THESE ARE CRAZY, CRAZY, CRAZY NIGHTS

Let's Test 2016

Join us for our 5 year celebration! We’ll be kicking off the 5th annual Let’s Test conference at Runö Conference Center just outside of Stockholm on May 23-25th, 2016.

Click the Keynotes and Sessions & Workshop links in the left hand menu to get an idea of the workshops we’ve got planned so far for Let’s Test 2016. Or click here to download the full program (pdf).

Let’s Test 2016 will takes place between May 23rd-25th 2016 at Runö Conference Center in Stockholm, Sweden. The all-inclusive price for the conference is SEK 16000 + VAT. That will give you access to the entire conference, as well as pay for all meals (breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks in between meals) as well as give you two nights stay at the venue hotel. That’s value for money!

Registration

Registrations for this event is currently closed. Are you looking for the registration page for Let’s Test South Africa, then click here.

Keynotes

Testing Lessons from Delivery Room Triage – Rob Sabourin & Anne DeSimone

Bug triage, like labor and delivery triage, is about deciding on a course of action on the spot, often with minimal information to guide decision-making. The four basic steps of labor and delivery triage apply directly to testing-preliminary assessment, interview, exploration and observation, and taking action. In testing, preliminary assessment triggers immediate action before any bug review meetings or further testing. Interview exposes important contextual information. And, just as exploration helps medical professionals better understand a patient’s condition, software testers use exploratory testing to better understand a bug. In labor triage, taking action could involve the mother being admitted, sent home, or tested further. In software testing, bug priority decisions guide bug fix decisions. Join Rob Sabourin, a software engineer, and his wife Anne Sabourin, a nurse, to explore case studies from labor/delivery and software testing triage and learn new ways to immediately improve your testing practices.

Robert is the author of I am a Bug!, the popular software testing children’s book; an adjunct professor of software engineering at McGill University; and the principle consultant (and president/janitor) of AmiBug.Com, Inc. Contact Robert at rsabourin@amibug.com.

Anne pioneered telephone support for expectant parents in Quebec when she hosted Info Grossess, which was the two-year pilot project leading to the current Info Santé system in Quebec.
When Anne is not working or taking care of her three teenage children, she enjoys painting, cooking, and gardening. Contact Anne at anne@theheart2heart.com.

Gaining consciousness – Fiona Charles

How do we draw a line in our decision making process between trained intuition and careless assumption?

Sometimes, an expert medical doctor makes a dazzlingly accurate diagnosis in a complex case that baffles other physicians, yet cannot explain how she knows what ails the patient. In other cases, a doctor with similar or greater expertise might miss the diagnostic mark entirely.

It’s natural and human for a skilled practitioner to make some decisions purely on instinct. We have trained our instincts through increasing experience and craft. But if we fool ourselves into believing that we can operate on instinct alone, we can lapse into a state like unconsciousness, as if we were walking in our sleep.

To avoid the rigid mindset of sleepwalkers and the potentially terrible mistakes that could result, testers have to question everything. We especially have to question our own assumptions.

Let’s explore some ways we can do that.

Fiona Charles teaches organizations to manage their software testing risk, and IT practitioners project skills “beyond process”—hands-on practical skills essential to thrive and excel on any kind of software project. An expert test consultant and manager, she has been in the thick of the action through 30+ years of challenging projects across the business spectrum on both sides of the Atlantic. Throughout her career, Fiona has advocated, designed, implemented and taught pragmatic and humane practices to deliver software worth having. Fiona’s articles and blog posts appear frequently, and she conducts experiential workshops at international conferences, and in-house for clients. Contact Fiona via her website www.quality-intelligence.com, and follow her on twitter @FionaCCharles.

Sessions & Workshops

Here you will find descriptions of all the sessions and workshops you can expect to encounter at Let’s Test 2016. Come join us!

Board Games For Testers – Andreas Cederholm (SWE) & Christopher Lebond (SWE)
Learning frenzy – Björn Kinell (SWE)
You Have to Fail in Order to Practice Being Brave – Bolette Stubbe Teglbjærg & Andreas Cederholm (DK/SWE)
Yggdrasill and Mímisbrunnr – Carsten Feilbetarg (DK)
Context-driven Hopes & Dreams – Chris Blain (USA)
Task Analysis and the Critical Incident Method – Discovering what matters – Rob Sabourin (CA) & Chris Blain (USA)
How precious is the software? – Christopher Lebond (SWE)
Dan & Patrick’s Testers Playground – Daniel Billing (UK) & Patrick Prill (GER)
The Human Factor – Exploring Social Engineering – Daniel Billing (UK)
Improv(e) Your Testing: Tips & Tricks from Jester to Tester – Damian Synadinos (USA)
Yoga for Testers – Dawn Haynes (USA)
Get Your Reiki On – Dawn Haynes (USA)
The Test Strategy Game – Fiona Charles (CA)
So, You Want To Be a Consultant? – Fiona Charles (CA)
Speakers’ Corner – Fiona Charles (CA) & Carsten Feilberg (DK)
Learning to Say No – Fiona Charles (CA)
The Empire Tests First – Making a Star Wars Movie – Gil Zilberfeld (IL)
Testers’ Speed Dating – Are You Ready to Get Matched Up – Helena Jeret-Mäe & Erik Brickarp (EST/SWE)
Transpection Tuesday – Helena Jeret-Mäe & Erik Brickarp (EST/SWE)
Enlightened Testing Walks for Löyly in the Sauna – Ilari Henrik Aegerter (CHE)
The Mob Job – Janco Wolmarans & Oz Chihwayi (SA)
An Introduction to Flow – Janco Wolmarans & Oz Chihwayi (SA)
Vim for Testers – Janco Wolmarans & Oz Chihwayi (SA)
A Many-Faceted Path in Testing Leadership: From Downtrodden to Dictator, from Doctor to Diplomat – Jason Reese (USA)
Come Find Your Flow – Jason Reese (USA) & Louise Perold (SA)
Deliberate discovery and unconscious assumptions – Unlocking the path to intentional learning – Joanne Perold (SA)
Testing, Wine, and Food: A Demonstration of Our Favorite Things Being Related to Each Other. – Joanne Perold & Louise Perold (SA)
Pretending, playing, LARPing and testing – Katrine Kavli (DK)
A Man Overboard! – Kristjan Uba & Huib Schoots & Richard Bradshaw (EE/NL/UK)
Battle Royal : Automation vs Exploration – Kristjan Uba & Huib Schoots & Richard Bradshaw (EE/NL/UK)
Potato gun challenge – Lars Sjödahl (SWE)
Time to Think – Transforming the way you listen and think – Louise Perold (SA)
Understanding and Testing RESTful Web Services – Mark Winteringham (UK)
So… you wanna be a teSTAR? – Martin Hynie & Richard Bradshaw (CA/UK)
Context Eats Process For Breakfast – Patrick Prill (GER)
I’m not a programmer, but I can lead one – Rob Bowyer (CA)
How Do We Reach the Congregation When We’re Preaching to the Choir? – Rob Bowyer & Martin Hynie (CA)
The Only Thing it Really Depends on is Money – Scott Barber (USA)
Tinkering with Arduino & Python – Lars Sjödahl (SWE)
Lean Coffee on Training and Mentoring Testers – Megan Studzenski (USA) & Damian Synadinos (USA)
The Art of Picking Your battles – Nicola Owen (NZ/SWE) [Speak Easy]
Testing When The World Is Watching – Elisabeth Zagroba (USA) [Speak Easy]

Learning frenzy – Björn Kinell (SWE)

I want to tell you my story of a journey were anything seems possible despite low self-esteem, complex personal characteristics and previous history of difficulty learning. I intend to do this by brutal honesty, real life events and humor.

This is not one of those shallow presentations about learning that tells you to start blogging. Our minds are unique and complex so the subject should be treated with that in mind and focus on the complexity.

How we behave and perform as testers are deeply affected by our personal characteristics. They create limitations for how we live our lives, for the way we test and for the way we learn. To be aware of them is the first step. Understanding how they affect you as a tester is the second. Training yourself the third and breaking them the final step.

My intention is to inspire. I want you to start looking for answers inside yourself rather than outside. The boundaries you will find are your own creation.

I want you to leave my talk with a burning desire to break those boundaries!

Björn is a consultant at B3IT Örebro and currently works as a software testing teacher. He has held presentations about learning before for local test organizations such as SAST Karlstad and SAST Örebro.

You Have to Fail in Order to Practice Being Brave – Bolette Stubbe Teglbjærg & Andreas Cederholm (DK/SWE)

You are capable of much more than you think, but it doesn’t come for free. It takes courage, practice and knowledge of various disciplines in order to reach all that you are capable of.

