CopenhagenContext 2015: Program – Program in Sched® – Registration
Test Cases are Not Testing: Toward a Performance Culture [K01]
Keynote with James Bach, Satisfice Inc. (US)
Testing means evaluating a product by learning about it through experimentation. This is a dynamic, exploratory process. Although we might script parts of it, and even reduce some of it to programmatic fact checks, testing itself is a live performance. In fact, all technical work is a live performance. Programming, managing, designing…it’s all a performance. Meanwhile, for many years, some managers have dreamed of making technical work into a factory activity. That would require thinking of testing, for instance, as being encoded in artefacts such as “test cases.” The primary aim of that effort is to turn testing into a commodity and to devalue testers. To fight back we need to become better at explaining “performance culture” and better at arguing for what can and cannot be done with a script.
James Bach (consulting software tester and Buccaneer-Scholar) is an acclaimed innovator and coach in the field of software testing. After spending a few years as a video game programmer, in 1987 he became the youngest manager at Apple Computer when, at 20, he was hired to run a test team. He has been a tester ever since. He spent about ten years managing testing in Silicon Valley, but for the last fifteen years, he has traveled the world testing the Rapid Software Testing (RST) methodology and serving as an expert witness on court cases involving software testing.
James is the author of two books, Lessons Learned in Software Testing and Secrets of a Buccaneer-Scholar. His special focus is helping companies make the transition from “factory-style” testing (which ignores the role of human ingenuity and motivation) to systematic skilled software testing whereby each tester takes professional development seriously. He is a founder of the influential Context-Driven school of testing and a charter member of both the Association for Software Testing as well as the International Society for Software Testing.
See also James’ full day Tutorial “Review by Testing: Analyzing a Specification by Testing the Product” [U01]
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