Come join the Context Banquet

We are setting up Dansk Workshop on Exploratory Testing (again) inviting testing people to join the banquet. We all test the software, the hardware, the context, the project, the environment the performance, – to give the decision makers information. We need testing people to have all kinds of backgrounds

| This is what the C-D-T is about |  Also know as the exploratory testing and the muh muh |  further more know as a jam |

Let me tell out about the invitation to the Context Driven banquet in another way: There once was this man who had a great fortune and many talents – and wanted to celebrate. They walked to their friends to invite them to come for the fiesta. One friend just landed a new job – but they where not yet as equal as the others. Another just had a new minivan, and had to test drive it (pun intended). But there where room for more at the banquet – so the invitation is sent to the insecure, to the un-educated, to the start-ups and the emerging thinkers, to the bloggers and the twitters, the black swans, the unicorns and the dancing monkeys….

In a star team – the team gets the stars

If praise, recognition, promotions always come to a few staff members – the usual suspects – you have a hero culture. You have a hero culture – even though you might think you have a team culture. You can call it a star team all you want, if not the team gets the stars but the heroes, you are not walking the talk. Would you build a software relying on only a few persons? “He got hit by a tram” – is a true story, and it is happening again in software projects.  If you only give credit to those that pull out the big fires, you will nurture big fires. You get what you reward….

I did not open it to build it
Something silly

Sure, recognize the stars – but spread the goodwill. Even heroes needs help. Make every team member feel that they contributed. Try when you lead to reach out to everybody over the course of the project/months days. Recognize them all and say thank you.

Once I was a leader at a children summer camp. Every evening we would make a mentioning of the fun stories of the day. Obviously some of the kids where more “fun” than the others, but we kept a rooster to make sure all were mentioned – perhaps just with a little thing. It meant a lot to be mentioned, even for something silly…

Keith Klain put’s it this way in The Testing Planet 10 – Leadership issue: “Leadership in Testing – What really Matters”:  I want my team to take ALL the credit because they are the ones doing all the work!  I would rephrase this to: I want to praise the teams I help succeed, but I also need to know that I am part of the team that get’s the praise ;-).  

Strip me of all my power, my titles, my roles – and hand them to those that need it to have the courage to stand up, or that needs it to grow. I know I stand on the shoulders of software testing giants (like Keith), I may not reach high compared to them – but I can still lift someone else up, so that we together reach even further. We all have to start somewhere…

more on

The problem with processes

I have designed corporate telco testing processes, I have taylored CMMI5 certified processes, I have studied at practiced context driven testing. Yet – the more I learn, the more it seems:

You can follow some of the processes all of the time,

and all of the processes some of the time

– but you cannot follow all the processes all of the time.

the processes are more what you’d call “guidelines” 

A Rumsfeld Rectangle for test strategies

Donald Rumsfeld is famous (to me) for talking about the known knowns [1]. It was in 2002 where they talked about the absence of evidence on mass destruction weapons in Iraq. Add to that the angle of the unknown known, and I can call it the “Rumsfeld Rectangle“.

You could apply it in test strategy setting like this:

Rumsfeld Rectangle:

What do the stakeholders want from this test activity?

What do they Know

they want to Know

What do they Don’t Know

they want to Know

What do they Know

they Don’t want to Know

What do they Don’t Know

they Don’t want to Know

I have used the Rumsfeld Rectangle previously in The unknown unknown unexpressed expectations and How to spot defects. The tricky problems are (as always) in the areas of “there are things we do not know we don’t know” spot – as for Rumsfeld. Combing the desert showed the absence, not the presence of weapons (to rephrase Dijkstra [2]).

I – equally ignorant – do not believe [that I know anything] [3]

1: [ There are known knowns United States Secretary of Defense, Donald Rumsfeld |

[T]here are known knowns; there are things we know that we know.There are known unknowns; that is to say there are things that, we now know we don’t know.But there are also unknown unknowns – there are things we do not know we don’t know.”

2: Dijkstra 1969: Testing shows the presence, not the absence of bugs

3: Piet Hein Seriously joking or joking seriously

Conferences are like onions

Conferences are like onions, .. and ogres – they have layers: your coworkers, your former coworkers, speakers, vendors, competitors… relations. The best way to see the various layers is through twitter, or Xiive.

Tagging the tweets #gotoaar makes it possible for others preparing for the conference to look into – what are people looking forward to, who is stranded/delayed.  People in the tracks and at the keynote typed what they wanted to say, but couldn’t in the forum. Some did a rapid blogging summary of the track session and provided the link to the blog on twitter. It was like a “Back channel” to the session, you could be in one track and follow the “gold nuggets” – and occasional outcry – of the others.

First thing is to see the layers – the next thing to do is to network.

See also: Rob Lamberts guide to EuroStar, Making the most of the conference experience Eurostar
2012 – People
 (Twitter pictures differs significantly from faces in real life.)

See also: It’s a matter of finding the pieces that make the pictureWhat you have learned becomes irrelevant,  If In Doubt – Learn!

[Disclaimer: I had press access to GOTO-Arhus2012 on behalf on GOTOCON]

Pirat 8 års fødselsdag

… eller “5 opgaver på turen til Sørøverkongens Jonatans Skat”. Inspireret af Jack Sparrow, Münchaussen og “Sørøverkongen Jonatan” af af Linda Vilhelmsen

Post 1: Fiske i piraternes havn (indkørslen)
Jonatan engang pralede med at han kunne fange 100 fisk på 10 minutter. Drengene blev delt i to og skulle fiske i fiskespil som en stafet. Hen til en blå IKEA-pose og fiske en fisk, og så tilbage til den næste.  Lidt frisk blæseevjr hjælper på stemningen, men ikke på hvor nemt det er.

Post 2: Spise reb på galgebakken (legeplads)
Jonatan blev fanget af soldaterne på fortet – og de ville hænge ham. For at redde sig selv spiste han rebet og slap væk. Stående på legepladsens lave træhegn skal drengene skal spise karamelsnørrer, med hænderne på ryggen.

Post 3: Krokodillehavet (højt græs)
“Alle mine kyllinger kom hjem” omsat til “Alle mine pirater kom hjem”. Sørøver kaptajn står på den ene ende af græsset og råber “Alle mine pirater kom hjem”. De andre løber hen til ham, bliver de fanget af krokodillerne – bliver de en krokodille selv.

Post 4: Kanonfortet (legehus)
Jonatan blev igen fanget af soldaterne, og slap kun væk ved at sætte sig på en kanonkugle og flyve væk fra fortet. Drengene bliver delt i to hold, hvert hold får en sort ballon (kanonkugle). Der løbes stafet over et kort stykke, hvor kanonkuglen holdes på måsen.

Post 5: Kviksand (sandkassen)
Sørøverkongen sejlede ind i noget kviksand – han kunne ikke gøre noget, og måtte hive sig selv op med håret. Han reddede sig i land, mens skib og skat gik ned…. hvor mon skatten var begravet?

Perfects in testing

…and how all the letters in UAT is gone.

One of the evenings of the EuroStar 2010 a conference within the conference took place. This night, which went by many names (“Rebel Alliance”, “Oprørsalliancen”, “Danish Alliance”), was an informal meeting of friends. As was done at StarEast, it was “a mini conference after the conference, with beer”. We had there very special people and some famous names from the software testing world, and we spent the night talking testing, debating testing, listening to lightning talks on testing, playing games and debating some more. For me it was the best conference party ever.

“Jesper explains how their team uses visual artifacts to keep morale up, and how these relates to looking for “Perfects”.


See also: