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July 2016 Newsletter
 
My photoWelcome to my second e-newsletter and thank you for all your comments and support for the new format of my newsletter.  

In this edition of the newsletter:
* a report on Nordic Testing Days 2016
* more people who have received the recognition plaques
* the content of the new ASTQB Mobile Tester course
* some new topics I am preparing for 60 minute talks

It is fast approaching holiday season, so I would like to wish you all a happy holiday - wherever you decide to go and if you do have one of my bags then please do send me photos of yourself with the bag at your holiday destination 
 Nordic Testing Days 2016
 
I was privileged to be speaking at this year's Nordic Testing Days conference (1st to 3rd June). The conference was well attended by delegates from many parts of Europe. The conference was held in the beautiful city of Tallinn and the weather was amazing. I presented a tutorial and keynote and was able to attend many other tracks and keynotes from a wide variety of experts. I was really impressed with the keynote from Mikko Hypponen from Finland on the "State of the Net". I also attended excellent track sessions from Abby Bangster on " Collaboration, not just co-location" and Széll Szilard from Hungary entitled "Bug Hunting in Practice at Nokia". The conference was really well organised by the NTD team and it seemed to go smoothly without any problems. The hospitality they gave to the speakers was fantastic with a dinner/entertainment evening on the first evening and a party on the second evening. Well done to all at NTD - a job well done!
Congratulations to Maili Markvardt 
 
It seems fitting to congratulate Maili Markvardt from Tallinn, Estonia as the first and only person in Estonia who has achieved all of the ISTQB qualifications:
  • ISTQB Foundation
  • ISTQB Agile Tester
  • ISTQB Advanced Test Manager
  • ISTQB Advanced Test Analyst
  • ISTQB Advanced Technical Test Analyst
This is a great achievement and one that you (and Estonia) should be proud of. Well done Maili 
Content of the new ASTQB Mobile Tester qualification 
 
There has been a lot of interest in the new ASTQB Mobile Tester qualification, so I thought I would explain a little about this qualification and its relationship to ISTQB.

ASTQB is the American Software Testing Qualification Board and is one of very many member boards that make up ISTQB. There are other Mobile Tester qualifications currently available and I know that ISTQB will be looking to either adopt one or create its own (personally I think the adoption route will be a much faster option for them).

Having looked at the ASTQB Mobile Tester Syllabus, it is extremely similar to the format of all the other ISTQB syllabi and it would certainly not take ISTQB much to adopt this as their own. I also like the fact that this syllabus and sample exam paper are readily available for training providers to use. The BCS (British Computer Society) have decided to adopt this qualification and offer the exams. I have decided to also provide this qualification as part of my portfolio. The pre-requisites to take this exam is the same as the Agile Tester - Foundation Extension, you must hold the ISTQB Foundation qualification. The exam is 40 questions which will take 1 hour to complete (an extra 15 minutes provided to non-english speaking candidates). 

The content of the qualification is as follows:
  • Section 1: Introduction to Mobile Testing
  • Section 2: Test Planning and Design for Mobile Testing
  • Section 3: Quality Characteristics for Mobile Testing
  • Section 4: Environment and Tools for Mobile Testing
  • Section 5: Future-Proofing
I am pretty sure that my course will be 2-days with the exam on the third day. If you would like to know more about this qualification then please contact me at my email address: Lloyd@lloydroden.com
New presentations available
 
I would like to let you know that I am working on a number of new presentations to add to my portfolio:

The Reality Distortion Field of Testing
The Reality Distortion Field (RDF) was a term coined by Bud Tribble at Apple Computers in 1981 to describe Steve Job's charisma and its effect on the developers working on the Macintosh project. The RDF was said to be Steve Job's ability to convince himself and others to believe almost anything with a mix of charm, charisma, bravado, marketing, appeasement and persistence. RDF is said to distort an audience's sense of proportion and scales of difficulties and make them believe that the task in hand is possible.
When  it comes to testing we have this RDF all around us from managers to so called "experts" saying things like:
  • We can and should automate everything
  • We can be much more effective and productive when we work on multiple projects
  • We need to provide lots of evidence to demonstrate the thoroughness of our testing
  • Testers need to become developers 
  • There is a need for good test estimates
If we say things for long enough and with enough passion we convince ourselves, and other people will eventually start to believe us even when indicators prove differently. There is a thin dividing line between "having a vision" and "being deluded", "convincing others" and "conning others". Hopefully this session will challenge what we believe to be right for us, to be able to think for ourselves and to be able to discern what is needed for us to be successful.

How to become a Jedi Tester
A Jedi Tester is a Force-sensitive individual tester who is not bound by traditional scripted tests but uses intellect, experience and knowledge to test systems. A Jedi Tester will subvert practices whenever possible and will become more and more proficient, efficient and effective in testing. A Jedi Tester will not be constrained by Obi-One-Technique and will constantly challenge the evil Daft-Deadline.

Becoming a Jedi Tester requires apprenticeship training from other Jedi Testers. Apprenticeships happen throughout society particularly where skilled craftsmen/craftswomen are required. So why does it seldom happen within the IT industry? Could it be that we sub-consciously believe that anyone can test or develop software? Is it that we don’t treat “testing” as an art or skill? Or is it that we become far too busy on projects and feel it would be detrimental to the success of the project to train testers/developers in this way? 

I shall be sharing my experiences where apprentice training has worked for me and how we can easily bring this powerful technique back into our vocabulary and how we can train our young Padawans encouraging them to master the skills to become Jedi Testing Knights. 


Lies, Damned Lies and Statistics - the problem with management
Lies, damned lies, and statistics is a phrase used by the 19th-century British Prime Minister to describe the persuasive power of numbers, particularly the use of statistics to bolster weak arguments. 

So the question is: "do we do this on our projects?" My belief is that we do and it's particularly prevalent in managers trying to prove things with the use of data without understanding the significance of the data. Not that managers intend to mislead but their infatuation with gathering data and wrongly interpreting that data can be at best wasted time and at worse the root of poor decisions being made.

I will demonstrate how data can be misleading, badly interpreted and in some instances absolutely wrong. I will show how the same set of data can be used to present arguments from opposite sides and why managers wanting lots of data and information can be so damaging to the success of projects. 

I think we have the right to challenge data/information that is being required by managers such as:
  • Test estimates - we are always being asked for how much time is required for testing, but really is this needed when we all know that the deadline is the most important aspect?
  • The number of test cases being run - quantity is often quoted without knowing the quality
  • The amount of defects being raised without understanding the true quality level of the system
  • The hours being worked by staff without knowing the true productivity level of the staff
If you are interested in any of these (or any of my other presentations) for breakfast seminars, conferences or company events, then please contact me at Lloyd@lloydroden.com
 
 
 
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