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The Software Process and Measurement Cast 620 is something out of the ordinary. Ola Omiyale joined me as a co-host and we interviewed Nalin Parbhu, the Founder and CTO of Infuse, and useMango™. We talked about testing and test automation which is a passion for all three of us. We also explored the future of the role of the manual tester.  

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Last week I appeared as part of the QA Touch Virtual Series. I spoke on the topic of goals and setting goals. I used the presentation to bring together a number of ideas about goals and goal setting, and this essay, in turn, is based on the presentation. This is Part 3, please read parts 1 and 2 before reading this section.

Read Part 1                  Read Part 2

Part 3: 

Setting goals is important for deciding and communicating what you want to achieve in a specific period. Goal setting provides value by forcing a degree of introspection, acting as a filter to separate the important from the irrelevant, and as a guide to channel behavior. Like many things in life the journey is often as important as the destination; however, setting goals is complex because there several systematic problems that affect setting goals. (more…)

 

Last week I appeared as part of the QA Touch Virtual Series. I spoke on the topic of goals and setting goals. I used the presentation to bring together a number of ideas of goals and goal setting, and this essay, in turn, is based on the presentation. This is Part 2 of a rough transcription of the webinar (note — I have moved several slides around as I have created this essay).

Read Part 1       Read Part 3

Whether we are considering goals for groups of testers or teams that include testers, there is a natural tendency to set goals that are specific to a process. Examples of areas covered by specific process level goals include code coverage, test case automation, or (god forbid) the number of defects found or defect removal efficiency. While two of the four might be valuable focus areas, none of the examples are based on systems thinking view of the output delivered from a value chain therefore rarely impact the bottom line significantly. Other than a few specific scenarios, testing, is not the output of a value chain. In a software development organization, software products that people spent money on are an output. In an automobile manufacturer, cars are the output. Every team needs to have goals based on their contribution to the value stream. Four basic metric categories that need to be considered are: (more…)

Read Part 2      Read Part 3

Earlier this week I appeared as part of the QA Touch Virtual Series.  I spoke on the topic of goals and setting goals. I used the presentation to bring together a number of ideas of goals and goal setting, and this essay, in turn, is based on the presentation.

We set goals to establish a vision of tomorrow and to provide motivation and feedback for following a path towards those visions. We use goals to decide what knowledge and capabilities we need to acquire and how to line up our resources to reach toward the future.  Goals can be a powerful tool.  As with all powerful tools they can be misused or overused.  (more…)

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The SPaMCAST 595 features our interview with Vladimir Khorikov. Vladimir and I geeked out on unit testing and his new book, Unit Testing Principles, Practices, and Patterns. Our conversations covered the gamut with a discussion of writing from first principles, understanding and tuning the signal-to-noise ratio in unit testing, and tests that are better at proving the negative than the positive.  (more…)

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The SPaMCAST 590 features my interview with Nancy Kastl. Nancy and I discussed testing and the future of the testing profession. The future of testing is not cut and dry; in the short run more automation and in the long-term more codeless testing and AI might replace entry-level testers. An eye-opening interview! (more…)

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SPaMCAST 579 features our essay on fear-driven agile hybrids.  Most hybridization issues stem from techniques that conflict with the framework and/or agile principles due to clashes with culture or lack of knowledge. Blindly making changes will never reflect what the environment’s context demands. Expecting to get good results by randomly changing how you work won’t be effective. 

We will also have a visit from Jeremy Berriault from QA Corner.  Jeremy and I talked about frameworks and what should happen if the framework is not helping.  

Contact Jeremy at https://www.berriaultandassociates.com/
Email: Jeremy.Berriault@Berriaultandassociates.com 

Business Agility Conference (more…)

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SPaMCAST 572 features our interview with Michael Larsen.  Mr. Larsen and I battled fires, Santa Ana winds, and power cuts to have a great conversation on testability.  Anyone that has participated in delivering software EVER has wrestled with a discussion of whether a story or requirement can be proved.  Michael brings fresh and actionable insights into how to assure testability.  

Michael’s bio

Michael Larsen is a Senior Quality Assurance Engineer with Socialtext/PeopleFluent. Over the past two decades, he has been involved in software testing for a range of products and industries, including network routers & switches, virtual machines, capacitance touch devices, video games, and client/server, distributed database & web applications.

Michael is a Black Belt in the Miagi-Do School of Software Testing, helped start and facilitate the Americas chapter of Weekend Testing, is a former Chair of the Education Special Interest Group with the Association for Software Testing (AST), a lead instructor of the Black Box Software Testing courses through AST, and former Board Member and President of AST.

Michael writes the TESTHEAD blog and can be found on Twitter at @mkltesthead. A list of books, articles, papers, and presentations can be seen at http://www.linkedin.com/in/mkltesthead. (more…)

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SPaMCAST 558 features our essay Story Points – Leave Them, Don’t Love Them.  Story Points are not evil and they may be useful in some circumstances. But like most tools, at some point, they lose focus. They have outlived their usefulness, therefore, I will leave them when at all possible.  

This week, Jeremy Berriault brings his QA Corner to the podcast.  We talked about focus. How much focus is enough and how much is too much? Mr. Berriault has an opinion and stories to back his opinion up.  (more…)

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SPaMCAST 550 features our essay titled, Intertwining Conway’s Law And Agile. Conway’s Law trains a spotlight on how an organization’s structure impacts the product they ship. The “Law” states that the structure of a software product will mimic the structure of the organization that produces the software.  It can (and has) been said that you are shipping the “org structure.” How you are structured therefore is going to impact just how much agile you can achieve.

We also visit the QA Corner with Jeremy Berriault.  Jeremy discusses the differences between test engineers and testers. We also tackle whether every person with the word test in their title should have the ability to code or script. Jeremy’s LinkedIn:  https://www.linkedin.com/in/jeremy-berriault-mba/

I know this is not the show I promoted last week but my guest, Mike Lynn,  is out of pocket this week and wanted to around when the show went live. Not only am I agile, but I am also flexible therefore we are rearranging the lineup!   (more…)