During the ACCU conference in London (at which I am still stuck due to the ash cloud while writing this), I got to speak with many interesting people, and even recorded some of those conversations.
One of the talks I enjoyed the most was with Tester James Bach, who gave a thrilling keynote about the role of the tester in the organization, and the idea of exploratory testing.
In this recording I talk to James about what real testers need to be, how to interview a tester for a job, the idea of exploratory testing, automated checks vs. manual, sapient tests and many other things.
James has taken a clear leadership role in changing the perceptions many of us have about what testers are and should be, and what testing should be like.
James really made me change some of my points of view about what and where we might need testers, and how unit testing and “sapient" testing” go together, and don’t cancel each other out.
Here’s an experiment for software team leaders: a set of katas (things you repeat exactly the same way many times).
Let’s try to do the following kata once a day:
- Get out of your chair and lock your computer
- For each team mate that sits in your floor:
- Ask “can you show me what you are you working on?”
- See at least one technical document they wrote (source code, documentation, build script..)
- If you think they could have done a better job, challenge them to find a better way to do the job without giving them the whole answer
- This should take no more than 5-10 minutes per team mate but you can take longer if you like.
What other katas do you recommend?
my worst team leaders
- Didn’t bother to check or see if I was stuck on something
- Didn’t coach me or teach me to be a better developer or team mate
- Didn’t earn my trust in their technical skills
- Didn’t have a problem with anything I was doing (good or bad)
- Spent most of their time away from me
- Smiled a lot, but didn’t say too much
- were really nice
- did not take care of any impediments I presented
- did not challenge me