. acting as a security net for refactoringsand automation does not always mean full fledged end-to-end automation(e.g. the small item generation tool for eBay)
  • I want to exemplify what I mean by “You can’t automate everything”
  • I promised my son Marvin that one day I will include one of his drawings in my presentations, so here we go
  • It is like riding a bicycle:sit on the saddleTurn the pedals
  • Whenmeasuringsomethingyouhavetotakegreatcarethatthethingyoumeasureis in linewiththequestionyouwant an answerfor
  • I get a skinrashfromthis real lifeexample (I am not goingtonamewhere I haveitfrom)
  • MeasurementDysfunction
  • One question you might want to investigate:How high is the percentage of people on certification boards, who have a business with vested interest in certifications
  • So, MattBarcomb and I started to mock the whole ideaand on this year’s PSL we came up with an alternative
  • And by that I do not necessarily mean you should employ a bunch of hippies
  • Quality is the perceived relationship between a product and its usersAsk around in your organization “What does good quality mean to you?”
  • at eBay we the whole team – devs and testers – have shared responsibility for good quality
  • If you hire a juggler for a children birthday, you want to see him/her juggleYou won’t ask for a juggler certification
  • Every person does what he/she does for good reasonsNobody on the planet aims to act irrationally (unless you’re an adolecent in party mood)but then – of course – you are excused
  • by working together we will create products our customers are excited about
  • Maybetherelationshipbetweentestersanddevelopersfirsthadtogo down in ordertogoupEnjoytheconference, askquestionsand I recommendtoapplytheRuleofThreewheneveryouhearsomethingLet‘sspread a bitoflove, won‘twe?
  • Testers are your friends

    1. 1. Testers Are Your Friends Image credithttp://www.flickr.com/photos/cityhunter12/2700057387/sizes/l/in/photostream/
    2. 2. Who am I?
    3. 3. Ilari Henrik Aegerter Manager Productivity & Test Engineering Europe @
    4. 4. Ilari Henrik Aegerter President of www.commonsensetesting.org
    5. 5. Ok, let‟s see who is here… Image credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/knitspirit/9436900224/sizes/l/in/photostream/
    6. 6. Who does testing?
    7. 7. Who writes production code?
    8. 8. Who manages product(s)? Image credit http://www.flickr.com/photos/41597157@N00/6917125046/sizes/c/in/photostream/
    9. 9. Who does something else? Image credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/knitspirit/9436900224/sizes/l/in/photostream/
    10. 10. What’s the problem? // Misconceptions // What is damaging? // What is helpful? // What YOU can do Ok, let‟s see…
    11. 11. What’s the problem? // Misconceptions // What is damaging? // What is helpful? // What YOU can do Which horizontal line is longer?
    12. 12. What’s the problem? // Misconceptions // What is damaging? // What is helpful? // What YOU can do A good tester challenges assumptions
    13. 13. Today‟s Menu 1. What‟s the problem? 2. Misconceptions 3. What is damaging? 4. What is helpful? 5. What YOU can do
    14. 14. Apply Jerry Weinberg‟s Rule of Three: Find 3 reasons why what I say is not true
    15. 15. What‟s the problem?