With continued practice and training you become better at your trade, building confidence as you go. This is exactly what we want to prove throughout the workshop​. Participants will engage in activities they never thought possible, or didn’t even dream they could do! In this workshop, participants will need to cliff dive into the task, with the mindset that ‘anything is possible’ if we do more than ‘just try’. Failure is inevitable, but not permanent. We will try and try again until we succeed.

More specifically these activities will show strong parallels between Crossfit and Testing.​Using physical exercise / Crossfit training as a physical metaphor to explain how you can convert your training into knowledge that can help you with your testing.

The Practical
We will facilitate a WOD (Workout of the Day) session in which we will show the parallels between Crossfit and testing. By exercising and gradually improving, you become stronger not just physically but mentally as well. Confidence will begin to shine from the glistening sweat on your hard-working back! In light of learning something new, we will have an intro which will be used to get comfortable with the equipment. This will be followed by a more challenging program to engage you and push them to the limit.

Bolette is a wonderful tester, attacking testing problems with courage, wits and a profound knowledge about testing from both practical experience and a strong theoretical basis. She is very likable and easily becomes a highly valued part of any team she engages with, probably because she is truly caring for her fellow human beings and put a lot of importance into being present, curious and serious – spicing up with her deeply rooted humour and contagious laughter. She simply makes up good company and spread calmness and fun. Bolette works as a consultant at House of Test in Denmark.

Andreas Cederholm is a member of the context-driven community and work as a consultant with House of Test. He is passionate about testing and have worked with it for more than 7 years. Time not spent on reading/writing/talking about test is spent on his other joy in life which is Crossfit.

Yggdrasill and Mímisbrunnr – Carsten Feilberg (DK)

Ever heard the phrase that conferences are for conferring, but missing a place to have the actual discussions? Look no longer: honouring the old Scandinavian mythology and legacy, Yggdrasill and Mímisbrunnr will be found around Runö.

Ask Yggdrasill is the tree of life, a stout tree that will survive even Ragnarok and afterwards let new life spawn from it. It’s a backbone if there ever was one. It’s roots extend widely and its base covers interestingly the well of fate, the well where the Nidhogg monster tries to defy life itself by gnawing at the very roots of Yggrasill and of course Mímisbrunnr, commonly known as Mimer’s well of wisdom. 

At LetsTest 2016 Mímisbrunnr is an ongoing discussion taking place in a circle of 5 chairs where anyone can take a seat to be part of the discussion, but one seat must always be free to keep the discussion vibrant and avoid someone hogs all the talking time. You are welcome to just hang around and listen, but I might invite you to take part. A facilitator will be close by to make sure it all happens in good order and noone looses their body, as Mímer himself did.

To drive discussions I will collect subjects from the other wells under Yggdrasill and throw them in whenever needed:
  • Urdabrunnr, the well of fate – where are we going, how are we going to get there?
  • Hvergelmir, the “roaring kettle”, where Nidhogg resides – what are the enemies of testing, what will bring testing down – what threatens us and our craft?
I might stop you anywhere at the conference, and ask you such questions – and even invite you to ignite a discussion. I might also invite speakers in to further investigate subjects they feel passionate about. And everyone is welcome to take part. As long as one seat is free we all have an opportunity to step in. This is where we go deep. So stand up for what you believe in, show up and let’s dwell on each others wisdom.
Some of the collected wisdom will be distributed on twitter – follow @LTmimirsbrunnr to get updates of both subjects kicking off and the conclusions and wise remarks being uttered. But remember, to get it all you have to be there.
Carsten Feilberg has been testing and managing testing for more than 13 years, working on various projects covering the fields of insurance, pensions, public administration, retail and other back office systems as well as a couple of websites. With more than 19 years as a consultant in IT his experience ranges from one-person do-it-all projects to being delivery and test manager on a 70+ system migration project involving almost 100 persons. He is also a well known blogger and presenter on conferences and a strong advocate for context-driven testing. He is living and working in Denmark as a consultant at the danish branch of swedish based House of Test.

Context-driven Hopes & Dreams – Chris Blain (USA)

This presentation will examine context-driven testing adoption from the point of view of an organization which has big hopes for how it can transform their software development process. While the benefits used to promote CDT are well known, what organizations might privately desire from this change are less well known. Based on experience reports of such transitions, the presentation will offer a view into what stakeholders throughout software teams hope to gain, but might not tell a coach or consultant.

Task Analysis and the Critical Incident Method – Discovering what matters – Rob Sabourin (CA) & Chris Blain (USA)

Task analysis can help testers understand what testing is and what testers really do. What is testing? Can we break it down into work elements or tasks requiring specific skills which can be taught, demonstrated, and improved? What skills does your team need to implement excellent testing?

Task analysis can help us understand which methods to encourage, which to improve, and which to discourage.

Task analysis can help us learn what teams do and the real contributions of individual testers.

Rob Sabourin and Chris Blain share their experiences applying task analysis using the critical incident method to better understand processes and determine needs and desired solutions. Examples demonstrate how task analysis has been used to capture critical testing activities and the skills required to succeed. The critical incident task analysis method is a fast and systematic way to study how people get things done. The method has been used in identifying the strengths and weakness of applied context driven testing in several organizations. From brilliant successes and dismal failures we learn to identify and understand the testing process.

Delegates will have a chance to implement the critical incident task analysis approach through a series of group activities.

Results will be compared and contrasted between teams and then Rob and Chris will share their own “teachers edition” responses.

How precious is the software? – Christopher Lebond (SWE)

Quality is sometimes hard to get a grip on. Where are we, what have we done, can I feel confident using what we have produced? These and many more are typical questions asked daily in software development. Qlik had the same problem answering these, with thousands of automated checks, tiers of manual testing and many stakeholders we needed to do something. Thus we introduced the Metal Level concept. The concept is build promotion overlaid with an analogy that anyone can understand, metals and their value. As more activities against a software build are successful, the more precious the metal tag the software build is given, going from Tin to Iron to Silver. For each metal tag each stakeholder knows the expected frequency for reaching that level, which activities were conducted, the target consumer and the appropriate feedback channel. Finally, when the software doesn’t make its intended Metal Level, we stop the shop and figure out why! With the Metal Levels it’s easy to communicate status and align expectations.

Christopher Lebond is a Software Architect who has spent most of his career focusing on Quality. Originally from England, Christopher’s career began in contracted web development based on SQL and ASP. After moving to Sweden in the mid 2000’s, Christopher started working for Qlik Technologies in the Quality Assurance department focusing on testing, methodologies and improvements. After many years of formal and informal leadership positions, always with Quality as a focus, Christopher is now working with requirements and release and quality work of Qlik’s product portfolio.

Improv(e) Your Testing: Tips & Tricks from Jester to Tester – Damian Synadinos (USA)

Improvisational comedy—sometimes called improv—is a form of theater in which the performance is created in the moment. Successful improv involves learning and using a variety of skills and techniques which allow performers to quickly adapt to a constantly changing environment and new information. Now reread the previous sentence, but replace the word improv with testing. In many ways, improv is a great analogy for testing. As both an experienced improviser and tester, Damian Synadinos presents some of the many similarities between improv and testing. Each improv tip and trick is thoroughly explained and demonstrated with help from the audience. Damian then shows how the very same idea can be applied in a testing context. Using creative metaphors and critical analysis, old ideas about testing are reframed in novel and notable ways. Whether novice or experienced, you are sure to laugh, learn, and leave with ways to help improv(e) your testing

Damian Synadinos started testing software—on purpose and for money—in 1993. Since then, he has helped build better software and build software better using various methods and tools in numerous roles at many companies in diverse industries. During the past ten years, Damian has focused primarily on teaching and leading testers and improving processes. Currently, he is the enterprise quality lead of metrics and reporting at a large Midwestern bank, helping to answer questions and tell stories about quality with data. In addition to testing, Damian enjoys improv, golf, poker, gaming, acting, cartooning, and spending time with his family.

Yoga for Testers – Dawn Haynes (USA)

Using a library of Yoga poses, I’ll lead a Yoga practice session targeted at many of the physical strains of a testing job. Each pose will be debriefed by explaining the targeted benefits and then extended by providing an example of a tester quality to be focused on and enhanced.
This workshop will take place outside if weather permits.

Dawn Haynes is a Principal Trainer and Testing Consultant for PerfTestPlus. Dawn has more than 29 years of experience supporting, administering, developing and testing software and hardware systems, from small business operations to large corporate enterprises in the high-tech, insurance and healthcare industries. As a highly regarded trainer of software testers, Dawn blends experience with a practical perspective to provide testers of all levels with inspiration and ideas to help them generate new approaches to common and complex software testing problems. Dawn was highlighted as a woman of influence in Software Test and Performance magazine in January 2010, and was honored to share her philosophy of testing with 12 other outstanding international woman in the field. Dawn shares her insights at testing conferences and with testing communities worldwide, and looks forward to collaborating with you in the future, somewhere in Testerland.

