EuroSTAR 2024

Thanks to the fantastic team at EuroSTAR for the great time and a really well run conference. I had a lot of fun catching up with old friends and meeting a lot of new, enthusiastic testers. It was great to be back in beautiful Stockholm and hope to see you all again soon!

Links to the reference material I spoke about in my keynote can be found HERE: (Rethinking Expertise; How Complex Systems Fail; The Secrets of Consulting)

* Special thanks to my friend Michael Bolton for pulling me out of my conference retirement…the trick worked pal 🙂

EuroStar 2024 – Stockholm 11-14 June

Very happy to finally be back at EuroStar in 2024. It looks to be a brilliant line up of workshops and talks and I’m very proud to be giving a keynote on “Testing Software in the Age of Transformation”. Here’s a preview of my talk…hope to see you in Sweden!

The Center Left: Testing Software in the Age of Transformation

Ten years ago, I gave a keynote at EuroSTAR on how to overcome organisational bias against the value of software testing. Despite all the advancement in process and technology, our business still struggles with its value proposition and sense of itself.

Through this talk I’ll discuss the principles and practices I’ve employed to successfully sell testing services and manage high performing teams. I’ll also walk through case studies of what has worked when talking about testing and what it can and cannot do for your business.

What you will learn

  1. What worked & what didn’t when trying to get software testing valued at an organization, and how to fit actionable plans into enterprise transformation
  2. How to help make testing relevant to people by meeting them where they are, & speaking about our business in a way that doesn’t comprise integrity, while still moving things forward
  3. Principles and practices, and their relevant sources that have helped me gain trust and respect from my clients in delivering critical high risk programmes

The Great Liberation: Software Quality Management  in the Age of AI

“Do bear in mind that the cynics have a point, of a sort, when they speak of the ‘professional naysayer’.” “To be in opposition is not to be a nihilist. And there is no decent or charted way of making a living at it. It is something you are, and not something you do.” – Christopher Hitchens, Letters to a Young Contrarian, 2001

The pace at which we are incorporating “artificial intelligence” into software testing is unprecedented and presents multiple ethical and technology challenges for the testing industry. As “AI” firms disband their ethics teams and commercial adoption outpaces the regulatory environment, the importance of quality systems couldn’t be higher. At expo:QA this year, I will explore the difficulty of testing networks and algorithms we don’t fully understand, how to refocus your test approach to adapt to AI tools, and a path forward for the testing industry to stay relevant when we need good testing more than ever.

And here . . . we . . . go!

In another failed chapter in the never ending book of “encouraging good behaviour”, the G7 have apparently agreed to a “code of conduct” for companies building #artificialintelligence systems. Per Reuters, “the voluntary code of conduct will set a landmark for how major countries govern AI, amid privacy concerns and security risks…”, now colour me cynical, but I think we’ve seen how this movie has played out before. You don’t need to expend any energy finding the billions being invested for new generative AI and other AI systems, which is only piled on the billions ALREADY spent on systems actively in use.

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Head, meet desk . . .

After a long career of reviewing the various outputs from #softwaretesting: strategies, plans, test cases, #testautomation, etc. I’ve never understood why people think conformance to internal/external standards will affect a better outcome. I realise it’s born out of a fundamental misunderstanding of what happens when you test something paired with strong wish thinking that software testing is analogous to manufacturing. But IME, content is key for #testing artefacts and frankly, I’ve been around long enough to see how all these standards usually give a false sense of security and year after year add to the “#softwarequalitymanagement” certification grift.

So I wasn’t that surprised to witness another leg of the race to the #artificialintelligence bottom in testing with talk of creating #AI to check your test strategies, etc for deviations from your internal or external standards. Apparently, all this investment in #ML and #AI is going to be used as some really, really, expensive rube goldberg machine to #automate the lowest value work in testing!

Some day we’ll get something useful for testing from artificial intelligence, but today is not that day…

(old man shouts at cloud rant over 😉)

Inside every cynical person, there is a disappointed idealist. . .

“Inside every cynical person, there is a disappointed idealist.” – George Carlin

Had a great time talking about business risk with the Ministry of Testing folks and how your approach to testing is probably introducing risk to your business. Check out the whole interview or clips on my YouTube channel


#qualityengineering #softwaretesting #riskmanagement #testautomation #testmanagement #softwarequalityassurance

MOT AMA on Risk Management

Had a lot of fun ranting at my friend 🐞 Richard Bradshaw on my Ministry of Testing Ask Me Anything. Hope you enjoy it and LMK if you every want to talk software testing and risk management.

Check it out here: Keith Klain AMA on Risk Management

Parts is parts . . .

“Quality is value to some person”. – Jerry Weinberg

Saw this quote misattributed recently, but Jerry Weinberg threw down the gauntlet in his classic book Quality Software Management: Volume 1, Systems Thinking, and the software testing industry has been wrestling with every word in that short sentence ever since. What is “quality”? How do you determine “value”? Who is that “person”?

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Lost in Transformation – Interview with Michael Bolton

Last year I had a long conversation with my good friend Michael Bolton for a video he was producing on Digital Transformation for the TiD Conference in Beijing, China in 2022. The whole video is great with an amazing segment with Harry Collins, but my parts are at below…enjoy!

MoT AMA – Business Risk

Come register to join me here at the Ministry of Testing “Ask Me Anything” on July 20th at 12:30 GMT to talk about testing and business risk. Hope to see you there!


In this hour-long AMA webinar, Keith will answer your questions about business risk management in the context of software testing. Whether you want to know:

  • How to effectively communicate the importance of risk management to stakeholders
  • Common blind spots or overlooked areas of business risk that software testers need to be aware of
  • Emerging trends or future challenges in managing business risk

Here are some reasons why you should register for this webinar:

  • Learn from a leading expert in the field of business risk management
  • Gain insights into how to identify and assess business risks
  • Develop and implement risk management strategies
  • Measure and improve the effectiveness of risk management
  • Network with other software testers and learn from their experiences

A rising tide grifts all bots. . .

“When the tide goes out, you see who has been swimming naked.” – Warren Buffet

I’ve been reviewing a lot of material for a larger piece I’m writing on the use of #chatgpt and various other “#artificialintelligence” tools in #softwaretesting and I have to say one thing as a preview – the state of what the #testing community views as testing is amazingly poor.

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Software testing job insurance . . .

GPT-4 saw all that he had made, and it was very good. And there were no more evenings, and there were no more mornings – just endless days…

“GPT-4 can take a picture of napkin mockup as an input and output a fully functional website (HTML/CSS/JS)”

“Manual” testing . . .

I worked with a client recently who was frustrated by all the “manual” interventions required to run their “100% fully automated” test suite. Irony aside, as an industry we really need to rethink the amount of sales nonsense we let dominate the public conversations around the value proposition of automation in testing. Terminology in our business is usually polarised and emotionally charged, but I’ve always believed that semantical arguments are worth having even if we can’t agree what to call stuff. Examples like this are just a symptom of a greater problem we have of letting vendors and <shudder> consultants sell us “fully-100%-automated-defect-predictonators” (said in your best Dr. Doofenshmirtz voice) for the last couple decades. We can do better and as well, when these ideas get into the business case, we are just undermining ourselves anyway…