    16. 16. What’s the problem? // Misconceptions // What is damaging? // What is helpful? // What YOU can do “A tester is only a friend if he/she acts that way and is recognized as a friend” I. H. Aegerter (just some tester)
    17. 17. What’s the problem? // Misconceptions // What is damaging? // What is helpful? // What YOU can do “Quality Assurance”
    18. 18. What’s the problem? // Misconceptions // What is damaging? // What is helpful? // What YOU can do As a tester it’s not your job to act as a sewage plant @ilarihenrik at #SDSHelsinki #testing
    19. 19. What’s the problem? // Misconceptions // What is damaging? // What is helpful? // What YOU can do The Bureaucrats are in the hood
    20. 20. What’s the problem? // Misconceptions // What is damaging? // What is helpful? // What YOU can do The Factory Analogy
    21. 21. What’s the problem? // Misconceptions // What is damaging? // What is helpful? // What YOU can do Years of bad testing photo credit: http://j.mp/16EcmNI
    22. 22. What’s the problem? // Misconceptions // What is damaging? // What is helpful? // What YOU can do Everybody “knows” how to test photo credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/stefz/2311364930/sizes/o/in/photostream/
    23. 23. What’s the problem? // Misconceptions // What is damaging? // What is helpful? // What YOU can do Dunning-Kruger Effect 1. You tend to overestimate your own level of skill 2. You fail to recognize genuine skill in others 3. You fail to recognize the extremity of your inadequacy 4. You recognize and acknowledge your own previous lack of skill, if you are exposed to training for that skill (Source: Wikipedia)
    24. 24. What’s the problem? // Misconceptions // What is damaging? // What is helpful? // What YOU can do Us against Them photo credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/8631352@N05/2322701562/sizes/l/in/photostream/
    25. 25. What’s the problem? // Misconceptions // What is damaging? // What is helpful? // What YOU can do Are you surprised it does not work?
    26. 26. What’s the problem? // Misconceptions // What is damaging? // What is helpful? // What YOU can do “Quality Assurance” Years of bad testing Us against Them
    27. 27. Misconceptions
    28. 28. What’s the problem? // Misconceptions // What is damaging? // What is helpful? // What YOU can do „There is a standard process„ Image credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/timdrivas/6973202868/sizes/h/in/photostream/
    29. 29. What’s the problem? // Misconceptions // What is damaging? // What is helpful? // What YOU can do „It is always obvious what to expect„ =? 20 C 100 C
    30. 30. What’s the problem? // Misconceptions // What is damaging? // What is helpful? // What YOU can do
    31. 31. What’s the problem? // Misconceptions // What is damaging? // What is helpful? // What YOU can do Can you see it now?
    32. 32. What’s the problem? // Misconceptions // What is damaging? // What is helpful? // What YOU can do „Documentation will save you„
    33. 33. What’s the problem? // Misconceptions // What is damaging? // What is helpful? // What YOU can do „You can automate everything„
    34. 34. What’s the problem? // Misconceptions // What is damaging? // What is helpful? // What YOU can do Ok, let‟s see…
    35. 35. What’s the problem? // Misconceptions // What is damaging? // What is helpful? // What YOU can do Type: “2+2” and then “=“: What do you expect? (credit goes to James Bach for this little exercise) Image credit http://www.flickr.com/photos/28419945@N00/129265742/sizes/l/in/photostream/
    36. 36. What’s the problem? // Misconceptions // What is damaging? // What is helpful? // What YOU can do What if… …the calculator took 1 hour for the calculation ? Would you report that as a bug? Image credit http://www.flickr.com/photos/28419945@N00/129265742/sizes/l/in/photostream/
    37. 37. What’s the problem? // Misconceptions // What is damaging? // What is helpful? // What YOU can do What if… …you discovered that it calculates 2*2 instead of 2+2? Would you report that as a bug? Image credit http://www.flickr.com/photos/28419945@N00/129265742/sizes/l/in/photostream/
    38. 38. What’s the problem? // Misconceptions // What is damaging? // What is helpful? // What YOU can do What if… …the calculator suddenly became incredibly hot? Would you report that as a bug? Image credit http://www.flickr.com/photos/28419945@N00/129265742/sizes/l/in/photostream/
    39. 39. What’s the problem? // Misconceptions // What is damaging? // What is helpful? // What YOU can do What if… …the calculator made weird noises while calculating? Would you report that as a bug? Image credit http://www.flickr.com/photos/28419945@N00/129265742/sizes/l/in/photostream/
    40. 40. What’s the problem? // Misconceptions // What is damaging? // What is helpful? // What YOU can do Tacit vs. Explicit knowledge
    41. 41. What’s the problem? // Misconceptions // What is damaging? // What is helpful? // What YOU can do
    42. 42. What’s the problem? // Misconceptions // What is damaging? // What is helpful? // What YOU can do Standard Process “It is Obvious” Documentation Automate Everything
    43. 43. What is damaging?