Get Your Reiki On – Dawn Haynes (USA)

Reiki is a Japanese technique for stress reduction and relaxation that also promotes healing. It is administered by “laying on hands” and is based on the idea that an unseen “life force energy” flows through us and is what causes us to be alive. If one’s “life force energy” is low, then we are more likely to get sick or feel stress, and if it is high, we are more capable of being happy and healthy.

Does this sound like something you’d like to test? Join Dawn who is an experienced Reiki practitioner for session of curiosity, experimentation and learning and test something other than software for a while.

Dawn Haynes is a Principal Trainer and Testing Consultant for PerfTestPlus. Dawn has more than 29 years of experience supporting, administering, developing and testing software and hardware systems, from small business operations to large corporate enterprises in the high-tech, insurance and healthcare industries. As a highly regarded trainer of software testers, Dawn blends experience with a practical perspective to provide testers of all levels with inspiration and ideas to help them generate new approaches to common and complex software testing problems. Dawn was highlighted as a woman of influence in Software Test and Performance magazine in January 2010, and was honored to share her philosophy of testing with 12 other outstanding international woman in the field. Dawn shares her insights at testing conferences and with testing communities worldwide, and looks forward to collaborating with you in the future, somewhere in Testerland.

The Human Factor – Exploring Social Engineering – Daniel Billing (UK)

Security is and will continue to be a big problem for technologists, and of course testers. Systems and software are complex. They are designed and built by flawed individuals and teams. They may be insecure from the start, either through a lack of knowledge of how to test for security; or even through willful neglect and bad work.

However, it is the human factor of information security that is I feel the biggest concern. We are the biggest flaw in the system, not an unpatched server or poor UI validation. Have you ever held the door open at the office for someone you didn’t know? An IT engineer, a delivery worker, someone random in a suit? Then check out this example where a security consultant posed as an IT engineer for several days at a FTSE listed financial firm: http://www.computerworlduk.com/news/security/how­a­man­used­social­engineering­to­trick­a­ftse­listed­financial­firm­14706/

The Facebook “Dislike” button scams are a great example, where scammers preyed on gullible users, allowing their machines and browsers to be infected with malware and bots. Check out this video from security researcher Graham Cluely for more details: https://grahamcluley.com/2015/09/right­cue­come­facebook­dislike­button­scams/

And then there are the IT support scammers, calling up unsuspecting computer users trying to get them to expose their secrets or part with money. See Troy Hunt deal with one here: http://www.troyhunt.com/2012/02/scamming­scammers­catching­virus­call.html

So, what does this mean for testers? Are we just interested in the technical aspects of security? I’d hope not, as that would be pretty boring. Humans are I believe the main flaw in the security of applications. I feel that testers should be mindful of that, when learning about our customers and about how to test our applications for security

This workshop will explore how social engineering can be used to look at how easy it is to breach systems, through learning, observing, listening, manipulation and gamification! We’ll gather data from our environment, the people around us, files, images, sounds and other sources in order to gain access to our target!

Considering the work of notable social engineers such as Kevin Mitnick, Christopher Hadnagy and others, attendees will attempt to capture the Let’s Test Flag! I think it could be an awesome opportunity to think beyond the technical aspects and deeply at the security flaws in human beings. Let’s see how many potential hackers, con­artists, actors, artists, psychologists and master manipulators we have at Let’s Test!

Key Takeaways:

  • Understand how the human factor plays a major part in the security of your systems, applications and businesses
  • Explore, use and understand a variety of social engineering techniques (legally)
  • Be able to reflect and learn from these issues to create testing ideas and scenarios

Dan​ has been a tester for 15 years, working within a diverse range of development organisations, mostly in the south west of England. He currently works as a test engineer at New Voice Media, where most of his time is spent working on the security testing needs of the business. This includes mentoring, supporting and training members of the team to use these skills also.

Dan’s love of testing drives me to become an active member of the testing community, helping to organise local tester meetups in the Bristol and Bath area. He is also a co­facilitator with Weekend Testing Europe, and also organises the South West Exploratory Workshop in Testing.

Dan lives in Frome, Somerset with his wife Rae, and cat, Misty

The Test Strategy Game – Fiona Charles (CA)

Have you ever designed a board game? Would you like to try?

A few years ago, Fiona Charles and Michael Bolton created a software development board game called Geeks and Adders, and then presented it successfully in a workshop at the AYE conference in Phoenix, Arizona. Three tables played it, and had lots of good things to say about it.

That game needs a little work to bring it up-to-date. But from a tester’s point of view, what it really needs is a companion game for developing a test strategy!

Join with Fiona in this mob design workshop, and have fun together exploring what it takes to develop a playable and enjoyable game.

All of the workshop participants will share the credit for anything good that results!

Fiona Charles is the co-founder (with Anne-Marie Charrett), of Speak Easy, a volunteer organization whose goal is to increase gender diversity and help new speakers find their voices at tech conferences. As a consultant, Fiona teaches organizations to manage their software testing risk, and IT practitioners project skills “beyond process”—hands-on practical skills essential to thrive and excel on any kind of software project. As an expert test consultant and manager, she has been immersed in the action through 30+ years of challenging projects across the business spectrum on both sides of the Atlantic. Throughout her career, Fiona has advocated, designed, implemented and taught pragmatic and humane practices to deliver software worth having. Fiona’s articles and blog posts appear frequently, and she conducts experiential workshops at international conferences, and in-house for clients. Contact Fiona via her website www.quality-intelligence.com, and follow her on twitter @FionaCCharles.

So, You Want To Be a Consultant? – Fiona Charles (CA)

If you’re thinking about becoming a testing consultant, or believe you might want to go in that direction at some point, this session will show you a possible path and can help you decide if it’s the right path for you.

Fiona Charles is the co-founder (with Anne-Marie Charrett), of Speak Easy, a volunteer organization whose goal is to increase gender diversity and help new speakers find their voices at tech conferences. As a consultant, Fiona teaches organizations to manage their software testing risk, and IT practitioners project skills “beyond process”—hands-on practical skills essential to thrive and excel on any kind of software project. As an expert test consultant and manager, she has been immersed in the action through 30+ years of challenging projects across the business spectrum on both sides of the Atlantic. Throughout her career, Fiona has advocated, designed, implemented and taught pragmatic and humane practices to deliver software worth having. Fiona’s articles and blog posts appear frequently, and she conducts experiential workshops at international conferences, and in-house for clients. Contact Fiona via her website www.quality-intelligence.com, and follow her on twitter @FionaCCharles.

Speakers’ Corner – Fiona Charles (CA) & Carsten Feilberg (DK)

This workshop is for anyone who wants to become a better public speaker, whether you’re:

  • A novice who wants to feel more confident making presentations at work
  • A tester with great ideas, but no speaker experience, who wants to start speaking at conferences and local meet-ups
  • An experienced speaker who’d like to add to your presenter’s toolkit

Fiona Charles is the co-founder (with Anne-Marie Charrett), of Speak Easy, a volunteer organization whose goal is to increase gender diversity and help new speakers find their voices at tech conferences. As a consultant, Fiona teaches organizations to manage their software testing risk, and IT practitioners project skills “beyond process”—hands-on practical skills essential to thrive and excel on any kind of software project. As an expert test consultant and manager, she has been immersed in the action through 30+ years of challenging projects across the business spectrum on both sides of the Atlantic. Throughout her career, Fiona has advocated, designed, implemented and taught pragmatic and humane practices to deliver software worth having. Fiona’s articles and blog posts appear frequently, and she conducts experiential workshops at international conferences, and in-house for clients. Contact Fiona via her website www.quality-intelligence.com, and follow her on twitter @FionaCCharles.

Learning to Say No- Fiona Charles (CA)

Although we’d like to be able to say “yes”, there are times when saying “no” serves our projects, our teammates and our stakeholders best.

Testers can be subject to many conflicting or unreasonable demands. A manager may insist we work on several projects simultaneously, making it impossible for us to do good work on any of them. There may be enormous pressure to work long hours, which will jeopardize our health and the quality of our testing. Sometimes we’re expected to commit to something that we don’t know how to do. We can even find ourselves pressured to misrepresent our findings about the quality of the software.

Paradoxically, learning to say a good “no” enhances our ability to say a meaningful “yes”. If we can say “no” appropriately to demands we know to be wrong for us or for the project, then we can also say “yes” with whole-hearted commitment.

Saying “no” is not easy for anyone, but it is a skill that we can learn.

In this tutorial, we’ll explore:

  • Why “no” can be a more positive answer than “yes” in certain contexts
  • How to recognize and resist the many tactics people can use to get us to say “yes”
  • How to say “no” when that is the right answer for us—simply, and with conviction, equilibrium and respect

This half-day tutorial will consist primarily of experiential exercises and debriefs—as many as we have time for. Some volunteer participants will get to practice saying “no” to unreasonable demands. Everyone will have opportunities to observe the interactions, ask questions, discuss, and draw their own conclusions.

