National Software Testing Conference, UK 2021

It’s been a while, but it sure felt great to get in front of a live audience again and interact with folks at the National Software Testing Conference this week! I had a great time talking about the role of testing in supporting and accelerating business change though digital transformation and disruption. Along with my keynote, the KPMG team presented a talk on the role of test automation in your SaaS pipeline and a workshop on testing challenges in FinTech. It’s a great group of people to work with, and I was particularly proud of my colleague Abdulla Mohammad finally receiving his award for “Test Manager of the Year” from the European Software Testing Awards. I’m working with Abdulla on some machine learning tools for coverage and risk reporting and can tell you, he only has greater things ahead of him!

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Test as Transformation – Disruption

They sicken at the calm that know the storm. – Dorothy Parker

This is the second installment in my series on how testing can support technology transformation via disruptive external forces impacting both business and operating models. In my experience, transformative testing is closely aligned to the business strategy, and supports more than just technology delivery. Transformative testing should help drive innovation and identifies opportunities for both risk management and investment. Technology adoption – either to innovate or stay competitive

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QR Podcast – Elizabeth Zagroba

Heya – Finally found time to spill some tea with one of my favorite people in the testing industry, Elizabeth Zagroba. We cover off all the essentials from moving into a technical testing role, idealism, and our favorite musical theater. Check it out HERE… Enjoy!

Friends of Good Software 

Doubt Builds Trust recording 

Doubt Builds Trust blog post (this is all you really need, frankly) 

The Mental Load of One Meeting 

Praise the Messenger 

“What’s past is prologue . . .”

“What’s past is prologue…” – The Tempest (This article is reposted from my LinkedIn)

I was interviewing someone today, and they kept referring to their “non-traditional” path into technology as something that needed to be overcome, and it reminded me of a lot of people in #softwaretesting I’ve known, so I wanted to share some thoughts on this.

1) You don’t owe anyone an explanation for how you got to where you are in life. Period.

2) The tech industry is OVERRUN with likeminded, timid, sheep that will let incentives trump ethics every time. If you took a chance on yourself and busted your ass to break into a new field, IMO those are the EXACT qualities we need in leaders.

3) IME people with engineering or pure CS backgrounds LOVE to over complicate things. Practical experience helps you cut through noise because you have to live with the consequences of your solution.

Finally, as someone who has come into technology through a “non-traditional” path and suffered my share of impostor syndrome – you have everything you need to do this work and as my pal Angie Jones likes to say, “your differences are your superpower”!

Test as Transformation

“What is the answer? she asked, and when no answer came she laughed and said: Then, what is the question?” – Gertrude Stein

How can software testing support business and digital transformation? Unfortunately, that’s not a question that gets asked frequently, as testing has traditionally been viewed as a technology insurance policy – and no one likes thinking about (let alone talking) about insurance! Transformation in the context of a business is a fundamental shift in how it operates, redefining its value proposition, or changing how they compete in the market and in my opinion, testing sits at the center of the information required to support and accelerate business change. Through the course of the next couple posts, I’m going to talk about how testing can help transform your business, but first I want to explain what I mean by “transformative testing”.

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Continuous Testing: From Dev to Ops

Really excited to be invite you to the next KPMG Testing webinar: “Continuous Testing: From Dev to Ops: Accelerate your Agile and DevOps journey with Continuous Testing” In this webinar, to be held virtually on Wednesday 07 July 2021 between 16:00–17:00 GMT, we will discuss how Continuous Testing is a key differentiator for the overall success of DevOps, the various challenges experienced in testing, and how Continuous Testing can help address them. We will examine the Business and IT drivers for Continuous Testing and the techniques involved in implementing Continuous Testing successfully. You can register for the event HERE


Ryan Sandilands, Automation Practice Lead, KPMG Testing Services, KPMG in the UK
Priya Raju, Director, FS Cloud Transformation, KPMG in the UK

EuroSTAR Testing Voices – Test as Transformation

Alignment in your test approach and business priorities is vital and will either accelerate or constrain enterprise transformation. Using his 20 years experience in building software quality management and testing teams for global financial services and consulting firms, Keith will explore opportunities for testing to not only support enterprise transformation programmes, but drive innovation and change beyond their traditional roles. You can register HERE – Hope to see you there!

Trust, but Verify

A realist’s guide to ensuring cloud resilience.

We are delighted to invite you to the second in a series of testing webinars. In this webinar, to be held virtually on Wednesday 21 April 2021 between 16:00–17:00 GMT, we will focus on how NFT can be used to critically evaluate in-built cloud resilience features to ensure that, when needed, they will actually deliver stable and reliable customer experiences. You can register here.

The session will be followed by an opportunity for Q&A.

