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Conor Fitzgerald The Surprising Benefits of Exploring Other Disciplines and Industries

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Could exploring diverse disciplines and industries lead to dramatic improvements in your effectiveness as a tester?

The craft of testing has its origins in the social sciences. The characteristics that we seek to develop as testers include communication, creativity, critical thinking and curiosity.

Typically we focus on metaphors from engineering and manufacturing and learn about the disciplines of these industries.

There is so much to gain by learning about other industries such as Aviation and Health Care, and studying other disciplines, for instance, heuristics originated from behavioural economics and mind mapping was developed over centuries by philosophers and psychologists.

In this talk, I will share my journey of being transformed from a regimented confirmation tester to a context-based exploratory tester.

These changes occurred by the challenges faced by testing software in different industries and more importantly studying non-engineering disciplines.

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Conor Fitzgerald The Surprising Benefits of Exploring Other Disciplines and Industries

  1. 1. Testing Biscuits: Benefits of Exploring other Industries and Disciplines Conor Fitzgerald conorfi.com @conorfi
  2. 2. Magic @conorfi Thanks Michael Bolton and Alan Richardson @michaelbolton @eviltester
  3. 3. ● Checking (known unknowns) ● Automated Checking ● Exploratory (unknown unknowns) Magic and Testing @conorfi
  4. 4. Controlled, Conservative and Checking @conorfi
  5. 5. TPS Reports Testing Procedure Specifications @conorfi
  6. 6. Manufacturing and Construction Testing Biscuits @conorfi
  7. 7. CHANGE @conorfi
  8. 8. Bean Bags, Beers and Bongs Energy, Empathy and Exploring @conorfi
  9. 9. Autonomy, Anarchy and Automation @conorfi
  10. 10. Controlled, Conservative and Checking @conorfi
  11. 11. 1. Controlled, Conservative and Checking 2. Energy, Empathy and Exploring 3. Autonomy, Anarchy and Automation 4. Controlled, Conservative and Checking Which companies experienced large project failures? Quiz Time @conorfi
  12. 12. 1. Controlled, Conservative and Checking (Large Project Failure) 2. Energy, Empathy and Exploring (Huge Success) 3. Autonomy, Anarchy and Automation (Steady Growth, Well funded) 4. Controlled, Conservative and Checking (Large Project Failure) Quiz Time @conorfi
  13. 13. The Value of Pain @conorfi
  14. 14. Culture and Testing @conorfi
  15. 15. Principle 4. Projects unfold over time in ways that are often not predictable The Seven Basic Principles of the Context-Driven School Cem Kaner, James Bach,Brian Marick, Bret Pettichord @conorfiContext Driven
  16. 16. A Journey of Exploration @conorfi
  17. 17. Test Gurus @conorfi
  18. 18. Other Gurus @conorfi
  19. 19. Aviation @conorfi
  20. 20. Checklist ”They came up with an ingeniously simple approach: they created a pilot’s checklist." The pilots went on to fly the Model 299 a total of 1.8 million miles without one accident." The Checklist Manifesto: How to Get Things Right Atul Gawande @conorfi
  21. 21. Pairing ● Pairing ● Mobbing ● Bug Bash “Fresh Eyes Find Failures” Lessons Learned in Software Testing: A Context-Driven Approach Cem Kaner, James Bach, Bret Pettichord @conorfi
  22. 22. Blameless Culture ● Report Errors ● No blame ● Correct Errors Quickly @conorfi
  23. 23. Etsy’s Blameless Culture 1. Assume Goodwill 2. Identify Causes not Culprits 3. Take your Time “We instead want to view mistakes, errors, slips, lapses, etc. with a perspective of learning.” John Allspaw – Former CTO (Etsy) @conorfi
  24. 24. A Culture of Questioning ● Cultural Reorientation ● Speak Up Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell @conorfi
  25. 25. A Culture of Questioning “Programmers like to talk about their work, ask them questions.” Lessons Learned in Software Testing: A Context-Driven Approach Cem Kaner, James Bach, Bret Pettichord BDD “Biscuit Driven Development” Alexandra Schladebeck @conorfi
  26. 26. HealthCare @conorfi
  27. 27. Mnemonics @conorfi SAMPLE Signs/Symptoms Allergies Medications Past illness Last Oral Intake Events
  28. 28. Heuristics A heuristic is a fallible method of solving a problem or making a decision. “Rule of Thumb” “Intuitive Judgement” “Fast and Frugal” @conorfi Thinking, Fast and Slow Daniel Kahneman
  29. 29. Test Heuristics • CRUD Create, Read, Update, Delete • Sequences Vary Order of Operations • Count 0, 1, Many Test Heuristics Cheat Sheet (Elisabeth Hendrickson, James Lyndsay, and Dale Emery) Heuristic Test Strategy Model (James Bach) @conorfi
  30. 30. Oracles Oracles are simply the principle or mechanism by which we recognize a problem HICCUPPSF(Michael Bolton) History Image Comparable Product Claims User Expectations Product Purpose Standards Familiarity @conorfi