This session is intended for testing practitioners and managers at all levels of experience.

Fiona Charles is the co-founder (with Anne-Marie Charrett), of Speak Easy, a volunteer organization whose goal is to increase gender diversity and help new speakers find their voices at tech conferences. As a consultant, Fiona teaches organizations to manage their software testing risk, and IT practitioners project skills “beyond process”—hands-on practical skills essential to thrive and excel on any kind of software project. As an expert test consultant and manager, she has been immersed in the action through 30+ years of challenging projects across the business spectrum on both sides of the Atlantic. Throughout her career, Fiona has advocated, designed, implemented and taught pragmatic and humane practices to deliver software worth having. Fiona’s articles and blog posts appear frequently, and she conducts experiential workshops at international conferences, and in-house for clients. Contact Fiona via her website www.quality-intelligence.com, and follow her on twitter @FionaCCharles.

The Empire Tests First – Making a Star Wars Movie – Gil Zilberfeld (IL)

Obviously, we test after the code has been written. However, specifying requirements using tests, before the code is written has some advantages.

Developers use Test Driven Development for better code, design and focus. There’s no reason why testers won’t use that method as well.

Test-First is a great tool. It creates better understanding and productivity in the team. The result is a high quality product- both in terms of success in finding bugs early and implementing features correctly. It just takes a little practice.

In this workshop, we’ll create our own Star Wars movie using Test First principles. We’ll start from requirements, identify pass/fail criteria, create the movie and refactor it. On the way, we’ll discuss what we’re doing, refine our specs, as well as see what changes in the design tell us.

No need to know how to code. Star Wars knowledge is preferable. The key thing is to understand better how the other side lives. Neither of us is on the Dark Side.

May the Force be with us!

Gil Zilberfeld has been in software since childhood, writing BASIC programs on his trusty Sinclair ZX81. With more than twenty years of developing commercial software, he has vast experience in software methodology and practices.

Gil is a lean consultant, applying agile principles for more than a decade. From automated testing to exploratory testing, design practices to team collaboration, scrum to kanban, and lean startup methods – he’s done it all. He is still learning from his successes and failures.

Gil speaks frequently in international conferences about unit testing, TDD, agile practices and communication. He is the author of “Everyday Unit Testing“, blogs at http://www.gilzilberfeld.com and in his spare time he shoots zombies, for fun.

Testers’ Speed Dating – Are You Ready to Get Matched Up – Helena Jeret-Mäe & Erik Brickarp (EST/SWE)

In the disembarrassment inducing atmosphere of a hurtfully nostalgic classroom with cheesy background music while resting your bum on splinter-friendly chairs, you will have the chance to meet people with similar interests find your testing soulmate through the First Testers’ Speed Dating event at Let’s Test!

Through the strict and polished process of time boxed conversation and a whirlwind of rotating people, we will attempt to achieve high coverage of potential testing soulmate candidates for each participant. There will be Speed Dating Cards that can be trusted not to go blank when your mind does, so you can come up with questions such as “What testing topic makes you burn inside?” and “What is the longest mnemonic you know?”. The facilitators of the workshop will facilitate laughter and fun and enjoyment of the process.

In all seriousness, though, finding a good professional peer in crime in your testing ventures who you can trust, lean on, debate with, and learn from can have an immeasurable impact on the progress of both of you. Think of it as setting up a special personalized study program between two people who will continue tailoring it for the changing needs and goals.

The most serious and significant part will be the reflection on the Speed Dating experience (unless everyone paired up and eloped by this time). We will seek answers to how to have good and deep discussions with your peers, how long could it actually take to develop a great professional partnership, what are the elements and steps to build such a relationship, and what are the true benefits. The facilitators will most humbly share their experiences on this topic and their lessons learned as they have developed their own form of professional peer relationship.

Key takeaways:

  • potential new testing friends (mostly up to the participants’ chemistry)
  • fresh insights into how the participants have built their professional relationships so far and what they could do next (mostly up the participants’ eyesight)
  • tools and weapons for taking the rest of the conference by storm (mostly up to the gear allowed by organizers)

To her own great surprise, Helena Jeret-Mäe became passionate about software testing after stumbling into it via technical writing. She studied and experimented with testing to become a software tester while building, mentoring, and leading a testing and documentation team. In addition to testing, Helena learned a lot about managing and leading, and believes that facilitating and enabling other people to do their best job is one of the most rewarding and also most difficult thing to do. Helena loves to be part of the testing community because of the countless learning opportunities, so she can be found discussing testing in a pub with some testers, at testing conferences, or reading and writing about testing in the corner of her favourite café. She is currently Head of Testing at Nortal where she tries to figure out how to help testers do their best possible job. Helena tweets as @HelenaJ_M and blogs at thepainandgainofedwardbear.wordpress.com.

Erik Brickarp is a consultant working for House of Test, Sweden. He’s currently responsible for a 1½ years software testing education but his commitment to the context-driven community goes way beyond his work. In his spare time he’s an enthusiastic student of testing, mentors other testers, blogs, is active in his local test community and in other ways shares his knowledge about testing. All in all, a passionate test thinker and practitioner. Blogs at http://erik.brickarp.se

Transpection Tuesday – Helena Jeret-Mäe & Erik Brickarp (EST/SWE)

For almost three years, Helena and Erik have once a week met for a coaching and self-education activity they call Transpection Tuesday. In this session they will talk about the coaching aspect of these sessions focused on the common roles they use such as “the psychiatrist” or “the undercover boss” and you will also get a chance to try some of these out for yourself.

The purpose is to show how coaching can be made less formal and less stressful to both parties, how these coaching strategies can be applied in a wide variety of everyday job situations as well as arm you with practical, useful archetypes to play around with when coaching/being coached.

To her own great surprise, Helena Jeret-Mäe became passionate about software testing after stumbling into it via technical writing. She studied and experimented with testing to become a software tester while building, mentoring, and leading a testing and documentation team. In addition to testing, Helena learned a lot about managing and leading, and believes that facilitating and enabling other people to do their best job is one of the most rewarding and also most difficult thing to do. Helena loves to be part of the testing community because of the countless learning opportunities, so she can be found discussing testing in a pub with some testers, at testing conferences, or reading and writing about testing in the corner of her favourite café. She is currently Head of Testing at Nortal where she tries to figure out how to help testers do their best possible job. Helena tweets as @HelenaJ_M and blogs at thepainandgainofedwardbear.wordpress.com.

Erik Brickarp is a consultant working for House of Test, Sweden. He’s currently responsible for a 1½ years software testing education but his commitment to the context-driven community goes way beyond his work. In his spare time he’s an enthusiastic student of testing, mentors other testers, blogs, is active in his local test community and in other ways shares his knowledge about testing. All in all, a passionate test thinker and practitioner. Blogs at http://erik.brickarp.se

Enlightened Testing Walks for Löyly in the Sauna – Ilari Henrik Aegerter (CHE)

We start by being relaxed and we select a couple of topics that we want to debate deeper. We will have a short discussion. The group will form ideas of some testing stories that need deeper inspection. Smaller groups of two or three form all by themselves.

Then we head off for a walk.

In the smaller groups we will keep our feet moving in the direction they choose and at the same time we will engage in deep discussions. We want to explore the power of the peripatetic school of thought. Let us explore if there really is a connection between mind and body. When we are ready, we slowly find our path back to the Runö center.

But we are not finished yet.

Water gently poured on the hot stones in the sauna radiates steam. It is called löyly. Löyly is semantically rich with everything Finnish. Sauna keeps people honest and humble. Finland is probably the only country where people go into the sauna to do business meetings and negotiations. There are no expensive suits to trick other people into being impressed. What you say is what is important and you better be good at it.

Being engaged in hard thinking metaphorically radiates steam from our reflecting selves. It is the intellectual equivalent to löyly. What better place than the sauna to combine both.

That is the setting in which we will perform the second part of our session. Each small group shall come equipped with a story out of their testing life that you discussed during the walk. The rules we follow will emerge all by themselves. We will practice storytelling and to keep it honest, we’ll enjoy löyly from time to time. Let’s see if you can take the heat. And if you feel over-enthusiastic, you may practice singing this song: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4iJzBmszxII

After the sauna each group will present their insights. We end the event with a retrospection session on the overall experience.

Ilari Henrik Aegerter’s formal studies have brought him from General Linguistics and Sociology to Software Engineering and Software Testing. He has 10+ years of experience in the field, coming from the medical software domain at Phonak AG and progressing to e-commerce at eBay. He is now the Managing Director of the Zurich branch of House of Test and he believes that there is still a lot of work to be done for excellent software testing. In 2013 he co-founded the International Society for Software Testing (ISST), which advocates for bringing back common sense to testing. He is currently president of the organization. In 2015 he was elected into the board of the Association for Software Testing (AST) where he acts as Executive at Large.