Where: Microsoft Teams Meeting

When: Wednesday, 21 April 2021, 16:00 – 17:00 GMT


  • Chris Vicatos, Senior Manager, Cloud Transformation, KPMG in the UK
  • Xavier McGlynn, Senior Manager, KPMG Testing Services, KPMG in the UK
  • Venky Ramanarayanan, Technical Test Manager, KPMG Testing Services, KPMG in the UK

Testing Machines that Think

The Risks, Challenges and Opportunities for Testers

Giving a signal boost for my new colleagues at KPMG UK for their first of a series of testing webinars. In this webinar, to be held virtually on Wednesday 2 December between 16:00–17:00 GMT, we will discuss Artificial Intelligence (AI), Machine Learning (ML) and other related technologies through the lens of software testing.

You can register for the webinar HERE, where our presenters will focus on testing implications for ‘Machines that Think’ – discussing the new challenges and risks associated with using AI & ML, and what we, as Test Professionals need to do to be ready.

We will demonstrate a worked example of how we have used AI in Defect Analytics, followed by an opportunity for Q&A.


  • Sally Drew, Senior Manager – Testing Services, KPMG in the UK
  • Abdulla Mohammad, Manager – KPMG in the UK

the road is life.

“I was surprised, as always, by how easy the act of leaving was, and how good it felt. The world was suddenly rich with possibility.” – Jack Kerouac

A quick update that after 20+ years in a business that’s taken me to over 20 countries and 6 international moves, I’ve decided it’s time for one more run down the road. I am very happy to announce that I’ve relocated once again to the UK and taken a role with KPMG as a Director in their Testing Services business.

I’m excited to join the team and look after the the banking sector while expanding our partnerships and growing what is already an award winning practice. Thanks to everyone that helped make this possible and I wish only the best for my friends at Orion and Fiserv.

More to come once I get settled in, and I hope to see you around soon! Cheers!

The beatings will continue until morale improves . . .

I got a few questions about org dysfunction and how it specially relates to software testing, so I figured it would be easier to address them here as sort of a “reply all” to the different channels where I’ve made those comments.

Merriam-Webster defines “dysfunction” as: 1: impaired or abnormal functioning or 2: abnormal or unhealthy interpersonal behavior or interaction within a group. In my experience, organizational dysfunction occurs when leadership have misperceptions about how the organization is designed and actually operates, but more fundamentally, not understanding that the organization is performing EXACTLY as designed.

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Upon further review…

I tweeted this out the other day in response to watching a project manager get abused by a “senior IT director” over defects being found by clients that they clearly felt should have been “caught by QA”. Apparently this resonated with the testing community as the reactions have been overwhelmingly in support of the sentiment and anti-bullying position.

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QR Podcast – Ethics Panel

Very happy to dusting off the QR Podcast with my pals Fiona Charles, Dan Billing, Ash Coleman, and our returning champion Michael Bolton to discuss ethics in technology, the responsibilities of software testers, and all that “big brother” noise lately about contact tracing apps in the age of COVID-19. Check it out HERE… Enjoy!


Barnes, Austin. “White House Expected to Endorse KC-Built COVID-19 Exposure Tracking App.” Startland News (blog), March 19, 2020.

“Pandemic Data Could Be Deadly for the Old.” Bloomberg.Com, April 21, 2020.

“The Covid-19 Tracking App Won’t Work.” Bloomberg.Com, April 15, 2020.

Gizmodo. “Trump Admin Gives Coronavirus Tracking Contract to Peter Thiel’s Palantir: Report.” Accessed April 22, 2020.

Tech Ethics and the “Big Ask”

Recently I saw a Twitter thread asking the software testing community for volunteers to work on the SafePaths “contact tracing” app being developed by MIT. This project is made of up ex-Facebook execs, companies with questionable ethical pasts, and vague statements like “a number of leaders and personnel” and “experts from government agencies”. I’m sorry but that isn’t even remotely good enough for a project of this depth and scale.  

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Center Left: Operational Models in Enterprise Test Transformation

UPDATE: Due to the changes in the Accelerate format, I will no longer be presenting at the conference. I’ll continue to find a venue for this talk as soon as possible…thanks!

Over the course of my career, I’ve tried to help enterprise technology organizations get the most from their testing efforts. A regular conversation I have with IT leadership concerns the right organizational structure (centralized, decentralized, hybrid) to ensure they’re testing the right things at the right time in a lean and efficient manner.

As they transition to agile and continuous testing, many enterprise test teams are struggling with the right operating models, data, and measures to meet the needs of their business and development partners. At Tricentis Accelerate 2020 in San Francisco, I’ll explore the different approaches I’ve used in helping test centers adapt to the ever changing world of enterprise software quality management. Hope to see you there!