    44. 44. What’s the problem? // Misconceptions // What is damaging? // What is helpful? // What YOU can do Automation vs. Manual
    45. 45. What’s the problem? // Misconceptions // What is damaging? // What is helpful? // What YOU can do Image credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/r80o/39304743/sizes/l/in/photostream/ Image credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/61091655@N00/6831352744/sizes/l/in/photostream/
    46. 46. What’s the problem? // Misconceptions // What is damaging? // What is helpful? // What YOU can do Useless Metrics
    47. 47. What’s the problem? // Misconceptions // What is damaging? // What is helpful? // What YOU can do e.g. a metric like this: „We want to automate 80% of all test cases Image credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/malavoda/4203730212/sizes/l/in/photostream/
    48. 48. What’s the problem? // Misconceptions // What is damaging? // What is helpful? // What YOU can do
    49. 49. What’s the problem? // Misconceptions // What is damaging? // What is helpful? // What YOU can do “Certifications” A highly scalable money generating business
    50. 50. What’s the problem? // Misconceptions // What is damaging? // What is helpful? // What YOU can do Certification Sirens Tester Ulysses
    51. 51. What’s the problem? // Misconceptions // What is damaging? // What is helpful? // What YOU can do
    52. 52. What’s the problem? // Misconceptions // What is damaging? // What is helpful? // What YOU can do
    53. 53. What’s the problem? // Misconceptions // What is damaging? // What is helpful? // What YOU can do
    54. 54. What’s the problem? // Misconceptions // What is damaging? // What is helpful? // What YOU can do
    55. 55. What’s the problem? // Misconceptions // What is damaging? // What is helpful? // What YOU can do Automation vs. Manual Useless Metrics “Certifications”
    56. 56. What is helpful?
    57. 57. What’s the problem? // Misconceptions // What is damaging? // What is helpful? // What YOU can do Physical proximity Image credit http://www.flickr.com/photos/sarabossana/4425526595/sizes/o/in/photostream/
    58. 58. What’s the problem? // Misconceptions // What is damaging? // What is helpful? // What YOU can do Heterogenous teams
    59. 59. What’s the problem? // Misconceptions // What is damaging? // What is helpful? // What YOU can do A good and shared understanding of quality
    60. 60. What’s the problem? // Misconceptions // What is damaging? // What is helpful? // What YOU can do Physical proximity Heterogenous Teams Understanding of quality
    61. 61. What YOU can do
    62. 62. What’s the problem? // Misconceptions // What is damaging? // What is helpful? // What YOU can do Share Ownership of “Quality” Image credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/letterlust/5399170806/sizes/o/in/photostream/
    63. 63. What’s the problem? // Misconceptions // What is damaging? // What is helpful? // What YOU can do To promote an approach to software testing that emphasizes value and the role that skilled testers play in its delivery. www.commonsensetesting.org
    64. 64. What’s the problem? // Misconceptions // What is damaging? // What is helpful? // What YOU can do When hiring: Have testers demonstrate their skills Image credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/acvbpr/5322231442/sizes/o/in/photostream/
    65. 65. What’s the problem? // Misconceptions // What is damaging? // What is helpful? // What YOU can do Is this the relationship between testers and developers in your organization?
    66. 66. What’s the problem? // Misconceptions // What is damaging? // What is helpful? // What YOU can do Empathy Image credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/hometowninvasion/302142708/sizes/o/in/photostream/
    67. 67. What’s the problem? // Misconceptions // What is damaging? // What is helpful? // What YOU can do Share Ownership Demonstrate Skill Empathy
    68. 68. What’s the problem? // Misconceptions // What is damaging? // What is helpful? // What YOU can do Don‟t forget: Testers are your friends Image credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/merwing/530535214/sizes/o/in/photostream/
    69. 69. It is not always so obvious what happens next = first down, then up 20 C 100 C
    70. 70. Ilari Henrik Aegerter www.commonsensetesting.org @intsst myself@ilari.com @ilarihenrik www.ebay.com iaegerter@ebay.com Image credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/theilluminated/5386099858/sizes/o/in/photostream/

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