The Mob Job – Janco Wolmarans & Oz Chihwayi (SA)

Delivering working software is about thinking and solving problems. There is no magic button we can push to make our brains work more effectively, but what if there was a technique that we could use to amplify our problem solving abilities? Solving problems is best done by considering a number of different perspectives. However, simultaneously seeing things from unique angles does not come naturally to people.

In this workshop, Oz and Janco will immerse attendees in a practical mobbing session, demonstrating the effectiveness of problem solving through different views. Attendees will get to experience the power of collective thinking and reasoning, and how mob programming with testers and developers can result in creative solutions.

Originally from Zimbabwe, with working experience in a few African countries, Oz currently works as a software tester in Johannesburg, South Africa. He believes thinking is his strongest skill in his bag of many and varied tricks. With over 15 years of experience, mainly in financial systems, he is focused on solving the right problems, the right way. A co-organiser of the Joburg Software Testers meetup, Oz loves to interact, learn and grow with the community. He enjoys a good coffee, especially with developers and other non testers alike.

Janco has spent nearly two decades learning how NOT to build software. He likes to understand the driving principles behind the way teams think, work, and deliver software. Through technical workshops, code retreats, and other community events, he works to help raise the level of craftsmanship in the software development community.

An Introduction to Flow – Janco Wolmarans & Oz Chihwayi (SA)

This workshop will make attendees aware of Flow as a concept, and how functional silos are preventing the flow of work through the system (usually organisational), blocking value from being realised.

Originally from Zimbabwe, with working experience in a few African countries, Oz currently works as a software tester in Johannesburg, South Africa. He believes thinking is his strongest skill in his bag of many and varied tricks. With over 15 years of experience, mainly in financial systems, he is focused on solving the right problems, the right way. A co-organiser of the Joburg Software Testers meetup, Oz loves to interact, learn and grow with the community. He enjoys a good coffee, especially with developers and other non testers alike.

Janco has spent nearly two decades learning how NOT to build software. He likes to understand the driving principles behind the way teams think, work, and deliver software. Through technical workshops, code retreats, and other community events, he works to help raise the level of craftsmanship in the software development community.

Vim for Testers – Janco Wolmarans & Oz Chihwayi (SA)

Please bring own computer (or pair up with a friend) to take full advantage of this workshop!

Vim is a powerful text editor. For testers that deal with data, being able to confidently wield a powerful text editing tool can be an incredible productivity boost. This session will focus on how to manipulate text into various forms of usable data quickly and easily using Vim.

Originally from Zimbabwe, with working experience in a few African countries, Oz currently works as a software tester in Johannesburg, South Africa. He believes thinking is his strongest skill in his bag of many and varied tricks. With over 15 years of experience, mainly in financial systems, he is focused on solving the right problems, the right way. A co-organiser of the Joburg Software Testers meetup, Oz loves to interact, learn and grow with the community. He enjoys a good coffee, especially with developers and other non testers alike.

Janco has spent nearly two decades learning how NOT to build software. He likes to understand the driving principles behind the way teams think, work, and deliver software. Through technical workshops, code retreats, and other community events, he works to help raise the level of craftsmanship in the software development community.

A Many-Faceted Path in Testing Leadership: From Downtrodden to Dictator, from Doctor to Diplomat – Jason Reese (USA)

I began my career in QA/Testing leadership alone at night in one room with seven temporary employee testers and no experience between us. Testing was in a bad place relative to upper management, and my lessons were learned rapidly and stressfully.  I started in a deep hole, and learned through many trials and failures. I emerged with a few core bits of wisdom I applied thereafter.  We began that phase and the next in our team history with preconceptions to overcome, and changes in my management style helped achieve success after failure, and help the team realize potential I had never thought possible.  We used to be ignored and met with bad attitudes. Now we enjoy great business relationships and have to turn away customers.   I traded my dictatorial grip for a diplomat’s role enabling and opening doors for my team instead of micromanaging it to death.

Jason Reese: Senior IT Manager at SAS Institute in Cary, North Carolina, USA

I have been working in software testing and quality assurance since 1996.  I took a testing management role in 1997 and have been in testing leadership ever since.  I love it, and I am passionate about my teams and hope to one day live up to their expectations and deserve the credit and respect I receive.

Deliberate discovery and unconscious assumptions – Unlocking the path to intentional learning – Joanne Perold (SA)

“It’s not what we know that gets us into trouble, it’s what we know that just ain’t so.”  Attributed to Mark Twain.

So how can we start to look for the unknowns and discover the learning? How can we be more deliberate about our discovery and our solutions to problems? What are some paths to experimentation for uncovering our ignorance and our unconscious assumptions?

This workshop will explore methods of looking at what you don’t know and what you assume to be true. We will start to look at ways in which we can be more deliberate about the things that we discover and how our assumptions and lack of knowledge about something affect our thinking.

Joanne has worked in the software industry since 2003 in roles ranging from product management to writing functions and creating business intelligence. In 2009 she went on her first Scrum course and discovered the world of Agile and a different approach to developing software. Since then she has worked with teams and organisations to transform and improve the way they work. Through these interactions she has worked with many contexts and different ways to apply Agile principles.

Joanne is passionate about learning and growing both herself and her teams. This curiosity led her to the AYE (Amplify your Effectiveness) conference the PSL (Problem Solving Leadership) course with Jerry Weinberg, and Dave Snowden’s Cynefin training. Attending these conferences and courses not only connected her to the international community, but helped her to grow as a coach, a leader, a mentor, a problem solver and a critical thinker. In 2014 she spoke at Let’s Test Australia with Carsten Feilberg and in 2015 at Let’s Test Sweden with Martin Hynie.  

Testing, Wine, and Food: A Demonstration of Our Favorite Things Being Related to Each Other. – Joanne Perold & Louise Perold (SA)

Join the Perold sisters for a light-hearted workshop on Testing, Wine and Food, and how they relate to each other.

Joanne is passionate about learning and growing both herself and her teams. This curiosity led her to the AYE (Amplify your Effectiveness) conference the PSL (Problem Solving Leadership) course with Jerry Weinberg, and Dave Snowden’s Cynefin training. Attending these conferences and courses not only connected her to the international community, but helped her to grow as a coach, a leader, a mentor, a problem solver and a critical thinker. In 2014 she spoke at Let’s Test Australia with Carsten Feilberg and in 2015 at Let’s Test Sweden with Martin Hynie.  

Louise is a passionate super tester who has been consulting in the Financial Services industry in Johannesburg, South Africa for over 12 years. She is currently managing a team (of super testers) at Rand Merchant Bank. The journey to learn more and test better (in context) has taken her to 6 CAST conferences, 2 Let’s Test conferences and PSL. She started the Joburg Software Testers Meetup group in 2014 and recently founded the South African branch of House of Test where she serves as Director and principal consultant. Louise is on twitter @lperold

Pretending, playing, LARPing and testing – Katrine Kavli (DK)

Pretending, playing, LARPing and testing The tradition of LARPing goes back to roleplaying games such as Dungeons and Dragons, where a player takes on the role of a character in an imaginary gameworld governed by different rules. In LARP an extra dimension is added to the game, as the players dress up as their roles and act out their actions physically instead of recounting them to the other players in an oral narrative. LARP has matured since the first incarnation, and is no longer just about dressing up and hitting other participants with cardboard swords. LARP can be sophisticated events where the players take part in politics, scheming, drama and experiences that they never would encounter in real life. In the last decade, a lot of events for adults have started appearing, where elements of LARPing and play are taken in a more “professional” direction, such as teambuilding events for a department in a company.

How does this pair with testing? The discipline of testing is in itself a playful thing. As testers we experiment and have a certain playful attitude towards our tasks. We are part of projects with many other players, and we usually have a certain “role” that we are either put in, or step into voluntarily.

I would like to host a workshop where the participants get to experience several smaller LARP sessions with various narratives and rules. Through the short sessions the participants will be presented with different mechanisms, and experience them physically, in person. The participants will through this become aware of when and how these mechanisms take place, both as obvious mechanisms in the safe gameworld, but also as more subtle mechanism in real life. They will also learn about how and why they can use these mechanisms to e.g. bond with other people that have also been a part of the experience, or try out radically different roles than what they are used to.

I started out my testing career 2½ years ago, after finishing University. And even though the idea of testing really appealed to me, I quickly grew bored of the more corporate side of testing. About a year ago I was presented to “the other side” of testing, that does not necessarily involve ISTQB standards, and I wholeheartedly love it. I’m thrilled that there is an area in testing where people are passionate about doing and learning instead of “just working”, and where there is room for new theories and most important of all.. to play and experiment. I have a background in (computer) game studies, and the theories I will be using for this workshop are taken from personal experiences from being an avid adult LARPer, as well as a larger study I did on teambuilding and roleplaying during my studies. Katrine works as a consultant at House of Test in Denmark.

