Utter failures and lessons remained unlearned

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  • Gare de Montparnasse – 1895
  • Usually we like to talk about our successes and how well we did with somethingToday we are going to look at the opposite – failure-> Airport check in storry
  • Here is from my good friend – the OEDand as we will see later, lack of success can be either via positiva or via negativa
  • all these are not really flattering words
  • Ok, I think it makes sense to demonstrate failureI brought a special tool that allows me to demonstrate failure – a footbag
  • OK, I ask a stupid question here – but here we are
  • No, seriously, there is nothing wrong with failing at an attempt to do something usefulActually, the more things you try the more often you will fail. Get over it
  • PradeepSoundararajan told me today: The best way to recover from failure is to learn from it
  • Let’s have a look how failure happens
  • As you can see in the next few slides, I failed to produce fancy PPT transitions, so I mitigated to a more manual processSo, let’s assume you do something – say you try to learn some testing heuristics
  • Yes, we have the phrase “It works” here, and by that I mean the thing you do satisfies your own criteria for success to some degree
  • I think that this path here is often forgotten when we think about failure – failure is often tied to actionLet’s have 2 examples1. You don’t learn to understand object oriented programming2. You refuse to just delete a bug out of the tracking system
  • I think the second path is the one we usually associate with failureBut then again, maybe if something does not work it is actually ok1. e.g. have all your testers certified2. e.g. trying to learn to program and not get anywhere3. e.g. expose ethically questionable behaviour
  • It like to distinguishPersonal – Whatever you attempt to do as an individual person, Your own actionsCorporate – This are the failures that are happening at the place we workCommunity – I am referring here to our community here, the club of skilled, context-driven testers
  • Now, the following list is by far not an attempt to generate a complete list of personal failureThat would be quite impossible
  • In my case: be a very crappy software developerGenerally: Might it be that too many of us are too untechnical?
  • I find it astonishing that I have met people who spoke about developers in such a respectless fashion and with complete ignorance of the difficulty or complexity of their job. I am guilty of that in my previous job at a medical device company – I alienated many people by being disrespectful
  • We testers are angels and everybody else (product owners, developers, managers in general) are idiots
  • For those of you who have participated at BBST Bug Advocacy know that not every bug is worth fighting for
  • Well, in this case – bad choice
  • Incompetence – e.g. if you are not a programmer, you will fail at attempting to set up an automation suiteLack of priority – if you spend all your time on Twitter, your ability to learn new things will be limitedFear – Who has ever been on a hot seat in the RST class?Motivation/Procrastination – This is a major driver – at least for me to failUnderestimating effort – Here you will run out of time and maybe it also touches your motivationHalluzination – You think you can do something but it isn’t soAnd then of course we can never fully single out the Zombie ApocalypseSo, it is there for the sake of completeness
  • Now, I am referring here to corporations in general, not the ones with a high percentage of skilled testers and a sound strategy, e.g. ;Moolya Testing or House of Testor even worse: live in the illusion of knowing what it is -> I often observed that with Dev Managers
  • How many of you let people actually test during the interview process?
  • Again, this is a pest especially in Europe-> Some major banks or big insurance companies insist on it-> The hiring process has been hijacked by incompetent HR people
  • Absence of evidence != Evidence of absence
  • I fail to come up with more reasons, maybe you guys can help me out
  • And now we come to the area I have most passion for
  • There are about 300 to max 1000 testers, who consider themselves skilled context-driven testersCompare that to the hundreds of thousands of test case executing drones
  • What evidence to we have when we say: He or She is a good tester?
  • This goes a bit in the same line. We often appear to take A as evidence for B
  • Let’s not fail where it is important
  • Utter failures and lessons remained unlearned

    1. 1. Utter Failures and Lessons Remained Unlearned
    2. 2. Who am I?
    3. 3. Ilari Henrik Aegerter Manager Quality Engineering Europe @
    4. 4. Ilari Henrik Aegerter President of www.commonsensetesting.org
    5. 5. What is failure?
    6. 6. fiasco, debacle, catastrophe, di saster, flop, washout, dead loss, snafu, loser, underachiev er, crash, collapse, bomb, aban don, betray
    7. 7. photo credit: http://j.mp/13v6qvW
    8. 8. The Happy Path
    9. 9. 1. Do (or don’t do) something 2. It becomes a huge success 3. The Nobel prize committee is on the phone for you
    10. 10. Is that how things usually happen? photo credit: http://j.mp/16EcmNI
    11. 11. Who here has ever failed?
    12. 12. It is (sometimes) ok to fail
    13. 13. “The best way to recover from failure is to learn from it” - Pradeep Soundararajan, during today’s coffee break
    14. 14. Paths of failures
    15. 15. The thing you do satisfies your own (or somebody else’s) criteria for success to some degree
    16. 16. fail fail
    17. 17. fail
    18. 18. Personal vs. Corporate vs. Community Failures
    19. 19. Personal Failures
    20. 20. Not to learn something that would be helpful for the job
    21. 21. Not to work on relationships
    22. 22. Cultivate an “us vs. them” mindset
    23. 23. Be a pedantic asshole
    24. 24. Personal Failures Possible Reasons
    25. 25. photo credit: http://j.mp/18tVs83
    26. 26. Incompetence Lack of priority (NOT time) Fear Motivation/Procrastination Underestimating effort Halluzination Zombie Apocalypse
    27. 27. Corporate Failures
    28. 28. Not to develop an understanding of what software testing is and what it isn’t
    29. 29. Systematically hire the wrong people
    30. 30. Rely on ridiculously useless certifications
    31. 31. Over-reliance on secondary work products (Absence of evidence != Evidence of absence)
    32. 32. Corporate Failures Possible Reasons
    33. 33. Maybe we don’t speak up No relationship to C-levels Few testers are managers Zombie Apocalypse
    34. 34. Community Failures
    35. 35. Overestimate our importance
    36. 36. Peer certification without concrete evidence
    37. 37. Not every good puzzle solver is a good tester
    38. 38. Not to build relationships to C-level decision makers
    39. 39. Allow worthless certification scheme dealers as sponsors of some of our conferences
    40. 40. Community Failures Possible Reasons
    41. 41. Lack of leadership Halluzination Wrong concept of “evidence” Lack of sufficient lobbying Zombie Apocalypse
    42. 42. The questions that bother me most
    43. 43. 1. How can we effectively influence decision makers to a) develop a sound understanding of testing and b) hire testers accordingly?
    44. 44. 2. How do we massively grow this community to become the reference of how excellent testing is done
    45. 45. alright
    46. 46. photo credit:
    47. 47. Thank You!
    48. 48. Imagecredit:http://j.mp/LkUoLC Open Season www.ilari.com myself@ilari.com @ilarihenrik
    49. 49. photo credit:
    50. 50. TEXT

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