The National Software Testing Conference held in London May 20-21st, 2014 focused on some of the key issues occupying the testing community. I was fortunate enough to attend this, my first testing related conference, with Joel Montvelisky on behalf of PractiTest.
Not only was this my first overseas testing conference, this was also the first time I got to hear directly about the full spectrum of the testing community.
The “hot” topic that seemed to be on everyone’s mind was “Agile Testing“.
The event featured many speakers from known companies including William Hill, Expedia, Virgin Media and more… who all addressed the current demands for dynamic testing.
The executive debate sessions facilitated and lead by key figures allowed open and fruitful debate regarding the challenges the testing industry faces.
Even among us exhibitors, the buzz was similar.
Do you support Agile Testing?
While we were repeatedly addressing this question at the PractiTest booth, the speakers in the sessions were dealing with refining what agile testing practices mean.
One of the statements that resonated with me the most was that just because you decide to “work Agile” doesn’t mean you skip the test planning stage and do everything “on the go”.
It is still crucial to define requirements and user stories. If you don’t define your mission how can you know it has been completed?
For more about Agile Testing practices see:
- Switching to Agile Testing, not as simple as changing your t-shirt
- Every Tester needs to be an Agile Tester
“All in the Same Boat”
Another impression I got from the conference was the sense of camaraderie.
All of us attending were united in the sense that we as a professional community feel under-appreciated or misunderstood. This is a tough spot to be in and can definitely influence performance.
Getting more involved in the decision making process is part of the solution but also the great challenge as there is no one way to achieve this.
While improving cross department communication is the key to being more valued, it heavily depends on interpersonal work relations and changing specific company work procedures. While there is no “one size” solution, I would be happy to hear from anyone out there who wishes to share their found solution for improving communication between development, testing and management (just add your comments below).
For more about changing work practices see:
Food for Thought
I found the conference uplifting and it was very interesting meeting people and companies from across the spectrum of the testing industry. It was empowering to realize how
cross-industry collaboration can help breakthrough the many challenges our profession holds and aid in it’s future success.