A Man Overboard! – Kristjan Uba & Huib Schoots & Richard Bradshaw (EE/NL/UK)

Getting teams right is always tricky. Finding the right cultural fit, personalities, skill set – can seem impossible. In this workshop we will dive into the chaos of self organizing teams. What does it feels like, compared to ‘role based teams with team-lead’? Does the performance suffer (in the beginning)? What about company processes and project specifics? What does it take from the members to support the team?

We will go out into the wilderness of Runö and put two different teams to the test. You’ll experience difficult exercises, random events, slippery slopes, helping hands and safety instruction. After drying off we’ll collect the observations, stories and analyze what it means to be in a team.

PS. You might get wet.

Battle Royal : Automation vs Exploration – Kristjan Uba & Huib Schoots & Richard Bradshaw (EE/NL/UK)

Automated checks are critical component of continues delivery, by definition. But is this really true? We will venture into to uncharted waters and setup our own process of testing focusing on automation or exploration. Teams will be lead by world-class testers (Huib and Richard). Participants have the chance to try out their skills working along said team-leads. Get experience in tools, exploration methods, and let their imagination fly while trying to one-up the other team in satisfying the stakeholders. Glory to the victorious.
In the end we’ll figure out how complicated it actually is to find the right balance of using automation in their projects.

Potato gun challenge – Lars Sjödahl (SWE)

Q who?

 You’ve been assigned the task, by your employer (who is in no way a super-villain) to evaluate a newly developed concept in line with the company’s CSR policies: a renewable weapon, the potato-gun! Your team consists of super testers from around the world, but due to some recent budget cuts, your resources are very limited. And the chain of command is changing faster than you can explain. What’s up with that, and how does it affect your planning?

How do you start testing a new product under uncertain circumstances and with new colleagues? Join us for a few hours of exploring, strategizing and occational target practice.

Lars has been in research and development since 2001. He’s technically curious and sees himself as an investigative cartographer of systems, but in recent years he’s also developed a fascination for how communication, group psychology and problem framing influences how anything gets done (or doesn’t). He’s a strong proponent for the context-driven approach to testing, and has experience from both waterfall and agile projects in a variety of roles.

In his spare time he enjoys tinkering with Arduinos and launching high powered rockets. He works as a consultant for House of Test.

Time to Think – Transforming the way you listen and think – Louise Perold (SA)

Based on the ideas of Nancy Kline in her book “Time to Think – Listening to ignite the human mind”, I would like us to explore the concepts and practices behind creating and being in a ‘Thinking environment’.

We will look at the various conditions under which human beings can think for themselves with rigour, imagination, courage and grace; and through practical exercises see how we can apply this in our working environments.

Louise is a passionate super tester who has been consulting in the Financial Services industry in Johannesburg, South Africa for over 12 years. She is currently managing a team (of super testers) at Rand Merchant Bank. The journey to learn more and test better (in context) has taken her to 6 CAST conferences, 2 Let’s Test conferences and PSL. She started the Joburg Software Testers Meetup group in 2014 and recently founded the South African branch of House of Test where she serves as Director and principal consultant. Louise is on twitter @lperold

Understanding and Testing RESTful Web Services – Mark Winteringham(UK)

Understanding and testing RESTful Web services is an interactive workshop that guides participants through the fundamentals of what makes a Web service RESTful and how to build requests to query and manipulate data from a web service.  The attendees will learn key skills through testing a bespoke web service, learning how the service and requests work, and discovering and reporting bugs.

Key Topics:
  • What is a Web service and what makes it RESTful?
  • Understanding API and API documentation
  • How to build requests to query and manipulate data from a RESTful Web service
  • Test design techniques for testing against REST

I’ve been a tester for 8 years working with clients such as BBC, Thomson Reuters and the British Government. I am passionate about all aspects of testing and regularly participate in workshops, meetups and conferences. I especially enjoy working on different types of automation and blogging about it. My main interest in testing at the moment is mentoring other testers and learning to become a better teacher in both one to one situations and with wider groups. It’s my hope one day that I will be able to build up the reputation and skills to start my own social enterprise where I can train people to become effective testers so that they can build a career of their own in testing

So… you wanna be a teSTAR? – Martin Hynie & Richard Bradshaw (CA/UK)

“I have this amazing story to tell… but…”

Every year, Let’s Test gathers some of the world’s greatest software testers together for three full days of incredible talks and workshops, but only a handful of attendees get to take the stage. There is so much knowledge and wisdom at the conference that needs to be shared. The software testing community is always looking for fresh ideas, and new creative concepts that help evolve our craft. So… how do you move from attending one of the coolest conferences in the world to speaking at one of the coolest conferences in the world?

If you have not nervously scrolled down to the next track, this session might be for you. For the last few years, Richard and Martin have had the pleasure of participating in many rounds of conference proposal reviews in conferences around the world. While there are always excellent proposals that do not quite make the cut, the “stand out” descriptions get noticed almost immediately. What makes them so appealing? Why do they seem to have unanimous support across the entire selection committee? What makes them so damn good?

In this workshop, we will focus our attention on you and help you get your best shot at getting on stage. We will examine the craft of designing clever and effective conference proposals, and work through building abstracts that will surely make Henrik and Johan’s jobs infinitely harder for years to come. (insert Richard and Martin sharing an evil laugh here)

What we ask you to bring:

  • Your brave new ideas and wonderful stories
  • A willingness to share.
  • Your favourite pen.

What you can expect:

  • Some exploration into your ideas/stories/concepts, and some discovery of what aspects make it most appealing
  • Some insight on how to better understand the role of a reviewer, the challenges and the joys
  • An excellent start towards creating excellent conference proposals that truly reflect who you are and the message you intend to share with the world.

Richard is a friendly tester with a real passion for testing. He is very active in the testing community and has hosted many meetups throughout the UK. Richard is also a founding member and co-organiser of the Midlands Exploratory Workshop on Testing (#MEWT).

Richard is currently working as an Independent Tester after having set up Friendly Testing Limited in 2014. He has been testing for over 8 years now.

Richard is a big advocate of automation, but not the silver bullet type, the type that really supports testing and testers. He is very technically minded and encourages the use of tools.

He considers himself a student of testing and is always looking for new ideas and inspiration to improve his testing skills.

Richard actively blogs about testing at http://thefriendlytester.co.uk and tweets at @FriendlyTester

With over fifteen years of specialization in software testing and development, Martin Hynie’€™s attention has gradually focused on emphasizing value through communication, team development, organizational learning and the significant role that testers can play to help enable these. A self-confessed conference junkie, Martin travels the world incorporating ideas introduced by various sources of inspiration (including context-driven testing, the Satir Model, Pragmatic Marketing, trading zones, agile principles, and Christensen’€™s Job-To-Be-Done and progressive movement training) to help teams iteratively learn, to embrace failures as opportunities and to simply enjoy working together.

Follow Martin on Twitter @vds4 or visit his blog http://developersbestfriend.com.

Context Eats Process For Breakfast – Patrick Prill (GER)

This may be true, but what could we learn for our context if we take a look at a simple process like breakfast?

Everything we do is a process of some sort. But how good are we at describing what we are doing? How much of our knowledge is tacit, especially when we are doing a task over and over again?

The ability to describe a process or create a process model comes in handy in various situations. At times when you need to explain your actions to someone, write a test script or instructions, or you need to define a process model for test planning, execution and other tasks in your team or company.

With some fun and breakfast-related exercises and facilitated debriefings after each exercise, we will stepwise improve the ability to describe processes with and without words, and create an environment for group-based process modelling. Based on those prerequisites the participants will then encounter the last task, to describe a testing related bread-and-butter process that will make them aware of difficulties, when the process to model gets too complex to simplify.

Depending on the audience, the debriefing of the last task might turn into discussions regarding ISO29119. What I try to show as a side effect is that a standard like ISO29119 cannot just fit for any testing context. In the end we know why “Context eats Process for Breakfast” and hopefully see the necessity to describe processes for our own context.

Key takeaways of this workshop

  • Realize how many steps of a simple process are tacit
  • Improve process description capabilities
  • Awareness of difficulties when creating process models
  • Know why context enjoys a good process for breakfast
  • Know exactly what steps are needed to prepare tea and toast

After 3 years of vocational training as developer and several projects I was transferred to the test factory of my company, in one of our prestigious testing projects with 60-90 people and national awareness, especially in the beginning. 9,5 years later, after having had all roles from test specialist, team lead to test manager and successfully taking care of many applications, sub-projects and releases, I left my company to take a step back (or forward) to hands-on testing on a smaller scale again.