  31. 31. Oracles @conorfi “Oracles help me to discover the real reason that I think there is a problem.” Katrina Clokie
  32. 32. Business @conorfi
  33. 33. Marketing ● Models ● 7 Ps of the Marketing Mix ● Unique Selling Proposition (USP) ● Brand Positioning Map @conorfi
  34. 34. Models “All testing is based on models” Lessons Learned in Software Testing: A Context-Driven Approach Cem Kaner, James Bach, Bret Pettichord “Remember, always, that everything you know, and everything everyone knows, is only a model.” “Get your model out there where it can be viewed. Invite others to challenge your assumptions and add their own.” Thinking in Systems: A Primer Donella H. Meadows @conorfi
  35. 35. Models “#2. We accelerate the team, and use models like Lean Thinking and the Theory of Constraints to help identify, prioritize and mitigate bottlenecks from the system.” Modern Testing Principles Alan Page and Brent Jensen @conorfi
  36. 36. Mind Maps @conorfiSFDiPOT (San_Fransico-Depot Structure Functions Data Interfaces Platform Operations Time) Heuristic Test Strategy Model (James Bach)
  37. 37. Ecommerce @conorfi
  38. 38. Data “#6 We use data extensively to deeply understand customer usage and then close the gaps between product hypotheses and business impact.” Modern Testing Principles Alan Page and Brent Jensen @conorfi
  39. 39. Personas ● Use of Data ● User Journeys ● Personas @conorfi
  40. 40. Economics ● Law of Unintended Consequences ● Law of Diminishing Returns @conorfi
  41. 41. Unintended Consequences “Small changes don’t necessarily manifest immediately, but compound effects can be huge.” Fifty Quick Ideas To Improve Your Tests Gojko Adzic, David Evans, Tom Roden, Nikola Korac @conorfi
  42. 42. Diminishing Returns “Will these tests cost more to execute than their answers will be worth?“ “Good testing involves balancing the need to mitigate risk against the risk of trying to gather too much information.” Perfect Software: And Other Illusions About Testing Gerald M. Weinberg @conorfi
  43. 43. Yoga, Mindfulness and CBT@conorfi
  44. 44. Being in the moment ● Patterns ● Cognitive Biases ● Confirmation Bias ● Availability Heuristic @conorfi
  45. 45. Emotions “Confusion is a Test Tool” Lessons Learned in Software Testing: A Context-Driven Approach Cem Kaner, James Bach, Bret Pettichord @conorfi
  46. 46. Kindness Kind to yourself Kind to others “If you miss something, check whether the miss is surprising or just a natural outcome of your strategy” Lessons Learned in Software Testing: A Context-Driven Approach Cem Kaner, James Bach, Bret Pettichord @conorfi
  47. 47. Wrap Up @conorfi
  48. 48. Checking vs Exploratory “Tested = Checked and Explored” Explore It! Reduce Risk and Increase Confidence with Exploratory Testing Elisabeth Hendrickson Checking can be automated Not equivalent to a Tester checking Exploring done by Humans Passion for the Craft of Testing Can be supported by Automation @conorfi
  49. 49. Culture Blameless Culture Culture of Questioning 5C’s 1. Critical Thinking 2. Curiosity 3. Collaboration 4. Communication 5. Creativity @conorfi
  50. 50. Culture @conorfi “People, not methodologies or tools, make projects successful.” Agile Testing: A Practical Guide for Testers and Agile Teams Lisa Crispin ”No matter how it looks at first, it's always a people problem.” The secrets of consulting Gerald M. Weinberg
  51. 51. Learnings • Checklists • Pairing • Models • Data analytics @conorfi • Personas & User Journeys • Heuristics & Mnemonics • Cognitive Biases
  52. 52. Explore other Industries and Disciplines @conorfi
  53. 53. Magic The Testing Magic is in your Head @conorfi
  54. 54. Q&A @conorfi
  55. 55. Books ● Lessons Learned in Software Testing: A Context-Driven Approach Cem Kaner, James Bach, Bret Pettichord ● Explore It! Reduce Risk and Increase Confidence with Exploratory Testing Elisabeth Hendrickson ● More Agile Testing: Learning Journeys for the Whole Team Janet Gregory and Lisa Crispin ● Perfect Software: And Other Illusions about Testing Gerald M. Weinberg @conorfi
  56. 56. Books ● An Introduction to General Systems Thinking Gerald M. Weinberg ● Fifty Quick Ideas To Improve Your Tests Gojko Adzic, David Evans, Tom Roden, Nikola Korac ● Outliers:The story of Success Malcom Gladwell ● Freakonomics: A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything Steven D. Levitt , Stephen J Dubner @conorfi
  57. 57. Books ● The Checklist Manifesto: How to get Things Right Atul Gawande ● The Goal Eliyahu M. Goldratt ● Thinking, Fast and Slow Daniel Kahneman @conorfi
  58. 58. Blogs/Web ● satisfice.com Michael Bolton and James Bach ● eviltester.com Alan Richardson ● Test Heuristics Cheat Sheet (Elisabeth Hendrickson, James Lyndsay, and Dale Emery) http://testobsessed.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/04/testheuristicscheatsheetv1.pdf ● http://katrinatester.blogspot.com/p/about-me.html Katrina Clokie @conorfi

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