The Buzz On Testing

We’re witnessing a revolution my dear comrades. The tide is turning on drone testing  The word is out. Skill Matters!

Classes such as Rapid Software Testing (developed by James Bach and Michael Bolton), Just in Time (Rob Sabourin) and Elizabeth Hendrikson Exploratory Testing classes are becoming more popular.  They say “Test is Dead” but I say “Bad Test is Dead”.  Hurrah!

Slowly the realisation that tester’s need skills as such as bug recognition, critical thinking, the art of questioning, influencing and developing strategies to help them effectively test software.

I have a theory that the majority of tester training has been focused on process and documentation because its easy to teach that way. Instead of having to working on skill you simply point to a structure and say “follow that”.

Its much more challenging to develop a tester’s skill.

Skilled people earn respect and rightly so. We admire a skilled musician – even if the music doesn’t appeal to us. Developing skill is hard work. It’s the accumulation of understanding, practice and application. This takes time and effort.

As someone who has worked in the industry for twenty years, I know how hard it can be to allocate time for training. We’re deadline orientated and rightly, a Test Manager’s goal is to complete ‘good enough’ testing with the time and resources available.

Coaching is the antidote to this. It allows the tester breathing space to reflect and work on their skill.

The coaching I perform focuses on developing skill through understanding & practice. It takes into account the testers skill base, context, aspirations and the challenges a tester is facing in their current work.

As opposed to arbitrary training, coaching complements a working environment, and often the problems worked on are those that exist at work.

In conjunction with James Bach, I’ve developed systematic approach to coaching a tester’s skill. This approach is a result of coaching hundreds of students, evaluating transcripts and refining the coaching model.

It’s this model that I will be teaching in my workshops on coaching testers. I’ll be holding a workshop in London on the 4th May, and one in Sydney on the 29th May (with James Bach).

Come and join me!