I now work for Detroit based company called Urban Science, in the office in Munich, Germany – my home town. As a test lead for a small team, responsible for two products, I am back to hands-on testing again. I enjoy trying out new approaches, improve my testing skills, coach the team, and implement automation in testing for the first time of the products life span and my own.

The Only Thing it Really Depends on is Money – Scott Barber (USA)

This 1/2 day, interactive session is designed to be the culmination of Scott Barber’s epic journey through the business side of testing. Explore (and probably debate) topics like:

  • “Nobody (in their right mind) *wants* to pay for testing”
  • “Why Product Owners (and above) don’t care about testing (and probably shouldn’t)”
  • “WTF is wrong with our field, where within 10 years Agile went from unknown to “the norm” yet most people who test software for a living (or manage those who do) fundamentally haven’t changed their approaches at all”
  • “How many elite testers do we really need?”
  • “High-Quality isn’t dead, it’s just not often very profitable”

After exploring those and other related topics, we’ll see if we can come to a consensus about whether or not the people who say things like “Shut up already with the elitist “It Depends” tester rhetoric crap! The rest of us don’t really care *how* you do it, just go earn/save us some money!” have a valid point.

Scott Barber, Chief Technologist of PerfTestPlus and former Product Owner for SmartBear load testing tools, is widely regarded as a thought-leader in the delivery of performant systems using modern Agile & DevOps principles, but is probably best known as an ‘€œenergetic and entertaining’€ speaker and author of articles and books; Performance Testing Guidance for Web Applications, Beautiful Testing, How to Reduce the Cost of Testing & Web Load Testing for Dummies). His 20+ years of experience filling a wide range of technical, managerial, and executive IT related positions have culminated in a passion for writing, speaking, coaching and activism focused on improving the alignment of development practices with executive business goals. Scott Co-Founded WOPR, served as a Director of AST and CMG, is a member of PMI, ACM, IEEE, American MENSA, ISST, the Context-Driven School of Software Testing, and is a signatory to the Manifesto for Agile Software Development.

I’m not a programmer, but I can lead one – Rob Bowyer (CA)

For several years now I have been leading highly technical and primarily programming focused testers. I have fostered their professional development while accomplishing the goals of the team and fulfilling the needs of the organizations we have served.

I have a secret though – I am not a programmer. While I have written “hello world” in several different languages, I don’t enjoy or excel at software programming. And I don’t have a technical degree.

However, in much of my work I have been called on to aid in technical discussions. Everything from assisting in decisions on which language should be used for an automation framework to coaching testers to improve their SQL skills to helping the development team adopt better API development practices.

This experience report focuses on technical leadership by a non-programmer. I’ll share some of the strategies I have found successful in being a technical leader and helping others develop their own technical skills.

Rob has been helping people and teams test software in a rapid and cognitive manner for over a decade.  As a coach and leader, Rob focuses on mentorship and enabling testers to succeed. With a strong foundation in the context driven school of testing Rob has had experience in a wide variety of domains – including healthcare, mobile, education and municipal.

In his own back yard – Waterloo, Ontario in Canada, Rob maintains a stewardship role in his local software quality association (Kitchener/Waterloo Software Quality Assurance or KWSQA). Rob initiated a regional testing conference – which has been running successfully for 8 years. When not focusing on one-on-one mentorship with local testers, Rob runs an event called The KWSQA Testing Games – where testers get together to test the software of a local tech start-up in a social environment.

In his current role, Rob not only leads a team of testers, he assists his organization in its Agile transition.

How Do We Reach the Congregation When We’re Preaching to the Choir? – Rob Bowyer (US/CA) & Martin Hynie (CA)

Come join us for a session where we discuss and share ideas around the topic of motivating colleagues and getting them on board the professional development train. We’ll cover things like:

  • Ways to reach the testers who do their job but are not engaged in the community or do not show an interest in professional development outside of work
  • Whether it’s worth trying
  • The potential benefits of trying

Rob has been helping people and teams test software in a rapid and cognitive manner for over a decade.  As a coach and leader, Rob focuses on mentorship and enabling testers to succeed. With a strong foundation in the context driven school of testing Rob has had experience in a wide variety of domains – including healthcare, mobile, education and municipal.

In his own back yard – Waterloo, Ontario in Canada, Rob maintains a stewardship role in his local software quality association (Kitchener/Waterloo Software Quality Assurance or KWSQA). Rob initiated a regional testing conference – which has been running successfully for 8 years. When not focusing on one-on-one mentorship with local testers, Rob runs an event called The KWSQA Testing Games – where testers get together to test the software of a local tech start-up in a social environment.

In his current role, Rob not only leads a team of testers, he assists his organization in its Agile transition.

With over fifteen years of specialization in software testing and development, Martin Hynie’€™s attention has gradually focused on emphasizing value through communication, team development, organizational learning and the significant role that testers can play to help enable these. A self-confessed conference junkie, Martin travels the world incorporating ideas introduced by various sources of inspiration (including context-driven testing, the Satir Model, Pragmatic Marketing, trading zones, agile principles, and Christensen’€™s Job-To-Be-Done and progressive movement training) to help teams iteratively learn, to embrace failures as opportunities and to simply enjoy working together.

Follow Martin on Twitter @vds4 or visit his blog http://developersbestfriend.com.

Dan & Patrick’s Testers Playground – Daniel Billing (UK) & Patrick Prill (GER)

An interactive game for testers, where they have to solve problems, interact with management, deal with scope creep, project pitfalls, and coping with global market changes.

We will create role play and problem solving scenarios for the the attendees, where they have to meet their business and testing objectives, and present them to the management.

Attendees will be split into smaller groups, and will be given a different scenarios, personnel, skill sets and attributes which they can use to solve their problems.

The attendees will need to handle scenarios with issues such as constrained budgets, staffing and management issues, resources and tools as well as the varying needs of their customers.

Dan and Patrick will entertain and delight, throwing in curve balls and crazy situations for the teams to deal with. Ultimately, the teams will need to come up with some wild ideas to get themselves out of a sticky situation.

It’ll be fun, challenging and very rewarding (in chocolate).

Dan​ has been a tester for 15 years, working within a diverse range of development organisations, mostly in the south west of England. He currently works as a test engineer at New Voice Media, where most of his time is spent working on the security testing needs of the business. This includes mentoring, supporting and training members of the team to use these skills also.

Dan’s love of testing drives me to become an active member of the testing community, helping to organise local tester meetups in the Bristol and Bath area. He is also a co-­facilitator with Weekend Testing Europe, and also organises the South West Exploratory Workshop in Testing.

Dan lives in Frome, Somerset with his wife Rae, and cat, Misty

After 3 years of vocational training as developer and several projects I was transferred to the test factory of my company, in one of our prestigious testing projects with 60-90 people and national awareness, especially in the beginning. 9,5 years later, after having had all roles from test specialist, team lead to test manager and successfully taking care of many applications, sub-projects and releases, I left my company to take a step back (or forward) to hands-on testing on a smaller scale again.

I now work for Detroit based company called Urban Science, in the office in Munich, Germany – my home town. As a test lead for a small team, responsible for two products, I am back to hands-on testing again. I enjoy trying out new approaches, improve my testing skills, coach the team, and implement automation in testing for the first time of the products life span and my own.

Come Find Your Flow – Jason Reese (USA) & Louise Perold (SA)

“In positive psychology, flow, also known as the zone, is the mental state of operation in which a person performing an activity is fully immersed in a feeling of energized focus, full involvement, and enjoyment in the process of the activity. In essence, flow is characterized by complete absorption in what one does. Named by Mihály Csíkszentmihályi, the concept has been widely referenced across a variety of fields (and has an especially big recognition in Occupational Therapy), though has existed for thousands of years under other guises, notably in some Eastern religions.[1] Achieving flow is often colloquially referred to as being in the zone.” – Wikipedia

In this workshop, we would like to explore the concept further through a series of exercises…

  • Examine the flow model (Understand the conditions for flow) and what these are for us
  • Look at ways we can understand our level of flow
  • See what challenges there are in keeping the state

Come join us and get into your Zone!!
Jason Reese: Senior IT Manager at SAS Institute in Cary, North Carolina, USA

I have been working in software testing and quality assurance since 1996.  I took a testing management role in 1997 and have been in testing leadership ever since.  I love it, and I am passionate about my teams and hope to one day live up to their expectations and deserve the credit and respect I receive.

Louise is a passionate super tester who has been consulting in the Financial Services industry in Johannesburg, South Africa for over 12 years. She is currently managing a team (of super testers) at Rand Merchant Bank. The journey to learn more and test better (in context) has taken her to 6 CAST conferences, 2 Let’s Test conferences and PSL. She started the Joburg Software Testers Meetup group in 2014 and recently founded the South African branch of House of Test where she serves as Director and principal consultant. Louise is on twitter @lperold

Board Games For Testers – Andreas Cederholm (SWE) & Christopher Lebond (SWE)

In this session we will play a newly created board game aimed for testers. Come join us for some fun playtime and test your thinking skills at the same time.

Andreas Cederholm is a member of the context-driven community and work as a consultant with House of Test. He is passionate about testing and have worked with it for more than 7 years. Time not spent on reading/writing/talking about test is spent on his other joy in life which is Crossfit.

Christopher Lebond is a Software Architect who has spent most of his career focusing on Quality. Originally from England, Christopher’s career began in contracted web development based on SQL and ASP. After moving to Sweden in the mid 2000’s, Christopher started working for Qlik Technologies in the Quality Assurance department focusing on testing, methodologies and improvements. After many years of formal and informal leadership positions, always with Quality as a focus, Christopher is now working with requirements and release and quality work of Qlik’s product portfolio.

Tinkering with Arduino & Python – Lars Sjödahl (SWE)

Do you think Arduinos look cool? Ever wondered what they are capable of if you throw some Python into the mix? Come join us for a fun tinkering session where we’ll teach you to combine the two.

Lars has been in research and development since 2001. He’s technically curious and sees himself as an investigative cartographer of systems, but in recent years he’s also developed a fascination for how communication, group psychology and problem framing influences how anything gets done (or doesn’t). He’s a strong proponent for the context-driven approach to testing, and has experience from both waterfall and agile projects in a variety of roles.

In his spare time he enjoys tinkering with Arduinos and launching high powered rockets. He works as a consultant for House of Test.

Lean Coffee on Training and Mentoring Testers – Megan Studzenski (USA) & Damian Synadinos (USA)

Do you have questions to ask or experiences to share on the topic of training and mentoring testers? Megan and Damian both have extensive experience in the area and will host a Lean Coffee session for anyone who’s interested where you will all decide together what aspects of this massive topic to discuss and workshop around.

Megan Studzenski is a Departmental Trainer in Hyland Software’s Quality Assurance department, which is an official way of saying she teaches people to be better testers.  She is responsible for teaching introductory testing skills to new employees, as well as devising testing workshops and experiences for more skilled testers.  Megan spent two years as a technical writer before transitioning to testing, and from there her love of public speaking led her into her current training role.  She broke into conference speaking at CAST 2015 with a successful no-slides talk about how she does her job, and her pet project is advancing exploratory testing in a work environment driven primarily by bug reports. She occasionally tweets about testing, baseball, cats, and Star Wars at @TinyTesterTalks.

Damian Synadinos started testing software—on purpose and for money—in 1993. Since then, he has helped build better software and build software better using various methods and tools in numerous roles at many companies in diverse industries. During the past ten years, Damian has focused primarily on teaching and leading testers and improving processes. Currently, he is the enterprise quality lead of metrics and reporting at a large Midwestern bank, helping to answer questions and tell stories about quality with data. In addition to testing, Damian enjoys improv, golf, poker, gaming, acting, cartooning, and spending time with his family.

The Art of Picking Your battles – Nicola Owen (NZ/SWE)

“Speak Easy” presentation

In my talk I want to discuss why you should pick your battles and some questions you can ask yourself which will help you decide which bugs are worth fighting for.

When I started my first ever project, my understanding was that the purpose of testing was to provide information with more emphasis placed on advocating for the fixing of bugs.

The thing is – I took this too far.

Part of me relished raising bugs in the Test Tool and assigning a severity and priority. The sad thing is, I thought I was a better tester when I raised bugs with a higher severity and priority.

Unfortunately, this led to a “boy who cried wolf” situation. I found it more difficult to get my bugs fixed partially because of the fact I placed too much importance on bugs that didn’t actually matter (and partially because of factors out of my control).

Since then I have learned my lesson. I have learned that my opinion is one of many and that my role is to provide information about the state of the software – not to be a gatekeeper of some sorts. While I am less transfixed on fighting for each and every single bug, I’m learning to earn respect from previous teams and my current teams by making sure that the bugs I fight for are worth having a discussion about.

To do this I use a few heuristics including: WIT

  • Workarounds – do they exist?
  • Impact – what is it and who does it impact?
  • Time – how long does it take to fix compared to how many people it benefits? i.e. quick fix that will help a lot of customers could be prioritised over a time-consuming fix that affects only a handful of customers

In turn, picking your battles is a method, which will help improve the perception of testers. Instead of others thinking our sole purpose is to slow things down, we can help others understand why things need to slow down and why we actually should care about these issues in the first place.

Key Takeaways:

  • Discover which bugs are worth fighting for with the use of heuristics
  • Understand why you shouldn’t put in effort to each and every bug
  • Use picking your battles, to help improve the perception of testers

Nicola Owen is a Test Consultant with House of Test in Sweden, originally from Auckland, New Zealand. After studying Economics and German at university she decided to delve into the world of testing and hasn’t looked back since. She’s well involved in the testing community as a co-instructor of the BBST Foundations courses and a frequent meet-up attendee. When she’s not at work you’ll find her watching cooking shows, making cookies or running as she listens to dance music. Nicola blogs about software testing at nickytests.blogspot.com. Follow her on Twitter @NicolaO55

Testing When The World Is Watching – Elisabeth Zagroba (USA)

“Speak Easy” presentation

Your social media accounts are the most visible part of your company. Embarrassing complaints there are make-or-break for gathering new customers and keeping up appearances. You get a bug report from a user on Twitter. The user hasn’t crammed clear steps to reproduce and their environment information into 140 characters. You have their frustration, and if you’re lucky, where the error occurred. You need to respond quickly to prove to the world that you care about your users. Now what?

In this presentation, we’ll figure out how to better serve your real-life customers and the developers trying to resolve their issues when the messages they’ve left you are cut off or garbled. We’ll explore some examples to come to a better understanding of:

  • How crashes detract from the charisma of the product and break down trust with the user
  • How to name or label views so users can report back where a specific problem occurred
  • What to write in a bug report to pique a developer’s curiosity
  • Why managing customer feedback is worth your time and effort

Elizabeth Zagroba is a context-driven software tester at Huge in Brooklyn. She’s tested innovative user interfaces for iOS and Android apps, responsive websites, content management systems, and streaming and on-demand audio. Before Huge, Elizabeth worked on the digital team at a public radio station in Manhattan.

Protected: Car Pooling & Cab Sharing

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41 Responses to “Protected: Car Pooling & Cab Sharing”

  1. Meike Mertsch

    I’m thinking about coming on Saturday morning as soon as I delivered my dog to the dog sitter. If someone flies in that early, I’ll be delighted to share a cab from the Airport Arlanda.

    • Lars Sjödahl

      If you can’t someone to share a cab with, the cheap route from Stockholm central, which I’m taking, is by public transport to Åkersberga which is 4-8€ fare, plus a cab from Åkersberga for ca 17€.
      From Stockholm Central station / the subway station (T-centralen):
      1. Buy an “AB” ticket (2 zones) in a machine, via SMS if you have a Swedish operator or in a toll booth kiosk (most expensive).
      2 Enter the subway system, Take subway line 14 (“Red”) towards Mörby Centrum, just 3 stops (6minutes) to “Tekniska Högskolan”.
      3 At “Tekniska Högskolan”, exit the subway, head up the stairs to street level, and follow signs to where this station is called “Stockholms östra” (right there, at street level), because it’s the end station of a different line (“Roslagsbanan”), which you are now getting on.
      4 Get on train 28 towards “Österskär”. The same ticket is valid here but a person checks the tickets on board. This train takes ca 35 minutes to Åkersberga. Trains run every half hour (05 and 35) until just after midnight on Sunday evening.
      5 In Åkersberga, get a cab at the station. The fare should be under 20€. Tell the driver the address “Näsvägen 100” if they don’t know the place. It’s just a few kilometers.

  2. Jamie Matthews

    My work colleague and I are getting a taxi on the Sunday, not 100% sure what time we get in, possibly mid-day depending on flight. If anybody would like to taxi share, let me know!

  3. Itay Braha

    I have booked a taxi from down town Stockholm (from the scandic klara hotel) at 07:30 tomorrow morning (23/05).
    If there is anybody traveling from the same area I’d be interested to share.

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Let's Test Conferences on Context-Driven Testing - For Testers, By Testers

When we say ”for testers, by testers” we mean that our main goal for these conferences is to make them a valuable experience for all participants, not to maximize profit. We are ourselves part of a team made up of serious, passionate and professional testers that back in 2011 decided that it was time to set up a context-driven testing conference in Europe. Since the inaugural Let’s Test conference in 2012, some team members have left and others have been added, and the conference has expanded to been organized in Australia as well as in Europe. We’re happy to see the Let’s Test family grow, but regardless of where you visit a Let’s Test conference, you can be sure that we’ll never compromise on the “for testers, by testers” principle.